Tag Archives: vintage

2021 Jewelry Sale #3: Oaxaca Bracelets, Cuffs, Bangles +

If you have a small wrist you are in luck. Most of these bracelets measure 7″ to 8″ long and will fit a small wrist that is 6″ (more or less) in circumference. Some are vintage, some are new-ish, some are collectible, all are in like-new condition. I want to sell these as I get ready to make my cross-country move, so if you are so inclined, I welcome any reasonable offer.

To Buy: Please email me normahawthorne@mac.com with your name, mailing address and item number. I will mark it SOLD, send you a PayPal link to purchase and add $12 for cost of mailing. Please DO NOT SELECT buying goods or services — thank you! We also accept Venmo and Zelle, and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

#3. 20 Centavos Silver 1939 Mexican Coin Bracelet, 7-1/2″long. $125
#3 Detail: 20 Centavos 1939 Mexican Coin Bracelet
#4. Vintage Mexican Silver + Turquoise Bracelet, 7-1/2″ long. $135
#4 Detail
SOLD. #5 Bubble Bangle, Taxco, Mexico, Sterling Silver. 2-1/2″ diameter opening. $165
#6 Vintage Designer 1970’s Bone Sculpted Bracelet, 5″ inside, opening is 1-1/8″ $295
#6 Detail Raoul Sosa Designs
#6 Detail
#6 Detail
#6 Detail
#7 Copper bracelet, 7-1/4″ long. $35
#8 Bone Cuff, 5″ inside end-to-end, 1-1/2″ opening. $25
#9 Juicy Vintage Celluloid Bangle, 1940’s, 3″ diameter opening. $85
#10 Michoacan Painted Enamel Bangle, 2-5/8″ diameter opening. $55
#11 Pair Beaded Bangles, India. 2-1/2″ diameter opening. $45
#12 Vintage 1950’s Mexican Sterling and Moonstone, 7″ long. $225
#13 Vintage Sterling Silver Filigree, 8″ $55
#13 Detail
SOLD. #14 Mexico Designer Tane Sterling Silver w/Gold Plate. 7-3/4″ long. $135
#14 Detail
#15-#20 Sterling Silver Pins Described Below
  • #15 Top Left. Sterling and Spiny Oyster Pendant, $25.
  • #16 Top Second from Left. Sterling + Jasper pin, $65
  • #17 Top Second from Right. Sterling and Jasper pin, $45
  • #18 Top Right. Elena Solow Design, Oaxaca, pin. $145
  • #19 Bottom Left. Chased Sterling pin. $55
  • #20 Bottom Right. Vintage Mexico Hummingbird pin. $55
#21 Mexico beaded bracelet, 7-1/2″ $5
#22 Mexico Designer Carla Fernandez Bangle, wood. 2-3/8″ diameter opening, $75

A word about these carved wood bangles from Mexico City designer Carla Fernandez: She works with the finest wood craftsman from the State of Mexico to create these pieces. If you notice, they are designs adapted from the parts of the molinillo, which is the wood whisk designed to froth hot chocolate. The moveable parts are what the bangle is made from. All carved by hand!

#23 Carla Fernandez Bangle, wood, 2-1/2″ diameter opening. $55
#24 Carla Fernandez Bangle, wood, 2-1/2″ diameter opening. $30
#25 Wood bangle, 2-1/2″ diameter opening, $20

2021 Jewelry Sale #1: Mostly Oaxaca + Morocco, India, Israel

Happy New Year 2021. Over the years, living in Oaxaca, I have collected some outstanding pieces of jewelry. Some I purchased to support artisan-makers whose work I admired and respected. Some were never or rarely worn (isn’t that the definition of a collection?). Other pieces are featured here, too, that are from my travels to the American Southwest, Israel, Morocco and India. Some are made by American Crafts Council jewelry artist-innovators who showed at the Smithsonian and Baltimore Craft Shows. It’s time now for them to find new homes.

Today features all NECKLACES. Earrings and bracelets to come in another post.

