Tag Archives: necklace

Pop-Up Vintage Jewelry Sale: Oaxaca Gold Filigree, Mexican Sterling + More

I’m making another trip to the USA and in the move to edit my collection, I’ve taken inventory and will sell the following jewelry. Most pieces are vintage collectible and some are new and newer.

Please make your purchases by June 30, 2016. I will bring what you buy with me and ship from Santa Fe, NM after July 7.  All prices include USPS priority mail shipping within USA. Send me an email and I’ll let you know if the piece is still available, then send you a PayPal invoice. Thank you very much.

Vintage 10K Gold filigree + pearl earrings, Muñeca's, 2-1/8" long, $350 USD

Vintage 10K Gold filigree + pearl earrings, Muñeca’s, 2-1/8″ long, $350 USD

  1. SOLD. Muñecas. This earring style, little dolls, is worn by Teotitlan del Valle Zapotec women for special occasions. This pair is over 50 years old. Everything is hand-made and the pearls are affixed with 10K gold wire. Red cut glass. I bought them to help out a local friend.
10K Gold Filigree earrings, Veracruz, 1-1/2" long, $225

10K Gold Filigree earrings, Veracruz, 1-1/2″ long, $225

2. SOLD. Veracruz, Mexico flower earrings, 10K gold. Handmade filigree. Vintage. Intricately made, hangs beautifully from sturdy wires. $225 USD.

10K Gold filigree earrings, Veracruz, 1-1/4" long

10K Gold filigree earrings, Veracruz, 1-1/4″ long, $185

3. SOLD. Veracruz filigree flower earrings, vintage, handmade, smaller and a bit more delicate than #2. $185 USD

10K Gold filigree flower ring, Veracruz, size 4-1/2, with 1" flower, $95

10K Gold filigree flower ring, Veracruz, size 4-1/2, with 1″ flower, $95

4.  Veracruz Flower Ring, vintage. $95 USD.

10K Gold filigree ring, Veracruz, size 4-1/2, with 1" flower, $95

10K Gold filigree ring, Veracruz, size 4-1/2, with 1″ flower, $95

5. Veracruz 10K gold filigree flower ring. Vintage. $95 USD.

Patzcuaro, Michoacan. Handmade silver and coral dangle earrings, $110

Patzcuaro, Michoacan. New, handmade silver and coral dangle earrings, $110 USD

6. Patzcuaro handcast silver and coral earrings, 2-1/2″ long dangles. $110

Mazahua New Silver + Coral Bird Earrings, $145

Mazahua New Silver + Coral Bird Earrings, 2-1/2″ long, $145 USD

7. SOLD. Silver and Coral Bird Earrings made by the Mazahua people in Estado de Mexico. These are cast and carved with lots of moving parts for movement when you walk. Very traditional design. 2-1/2″ long. $145 USD

Santa Clara del Cobre, Michoacan, Copper Ball Earrings, new, 1" long, $65

SOLD Santa Clara del Cobre, Michoacan, Copper Ball Earrings, new, 1″ long, $65

8. SOLD. Copper Ball Earrings have a non-tarnish finish. $65 USD. I was in Santa Clara del Cobre last year where I bought these. Love the sheen.

Matl-style vintage earrings, sterling, turquoise, coral, amethyst, $225

Matl-style vintage earrings, sterling, turquoise, coral, amethyst, $225

9. Matl-style, sterling, turquoise, coral and amethyst earrings. I bought these at a Mexico City antiques market. They have post-backs. All stones in excellent condition. 2-1/4″ long. Stamped Mexico 925. $225 USD.

Jadeite + Sterling Vintage 40's Choker & Bracelet, $250

Ballesteros Jadeite + Sterling Vintage 40’s Choker & Bracelet, $250 USD, 2 pieces

10. SOLD. Carved Masks necklace and bracelet set. Jadeite and sterling. Necklace is 16″ long with a secure hook clasp. Bracelet is 6″ long and will fit a small wrist. All carved masks in perfect condition. Marked Ballesteros, Hand Made, Taxco Mexico. Ballesteros was one of the finest silversmith studios. More photos below:

Ballesteros hand made necklace and bracelet set. Photo 10B.

Ballesteros hand made necklace and bracelet set. Photo 10B.

Black Onyx Vintage Bracelet, 7" long, $155

Black Onyx Sterling Silver Vintage Bracelet, 7″ long, 3/4″ wide, $145 USD

11. Black Onyx, Sterling Silver Filigree with sturdy box clasp, 7″ long bracelet. This is a vintage piece found in a North Carolina rural antique shop. They knew what they had! Stamped Sterling Mexico. $145 USD. Another photo below.

11B. Black Onyx + Sterling filigree bracelet, box clasp.

11B. Black Onyx + Sterling filigree bracelet, box clasp.

 

Art Deco Jadeite Sterling Silver Ball Bracelet, with rope detail, 8" long, $155

Jadeite Sterling Silver Ball Bracelet, with rope detail, 8″ long, 1/2″ wide, $155

12. SOLD. Jadeite and Sterling Ball Bracelet with sturdy box clasp. $155 USD.

12B. Jadeite + Sterling Bracelet clasp detail.

