Caroline's Jewelry with a Past is offering a sterling silver Mosaico Azteca necklace by Los Castillo c. 1950-1965. The inlaid azurite and malachite pieces are accented by silver decoration. It is numbered #205. The carved look to this piece looks like an overlapping layer of hearts. The necklace is 15" long X 5/8" wide (maximum dimensions). The piece has a tongue and groove closure and is secure. It weighs 65 grams. The back is marked "Los Castillo" + "Taxco" + "Made in Mexico" + "Sterling" + "205".
The Los Castillo workshop was founded in Taxco Mexico in 1939 by the Castillo brothers, Antonio, Coco and Chato, along with Antonio's wife Margot van Voorhies Carr (Margot de Taxco), and their cousin Salvador Teran. The brothers worked for William Spratling during the 1930's. Margot did a number of the early Los Castillo designs until she left about 1949 to start her own business. Los Castillo is still in business and is the longest continuously operating silversmith in Taxco. Design and craftsmanship has always been a hallmark of the workshop. The Mosaico Azteca line was started about 1950 and continued through 1965. The procedures to make this necklace were adapted from Aztec techniques. It is created from a silver base with raised contours outlining the piece and inlaying pieces of stone. Since this technique requires a precise and expert craftsman since the stone inlay is relatively thin and brittle, it was expensive and time consuming to produce.
The silver content of this piece has been tested using standard accepted testing methods, such as acid testing. The silver is marked "Sterling".
Please note that vintage jewelry has been pre-owned, worn, and loved by its owner. The charm and beauty of vintage silver Taxco jewelry comes from the unique variations and characteristics inherent in hand-wrought silver. You may be able to see the artisan's tool marks. It is not new and perfect, nor should it be. Vintage silver items may also show age appropriate tarnish. This piece has its original patina.
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Caroline's Jewelry with a Past has been on the web since 1995