I’m willing to entertain offers!

To Buy: Please email me normahawthorne@mac.com with your name, mailing address and item number. I will mark it SOLD, send you a PayPal link to purchase and add $12 for cost of mailing. Please DO NOT SELECT buying goods or services — so we don’t pay commissions. We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.

#3. Oaxaca Black Clay Bead Mexican Coin Necklace, 20″ $65
SOLD. #4. Chiapas Amber Necklace, 19″ $65
#5. Vintage Morocco Bedouin Amber, Coral and Metal Necklace, 17″ $295
#6. Chiapas Maya Coin Necklace, Ties to adjust length. $25
Vintage Oaxaca Virgin of Soledad Sterling and White Heart Glass Beads, 19″ $385
#7. Vintage 1990 Yemenite Sterling Silver Necklace, 77 grams, Jerusalem, 16″ $495

Most Jewish silversmiths from Yemen moved to Israel in the early 20th century. Their workmanship with filigree is considered unparalleled. This style is called an ornate bib-necklace. All hand-wrought.

SOLD. #8. Vintage Bedouin Amber Choker Tie Necklace, Coins, Gemstones, Morocco. $195
#9. SOLD. Mexico, Sterling Silver Necklace, 19″ $125
#10. Rutilated + Druzy Quartz, gold, sterling silver necklace, handmade chain 16″ $165
SOLD. #11. Chiapas Pompom Necklace, ties to adjust length, $20
#12. New Mexico Heishi hand-cut/inlay turquoise, onyx, spiny oyster necklace, 20″ $185
#13. Inlaid shell, mother of pearl, turquoise + sterling pendant, $65 (does not include chain)
SOLD. #14. Chiapas amber necklace, 20″ $45
#15. African opal, long strand to double wrap. 32″ $65
#16. Vintage Israeli Bedouin necklace, hollow, silver (?) 24″ $145
#17. Native American bolo tie, sterling silver, turquoise, braided leather, 36″ adjustable $85
#18. India, gemstone faceted black onyx necklace, 18″ $65
#19. From London, Selfridges, Jaipur, India designer Amrapali fine silver, 18″ $225
SOLD. #20. Chiapas Maya beaded necklace, ties to adjustable length. $45
#21. Bhuj, Gujarat, India Rabari tribal necklace, adjustable. 26″ $135
#22. Oaxaca black matte clay beaded necklace, 20″ $75
#23. Oaxaca, black hand-polished clay beaded necklace, 21″ $75
#24. Vintage Navajo pearls (sterling silver, handmade), original chain, clasp. 22″ $495
#25. Iolite faceted gemstone necklace with amethyst bezel pendant, 16″ $135
#26. SOLD. Oaxaca, ceramic necklace, adjustable, $20

. . . . and, the Kitchen Sink . . . oops, two beautiful pieces of French copper cookware — jewels in their own right!

#27. Vintage Havard French Copper Flambe Pan, 12″ diameter. $95 plus shipping.
Havard stamp, made in France
#28. BIA Cordon Bleu Oval Casserole, 9 x 14 x 2. Copper and Brass. $95 (Plus shipping)

15 Pieces: Mixed Mexican Jewelry For Sale

I’m getting ready to return to Oaxaca next week with a stopover in Mexico City to lead the Art History Tour focusing on the work of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, plus the other noted early 20th century Mexican muralists. (Want to hop down? One space open!)

Before I leave the USA, I usually go through my collection to review what I want to part with. The 15-piece selection is below. Look carefully!

To Buy: Send me an email to norma.schafer@icloud.com with your name, address, and item number. I will send you an invoice to pay with credit card. Once I receive your funds, I will mail via USPS to anywhere in the USA. Prices include mailing cost. Please buy and pay before Sunday, October 13, 2019. I return to Mexico on October 16. Thank you VERY much.