12B. Jadeite + Sterling Bracelet clasp detail. Taxco 925.

Huichol hand beaded earrings. 3" long. $28 USD

Huichol hand beaded earrings. 3″ long. $22 USD

13. Huichol peoples make gorgeous beadwork. These are great summer casual fun. $22 USD.

Huichol beaded earrings, 3" long, new $30 USD

Huichol beaded earrings, 3″ long, new $22 USD

14. Brown, Pink, Cream, Black beaded Huichol earrings, with sterling hooks, 3″ long, $22 USD

Waxed Linen Crochet Flower earrings, 2-3/4" dia. from Estado de Mexico, $35 USD

Waxed Linen Crochet Flower earrings, 2-3/4″ dia. from Estado de Mexico, $30 USD

15. Hot pink, purple with a touch of yellow, makes this pair of earrings a knock-out for summer. All hand-crochet work, tight, and strong. I bought these in Malinalco, Estado de Mexico. $30 USD

San Pedro Quiatoni, Oaxaca Jewelry: Quest for the Past

San Pedro Quiatoni is a small Zapotec mountain village in the eastern region of the Tlacolula Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico. For some inexplicable reason, the village collected Venetian glass beads that came into Mexico with the Spanish galleons along the trade routes between Veracruz, Acapulco and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. The necklaces and earrings have become hard-to-find collectibles.

San Pedro Quiatoni necklace, Museo Nacional de Anthropologica

San Pedro Quiatoni necklace, Museo Nacional de Anthropologica, Mexico City

Early necklaces were strung with finely woven ixtle fiber, then later cotton. They typically included a mix of brown, clear, cobalt blue and light turquoise hand-blown slender glass rods of varying lengths, from one to three inches, interspersed with Venetian skunk (black and white) and colored handmade glass beads. Some say the rods originated from Puebla craftsmen. Others dispute this and insist they were part of the bounty coming from Europe to trade for gold, silver and cochineal.

We do know that these particular necklaces have a unique provenance only to this one Oaxaca village, San Pedro Quiatoni. The women wore them for ceremonial occasions, part of the gala traje. Some were single strands. Others, double strands. Each one I found seemed to be unique to the person who assembled the beads based upon what was available and personal aesthetic.

The necklaces, along with complementary earrings, were passed down through the generations, safeguarded in baules (treasure chest, hope chest) in the isolated village that is a good three hours from Oaxaca city.  It wasn’t until the 1970’s, when the Pan-American Highway (Mexico 190) was paved that there was easier access.

Xaquixe reproduction San Pedro Quiatoni necklace

Xaquixe reproduction San Pedro Quiatoni necklace

The old jewelry became a source of needed income for local families as collectors recognized the originality of design and age of the beads. It is difficult now to find an intact strand of these glass beads on their original cord anywhere other than in museums or among private collections.

I became interested in the history of these necklaces last year at a Museo Textil de Oaxaca exhibition that included vintage San Pedro Quiatoni daily traje (dress) and accompanying necklaces. I tried to find glass rods in local antique shops to make my own necklace but was unsuccessful. The reproduction necklaces for sale in the MTO gift shop, made by Xaquixe, sold out in days.

Close-up, Museo Textil de Oaxaca collection

Close-up, Museo Textil de Oaxaca collection, San Pedro Quiatoni

My interest was sparked again this month when I went to visit the Mitla antique dealer I wrote about before. He pulled out three of these Quiatoni necklaces, obviously recently strung on silk cord, to show me. The prices were in the stratosphere even with the favorable dollar to peso exchange rate ($1=17 pesos).

Researching Provenance and Value

To even consider a purchase, I had to know more. So, I searched the Internet for a history of San Pedro Quiatoni beaded necklaces and what was available for sale to find comparables in quality and pricing. I wanted to know if what he was selling was really real! I saw old photos of village women wearing them. I saw 2002 festival photos with beautiful girls each laden with several strands.

I sent an email to Old Beads owner Silva Nielands, an expert in old Mexican beads, as well as old beads from around the world. She had a Quiatoni necklace for sale, one of two that I was able to find online. It was a beauty and had already sold within days of being listed, she told me. Silva was incredibly generous with her advice and time, offering to look at photos I sent her to authenticate age and quality.

Asking for Expert Opinion

She suggested a reasonable retail price for the necklace strung with old coral and I gulped again. She noted that the white oblong beads with the blue squiggles on the necklace I was looking at are typical of those that came into Mexico and South America over 100 years ago, and the light turquoise rods are more rare and valuable than the clear or blue ones. Most of these necklaces are adorned with red glass tubes, not coral, and may be newer.

Quiatoni necklace, Museo Textil de Oaxaca collection

Close-up, Quiatoni necklace

On my recent visit to the USA, I bought an old copy of Mexican Jewelry, the bible written in 1964 by Mary Davis and Greta Pack, and referred to it often during my investigations. I also found, online, a history of beads in Mexico, The Margaretologist, Vol. 1, No. 4, 1987, Journal for the Center of Bead Research (see page 9 of the linked journal).

