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Vintage Jewellery, Navajo and Mexican Silver

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40's Carved Abalone + Hand Link Necklace

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Hand crafted in Mexico, circa 1940, this vintage necklace is carved abalone in an ornate sterling silver setting. The abalone itself is shades of grey, oyster and pink and looks almost metal, like the silver itself. The centre pendant is relatively small (3cm x 4cm) in a smooth bezel with ornate swirl and repousse ball headdress, flanked by six large ellipses of silver and abalone. The chain itself is eight large, decorated links with a simple j clasp - amazing and unusual.

Item Details


Length 52cm


52 Grams


Sterling Mexico in a circle and initials too worn to read.


Abalone, Sterling Silver

Condition Report

Spectacular vintage condition. Shows mild wear commensurate with age, no dings or chips, will come with some patina, as level of polish is a matter of taste, single pinhead ding to one repoussé ball. Has a handcrafted look to it - spectacular vintage piece

About this Piece

Sterling Silver

Sterling is an alloy of silver containing at least 92.5% pure silver (925 parts of 1000 thus the 925 stamp), the remainder is made up of a mix of metals (most commonly copper) used to make the metal workable. Pure silver is generally considered too soft to work with, although you can find silver jewellery at 950 or 980, even the occasional 99.9% fine silver, which can be work-hardened to increase durability.

Mexican Tribal Mask

The carved tribal mask was popularised in the Art Deco period in Mexican jewellery. Inspired by the pre-columbian Aztec and Mayan civilisations and carved out of various stones - onyx, calcite, amethyst, tiger's eye, sometimes cast in bronze or copper - the mask features in necklaces, earrings, rings and bracelets.