#1 Oaxaca Sterling Silver Yalalag Cross with Virgin of Juquila milagros

This is a one-of-a-kind completely handmade necklace, with handmade hollow silver beads and cast milagros in the image of the Virgin of Juquila, a venerated icon. You’ll never see anything like this again. When clasped, it hangs 20-inches. There are 15 milagros, including the three on the suspended cross. Two additional milagros make up the secure hook clasp. This is a collector’s piece. Price is $995. USD including mailing to anywhere in the USA. (Half the price of Federico with more silver.)

Oaxaca Filigree Dangle Earrings, left is #L-2A and right is #R-2B

These are famed Oaxaca filigree dangle earrings made by the best artisan silversmith I know. The ones on the left are called Muñecas and have a deep ruby red glass center to accent the sterling silver and pearls. The pair on the right are also an impressive statement piece, pearl and sterling with more of the filigree featured. Each pair has a 2-1/2″ drop from where the wire enters the earlobe, and is $245 each (includes mailing to anywhere in the USA).

Don’t like a price? Make me a reasonable offer!

SOLD. #3 Vintage Coral and Sterling Silver Oaxaca Milagro Necklace
Detail #3, all milagros are hand-cast sterling silver

#3 is an outstanding necklace, 22″ long, that I found at an out-of-the-way Oaxaca vintage antique shop. It was too beautiful to pass up and I added it to my collection. Now it’s time for a new home! $595 includes mailing to anywhere in USA.

Left earrings #4. Right top bangle #5. Vintage bubble bracelet #6.

#4 are among the last pairs of earrings I have made Brigitte Huet, who worked in Oaxaca for 20+ years before she returned to France in 2015. They are formed using the lost wax casting technique, and are 2″ long. $145 USD includes mailing to anywhere in the USA.

#5 is a sterling silver Mexican bubble bangle is made in Taxco, Guerrero. I’m very picky about quality, and this one is the best. 6″ interior diameter opening. Measure your wrist! $165 includes mailing to anywhere in the USA.

#6 is a rare vintage sterling silver Mexican bubble bracelet with native turquoise and hook clasp made in Taxco, Guerrero. It is in very good condition and measures 7-1/4″ long. $185 USD includes mailing to anywhere in the USA.

Don’t like a price? Make me a reasonable offer.

#7 purple earrings. #8 yellow earrings. #9 hot pink earrings.

#7, #8, and #9 are jicara gourd, hand-carved and painted, made in Pinotepa de Don Luis, Oaxaca, Mexico. I hand-select each pair for design quality and workmanship excellence. 2-1/2 to 3″ long. Lightweight, versatile, easy to wear. $45 each includes mailing to anywhere in USA. Please specify color and number when ordering. Thank you.

Earrings: #10 love birds. #11 circle flowers. #12 Maya Gods Pendant. #13 cornflowers.
#12 detail, sterling silver Brigitte Huet Maya Gods Pendant, 1″w x 1-1/2″ long, $185

#12. This is a rare Brigitte Huet sterling silver pendant made in the lost wax casting technique. It is from her earliest collection. Price includes mailing to anywhere in USA.

#10 love birds, sterling silver, coral and garnet, $175 USD

#10 are made by the Mazahua silversmiths of Estado de Mexico. I bought these in Mexico City. Difficult to find now. 3″ long from where wire enters earlobe to end of coral drop. Will mail free to anywhere in USA.

Don’t like a price? Make me a reasonable offer.

#11 top and #13 bottom, Melesio Rodriquez 950 sterling earrings

These are 950 sterling silver made by fine Mexican jeweler Melesio Rodriguez. They are each 1-1/4″ long. The design is derived from vintage 1950’s Taxco silversmithing. $165 each pair. Includes mailing to anywhere in USA. Please specify which pair you want by number.

#14 sterling silver Brigitte Huet bracelet with toggle clasp, 7-1/2″ long, $395
Inside detail #14 Brigitte Huet sterling silver bracelet with her mark

#14 was purchased around 2007 from Brigitte when she was working in Oaxaca using the lost wax casting technique. Her fine work was collected by travelers and residents alike. Rare to still find a piece like this. The iconography is Maya representing the huipil woven designs of noblewomen. $435 USD includes mailing to anywhere in the USA.