I visited the necklace four times.  I examined each bead and the stringing. I found several broken tips on the rods. I walked away. He called me and asked me to make an offer. I returned, questioned whether the stringing was done correctly to honor the original design — from my research, it wasn’t. So, I asked for the necklace to be strung correctly and then I would look at it again.

One of three necklaces for sale in Mitla that I was considering

One of three San Pedro Quiatoni necklaces for sale in Mitla that I was considering

According to my sources, the ribbons were originally used for decorations, not to tie the necklace. So this was a dead giveaway that the necklaces were strung improperly. The beads would have been strung on a cotton cord, which would be braided from the last bead to the terminus.

Bargaining and Walking

In the two-week process, I also got negotiating coaching from my friend Scott who has been a trader here in the region for over 40 years. He advised that I admire, inquire and walk away. He suggested I do this several times, not my usual style, but I disciplined myself.  I courageously asked the dealer to restring the beads and replace the rods with broken tips.

This 14" strand came in on turquoise embroidery floss. The short brown beads are old.

This 14″ strand came in on turquoise embroidery floss. The short brown beads are old, and you can see the beautiful glass lamp work.

Scott counseled that the dealer would respect me more if I made a reasonable offer that was fair to us both. Being that the dealer was as close to the source as I was going to get, on the return for the fourth time, I decided to start out by offering half his asking price to test what a reasonable offer might be.  When we reached an agreement for less than what I had in mind, he invited me to return for a family dinner and gave me a warm embrace. I guess Scott was right!

San Pedro Quiatoni necklace and earrings

San Pedro Quiatoni necklace and earrings

The earrings above have a silver disc hammered from an old coin, then cut along the edge to form a double-headed guajolote with feathers. The ear findings are original, too. They are now part of my collection along with the necklace, which now has a cotton cord for proper tying. The navy blue ribbon mimics some of the old pieces, but I’ve also seen photos of these necklaces without the ribbon.

San Pedro Quiatoni Necklace, restrung, Norma Schafer Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC

San Pedro Quiatoni Necklace, restrung, Norma Schafer Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC

 

 

Vintage Moroccan Tribal and Berber Jewelry: For Your Collection

In this post: a stunning collection of Moroccan tribal jewelry for sale.  We traveled the souks of Marrakech and Essaouira to find these treasures — several stunning necklaces and one outstanding filigree Berber bracelet. All are vintage!  We sat on leather poufs at the feet of Moroccan traders who served us glasses of hot, sweet mint tea.

Berberbracelet1b

We haggled Moroccan-style to get the best possible prices and selected the most original, authentic antique pieces from the most reputable merchants who locals know and trust.   We went right to the source and are offering these treasures to you just in time for the holidays.  Please send me an email with your mailing address, if you would like to purchase a piece.  I will send you a PayPal invoice, add mailing costs and the piece will be on its way to you pronto.  Oops, as fast as a sheik on a camel.

1. AMBER PENDANT NECKLACE–SOLD

amber pendant1 amber pendant2

Stunning, hand crafted, vibrantly colored four strand antique Berber tribal necklace with amber. Circa 1940s. Pink coral, red coral, orange coral, turquoise, intricately painted wooden trading beads, hand rolled ceramic beads, engraved Berber silver, jet. Traditional yarn tie.

Length: 24 inches. Adjustable. Weight: 200 grams.  $285

2. COIN PENDANT NECKLACE

photo 1-2 photo 2-2 photo 3-2

Rare, exquisite multi-pendant antique tribal necklace. Four perfect strands of etched-pattern Berber silver, amber, turquoise, red coral, orange coral, hand rolled ceramic and painted wood beads. Antique Berber 2 dirham coin pendant, circa 1890s, and 2 red coral pendants.  Traditional yarn tie. Length: 24 inches, adjustable.  Weight: 195 grams.  $310.

3.  RED CORAL 7–STRAND NECKLACE

photo 3Antique red coral and red Venetian glass beads with Tuareg Berber silver desert medallion. Circa 1940s. Length: 20 inches. Weight: 95 grams.  Old clasp reinforced with invisible clear wire.  $225.

photo 1

4.  GREEN BEAD NECKLACE

photo 5 photo 4 photo 2-1 photo 1-1

A show stopper. Remarkable antique Desert Tribal Necklace “Green Beads.” Circa late 19th century or earlier from the Ida ou Sental Berber tribe, southern Morocco. Six beaded strands with old brass and Berber silver desert medallions and coins. An elaborately engraved antique brass centerpiece medallion with Berber silver coin pendants symbolizing Circle of Life.  Hand painted wood trading beads and jet Venetian glass beads.

Length: 24 inches. Weight: 275 grams. Old hook clasp reinforced with clear wire. $350

5.  BERBER TRIBAL BRACELET, ATLAS MOUNTAINS

Berberbracelet1b

Berberbracelet1

INTRICATE filigree Berber Silver Tribal Bracelet from the mid-Atlas Mountains. Green and yellow enamel, red and green original Venetian glass trading bead inserts, bezel set.  Six Berber silver coins with 5-pointed stars.
Diameter 2 ¼ inches diameter, 1 ½ inches wide. Weight: 100 grams. $280