Caroline's Jewelry with a Past is offering a sterling silver parure or suite by Margot de Taxco (Margot vanVoorhies Carr) in her design style #5899 and called, "Stepped Curl" circa 1955. This five piece set consists of a necklace with detachable pendant which can be used as a brooch, bracelet and earrings. The enamel features a sterling silver base in two colors, a dark green melange and opaque black. The necklace has a central plaque with a rounded square done in an Aztec style stepped pattern resembling the pyramids found in meso-America. The dark green melange or confetti style enamel is highlighted by solid black enamel surrounded by raised silver work. The chain of the necklace features 22 sections in a triple stripe with a lobed shape on the end of each section. The necklace can be detached from the central plaque to be worn separately. The individual sections are tied together with a flat loop. The pendant can be worn as a brooch when detached from the chain. There is an open central section. The necklace is 21” long. The central plaque is 2" tall X 1-3/8" wide (maximum dimensions) and the closure is a square box style. This pendant/ brooch is marked "Margot de Taxco" + "5899" + "Made in Mexico" + "Sterling” + a double Eagle 16 mark. The chain is unmarked. The link bracelet has a reverse flattened version of the central pendant plaque. There are 6 individual sections each of which are hinged. The bracelet is 7" with a safety chain that opens an additional 3" to allow easy access. Each plaque of the bracelet is 1-3/16" wide X 1-1/16" tall (maximum dimensions). The bracelet is marked "Margot de Taxco" + "5899" + "Hecho en Mexico" + "Sterling" + the Eagle 16 mark. The earrings echo a section of the central plaque. They are 1-1/32" tall X 5/8" wide (maximum dimensions) and are screw back. One earring is marked "Margot de Taxco" + "5899". The second is marked "Hecho en Mexico" "925" + the Eagle 16 mark. The necklace and pendant/brooch weigh 60.9 grams, the bracelet weighs 52.8 grams and the earrings weigh 8.8 grams, for a total weight of 122.5 grams for the set.
Margot van Voorhies Carr, known as Margot de Taxco , was originally from San Francisco and moved to Taxco Mexico in the 1930's. She was married for a time to Antonio Castillo who was a partner in Los Castillo, a prominent silver manufacturer. She did a number of their designs in the early 1940's. Los Castillo continued to use her designs for a number of years after her marriage to Antonio failed. When she left the marriage and started her own jewelry production about 1948, she began with many of her basic Los Castillo designs and modified them to her own tastes. Some of Margot's early pieces and Los Castillo designs overlap. Later, her designs became key to her unique style of jewelry. She perfected the glass enamel techniques used in her most exciting pieces. Most of the enamel pieces feature champleve enamel, although Margot called it "basse-taille." This type of enamel is produced when cells in the piece are filled with vitreous enamels and then fired to produce rich colors and depths. Each color must be fired at different temperatures to produce the effects desired, so each piece could be fired a number of times. Due to the various enamels and techniques used, there may be wear or discoloration of the enamel in spots. There may be surface scratches on the item. We will note any actual loss of enamel. The enamel in this piece is intact and not crazed.
The silver content of this piece has been tested using standard accepted testing methods, such as acid testing. The silver is marked "Sterling" and "925" for 925/1000 or sterling silver.
When you own vintage handmade jewelry, you wear a design that is unique and represents the artist's vision. It is made by a skilled craftsman and can have features which are only found in this piece. The jewelry may exhibit the marks of the craftsman. It will not be perfect. The jewelry will show age appropriate tarnish, unless we state otherwise. There may be surface scratches on the item. There is no loss of enamel. This piece features Margot de Taxco enameling techniques which will show varying depths of color that is part of the beauty of the pieces. This design has also sometimes been called "Squared Circle".
Impressive Margot de Taxco Stepped Curl Parure #5899 c. 1955