SOLD. #15 vintage Lake Patzcuaro fish necklace, 17″ long

#15 was bought in Patzcuaro, Michoacan in the early 1990’s. Rare. The fish is the iconic symbol of the region. Handmade silver beads and chain add interest along with the red beans from which the fish are suspended. Whimsical, beautiful, strong and secure with a hook clasp. $295 includes mailing to anywhere in the USA.

Yes! Textiles in Tirana, Albania

I´m in Eastern Europe, starting out along the southern Adriatic Coast of Albania in the capitol city of Tirana. I’m on a cultural tour of the region that has no particular focus, with a friend who needed a roommate. It would never have occured to me to put this on a travel bucket list, but I´m glad I did.

I call this Eastern Europe because it was once part of the Communist bloc pre-Gorbachev, that turned it’s loyalties to China and Mao, a stricter version communism after Glasnost.

Marble bust, Greek style

This is a developing country. It broke its shackles of repression after more than 30 years of isolation, forced labor camps, concentration camps, and extermination of liberal opposition. This is a city of bunkers built between 1960´s and 1980´s out of paranoid fear of invasion by foreign powers. By 1983, over 173,000 bunkers were built. Tirana today dedicated two to the martyrs who died in opposition, a memorial to a holocaust.

Obsolète; Communist era military buttons

With this in mind, the group I´m traveling with visited the National History Museum. The galleries are devoted to Albania history with ties to Greece, Italy, Macedonia and the Ottoman Empire. Artifacts, including marble busts, bronze weapons and jewelry from archeological sites are on display here.

Goddess Appolonia

An entire gallery is devoted to remembering those who suffered and died under the regime of Enver Hoxha. Here, I cried. This is fresh history. Recent history. Living history. And politics here is everywhere.

Wool apron with embroidered embellishment

Albanians love Americans. Woodrow Wilson said Albania should be independent after the Balkans were divided after WWI. In 2007, George W. Bush was the first US president to visit here. Two young students told me it is their dream to go to America. It is heartwarming to be welcomed so enthusiastically by people we meet. The history is dark, yet there is a sunrise to the east in the second poorest (only to Kosovo) country in Europe.

Heavy wool coat with appliqué

There is a small gift shop at National History Museum. It is filled mostly with vintage textiles that are 60 to 80 years old. The cloth is handwoven wool or cotton, embellished with embroidery or appliqué. The symbol of the country, the double-headed eagle, reminds me of some of the indigenous regions of Oaxaca where the same iconography is central to the language of cloth.

Rugs at the New Market, new, I think

I see weaving patterns that look like Zapotec rugs. I see tiny joining stitches that looks like Mexican randa. I see belts woven on backstrap looms embellished with fringed and wrapped tassels. I see the creativity of a people who desired to adorn themselves in beauty, a consistent them worldwide.

Vintage belts in the museum store

There are mostly European visitors here in this city of one million people, in this country of three million. We were told that there are six million visitors here annually now and the country is struggling to keep up with tourism infrastructure. The time to come here is now!

The tiniest stitches on traditional blouse

I am meandering on my own after the museum. I want to go to New Market and head in the direction a museum guard points me to. At a corner, I hesitate. I ask two young people where to find it.

Casey and Ben, Albanian college students, and me

That’s how I meet Casey and Ben. They speak English. I ask them if they will be my guide for the afternoon. They have free time. They are university students starting their first year, and classes are delayed because the registration system is kerfluffled. Along the way they tell me that young people don’t stay here. There is huge unemployment and the jobs are in Italy or Germany. Their dream is to go to the US. They are delighted to help me and I am delighted to give them each 500 Lek, about $5 USD each. Lucky us!

This is an olive-growing country — delicious!

After New Market, I continue on my own to Oda Restaurant and have a traditional Albanian lunch of stuffed eggplant with veggies, corn bread and beer. Then, back to Hotel Rogner for a rest.

