Caroline's Jewelry with a Past is offering a sterling silver demi-parure or suite by Los Ballesteros of Taxco and Iguala, Mexico circa 1955. The two piece set consists of a necklace and bracelet. It features a sterling silver base inlaid with rainbow colored abalone shell. The design is a Greek key or meander style. The necklace consists of 14 tapered plaques connected at the small end by attached loops. The plaques lay flat on the neck when worn. Each unit is slightly bowed and is 1-1/4" wide at the bottom tapering to 1-1/16" at the top (maximum dimensions). The necklace is 15-1/2" to 16" long with a box style clasp. It weighs 51.5 grams. The necklace is marked "Talleres de Los Ballesteros", along with the stylized "B" in a cushion shaped square + "Hecho en Mexico" + "925” (for sterling silver) + "Iguala, Gro" + an Eagle 16 on the clasp. The bracelet has the same Greek key design. The plaques are square, each 1-1/4" long X 5/8" wide (maximum dimensions. The individual pieces are hinged. The bracelet is 7" long with a box clasp closure. It weighs 20.6 grams. It has indistinct markings for Los Ballesteros mark, Hecho en Mexico + "925" (Sterling silver). There is an Eagle mark on the box clasp. The total weight of the set is 72.1 grams.
Los Ballesteros was established in 1937 by Jalil Majul Ballesteros in Iguala, Guerrero Mexico. He came from a long family history of jewelry making. His early manufacturing style used filigree; however, around 1941, the shop was moved to Taxco. After this move, he began making pieces which were more in line with the local styles designed for the tourist trade. In the 1950s, Los Ballesteros' pieces were produced by smaller family workshops in the Taxco area with Los Ballesteros supplying the designs, materials and tools. The pieces were marked "Talleres de los Ballesteros". The company continues to produce items today.
Abalone has an iridescent nacre that lines the inside of the shell. This nacre varies in color from silver, white, pink, red, green-red, deep blue, green to purple. These pieces feature green, purple, turquoise, gray and blue coloring striated with brown and dark gray.
The silver content of this piece has been tested using standard accepted testing methods, such as acid testing. The silver is marked "925" for sterling silver (925/1000 parts silver) .
Rich Los Ballesteros Mid Century Abalone Demi-Parure c. 1955