Caroline's Jewelry with a Past is offering a sterling silver pendant brooch necklace by Los Castillo of Taxco, design #658, circa 1945, a pre-Eagle (before 1948) piece. The design features a starburst look with uneven ruffling around the edges with the central area having flattened hand applied "knobs" completed by a half round ball in the center. The center has oxidation. The pendant/ brooch is slightly convex. The pendant can be worn on a chain, the torque or as a brooch. The style of this piece suggests the influence of Margot de Taxco (Margot van Voorhies Carr). The centerpiece is 2-1/8" round (maximum dimensions).). There is a brooch fixture with a safety style clasp. The pendant brooch weighs 25.5 grams. The pendant brooch is marked "Los Castillo" + "Taxco" + "Sterling" + "Made in Mexico" + design number #658. The torque style necklace has been handmade to fit this piece and is a smooth tubular style to accomodate a 16"neck. It has hooks and is designed to be latched from the front making it very easy to wear.
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 (later 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 have always been a hallmark of the workshop.
The silver content of these pieces has been tested using standard accepted testing methods, such as acid testing. The silver of the pendant/brooch is marked "Sterling". The torque necklace is handmade and is not original to the piece.
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.