Clay pots to store and cook with

Tomorrow, we are off to Montenegro. Who knows what I’ll find there!

Tasty beer at Oda Restaurant

In Japan, Searching for Blue Indigo (Ai-zome)

My quest for Japanese indigo fabrics and clothing took us to remote villages and high-end designer boutiques. I searched old kimono stacked in department store corners and flea market stalls. In the old Geisha district of Gion, two vintage textile shops offer 100+ year-old pieces in varying condition. I traveled from Tokyo to Kyoto to the remote thatched roof village of Miyama with blue on my mind. We lingered at the Amuse Museum exhibition of boro cloth in awe of indigo-dyed hemp and cotton patchwork born of poverty.

Indigo is my passion. It’s why I wanted to go to Japan. Oh, and the food. Oh, yes, and the cherry blossoms. Temples. Zen. Gardens. Oh, my.

This indigo vintage undergarment from Gallery Kei, perfect as a tunic

My sister was more interested in Kabuki and Noh theatre, so we negotiated time dedicated to our interests. We attended performances of both and met with a foremost expert on Noh, a US ex-pat living and teaching in Japan for 40 years. We managed to walk blocks that became miles, traveled by bus, train and taxi, all in search of blue, art and food.

We saw the famed kabuki actor (far right) at Kyoto’s Minimiza Theatre

Finding indigo in Japan is not easy. Sometimes we couldn’t locate the address. Sometimes we got lost despite Google maps. Sometimes I would stand on a street corner and call out, Does anyone speak English? to help us get our bearings. (Always, a kind, helpful person came to our aid, even guiding us to where we needed to go!) Sometimes the source was in such a remote area that we couldn’t get there. Tokyo is a vast megalopolis, on a scale beyond my ken. Kyoto, described as smaller, hardly pales in comparison.

The art of dyeing with indigo today is uncommon, as it is in Oaxaca, Mexico, where it is necessary to travel twelve hours from Oaxaca City to meet the maker. In Japan, one must also ferret out the dye masters and makers who turn indigo-dyed cloth into clothing. The practice is almost extinct, just like Mexico. And, as with all things made-by-hand, quality comes with a price, when you can find it.

I also noticed construction similarities between traditional Oaxaca huipiles and Japanese kimonos. Both are simple assemblages of cloth squares and rectangles, with hand-stitchedSi seam sewing and no tailoring (ie. no darts). The long, drooping kimono sleeves are merely rectangles attached to the main robe. Hand-stitching for seams and embellishment a standard practice.

Meiji period shibori kimono, vintage and pristine, 100 years old

Few pieces, I discovered, are hand-loomed now. Indigo-dyed ready-to-wear can be designed in Japan and made in India to keep prices in check. I found one amazing Meiji period kimono in perfect condition. Price tag, $1,800 USD. Pass. I’m looking for wearable art and not creating a museum-level collection.

At Chingireya Vintage Textiles, this outstanding kimono, $1,800 USD

What I also discovered is that a focused quest for indigo takes time. Even more than a three-week introductory visit such as the one I just completed. Perhaps another trip is needed to go deeper and wider. Perhaps.

I’m grateful to Elli Sawada, a Kyoto-based indigo dye student originally from San Diego, who referred me to several sources for investigation. Elli is studying with famed master-dyer Fukumi Shimura. Elli and her brother participated in our Oaxaca One-Day Natural Dye and Weaving Study Tour last month.

Vintage indigo cotton cloth, once used to wrap gifts, repurposed as large scarf

I also want to thank Nancy Craft of Esprit Travel and Tours, Japan Travel Expert, who generously shared her list of Kyoto textile shopping resources with me. I hunted down those most relevant to my interests.

Resist-dyed detail of large cloth, patterns perfectly matched

My friend Madelyn wrote, I hope you found yourself a wonderful indigo garment or textile. Plural, I replied. I filled a duffle bag with blue. Ancient blue. New blue. Traditional blue. Deep, dark, almost black, blue. Kimono with wide, boxy sleeves. Cozy, contemporary long-sleeved jacket with roll-up cuffs. Vintage farmer’s coat with sashiko stitching. All perfect with blue jeans or black skirt. I have satisfied my lust for blue.

Sashiko stitching detail, indigo farmer’s jacket, all hand-sewn,

Sidebar: Barbara and I were flaneuring down the main street of Tokyo’s Aoyama district (which easily overshadows Fifth Avenue and Rodeo Drive) after visiting the Meiji Jingu Shrine. I noticed a pop-up shop and stepped in to find Yu Design Office featuring hand-crafted indigo clothing.

Cropped tunic, hand-woven by Yu Design Office, similar to the Oaxaca blusa

Yu Design Office was founded by artisan Hiromi Yamada and her architect son Yuji Yamada. They use natural indigo dye from Hanyu City, Saitama, employing a traditional kimono-making technique called itajime from Mizuho City, Tokyo, and fine cloth from Hachioji, Tokyo. Combining indigo, persimmon juice and pitch black, the wool-silk scarf they make takes on a deep greenish blue hue. The cloth is folded and stacked and pressed between wooden boards to give it texture.

Yuji Yamada showing us ai-zome from Yu Design Office

Recommendations for hunting down Japan Blue:

Konjaku Nishimura Old Textile Arts, Gion, Kyoto, Nawate Street, Higashiyama-Ku, Kyoto. Email: info@konjaku.com

Indigo ikat remnant, now a scarf for Barbara, at Konjaku Nishimura Textiles

Chingireya Vintage Textiles, Gion, Kyoto, Nawate Street, Higashiyama-Ku.

Textiles Yoshioka, exquisite, all natural dyes, mostly scarves, shawls, accessories, Gion, Kyoto.

Aizenkobo, indigo workshop and gallery, Kyoto. Third generation workshop, producing traditional garments, scarves, yardage. People love it. I was underwhelmed.

Little Indigo Museum, Miyama, Kyoto Prefecture, is operated by Mr. Hiroyuki Shindo. In picturesque town of thatched-roof houses, this is a full-day trip. Small souvenir indigo samples and scarves are for sale. shindigo@cans.zaq.ne.jp

Indigo dye vats at The Little Indigo Museum, Miyama

Gallery Kei features vintage textiles and is operated by Kei Kawasaki on the famous Teramachi Street (671-1 Kuoinmae-cho Teramachi Ebisugawa-agaru), just south of the Kyoto Imperial Palace. At our visit, she had vintage boro from Northern Japan, garments and cloth fragments of hand-woven natural materials (hemp, linen, cotton, silk) and dyes. Write to confirm they are open. gallerykei@live.jp

With Kei Kawasaki at Gallery Kei. Shawl was once mosquito netting. Hemp and indigo.

Gran-Pie, also on Teramachi Street between Ebisugawa-dori and Nijo-dori, is a contemporary clothing store with garments designed in Japan, dyed and made in India.

I can’t publish this post without mentioning NUNOworks Fabrics in the Roppongi district of Tokyo. On our last afternoon in Japan, I went bonkers over the bolts of fabrics, and sewn-on-the-premises clothing. Delicious scarves. Beautiful garments. Outstanding design. Reasonable (by Japan standards) prices. Though few pieces are naturally dyed.

Department stores like Isetan (Kyoto Station), Takashimaya, Mitsukoshi and Matsuya Ginza feature contemporary Japanese designer boutiques, including Issey Miyake, Comme de Garçons, Yohji Yamamoto, and others. Some use indigo and other natural dyes, and are priced in the stratosphere.

Exquisite creativity is boro, from northernmost Japan

Where to Stay in Tokyo: the b roppongi hotel. Loved our stay here. Convenient to metro, restaurants, fair price, excellent service.

Where to Stay in Kyoto: we loved the YADO Hotel in Arashiyama. Book room #308. Recommend also staying in Gion area for more central experience.