Gold Filigree and Coral Moñas
This pair of early 20th century earrings, made entirely of coral and 14 karat gold filigree wire, were hand made by the skilled artisans of Oaxaca approximately 70 years ago. The Spanish name for this form is moña or muñeca for 'bow' or 'doll'. Suspended from kidney hooks, each earring features a large coral drop surmounted by knotted bows and coral beads
When the Spanish colonized Mexico in the beginning of the 16th century much of the pre-Hispanic jewelry was melted for the Spanish crown. Indigenous craftsman were taught new techniques and artist's guilds were established for the purposes of taxation and quality control. Given the strict standards to which jewelers were held, there was little room for individuality or artistic expression. That all changed when Mexico won it's independence in 1810. New techniques were popularized and the colonial baroque designs of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries were superseded by less formal, more intimate whimsical designs. Nowhere was this artistic spontaneity more apparent than in the state of Oaxaca. The art of filigree, a technique introduced to Mexico by Spanish colonists, consists of curling and twisting pliable gold or silver threads and then uniting them with molten flux, borax and a blow-pipe. This art form, having quickly gained traction in Guerrero, Michoacan and Oaxaca, was also utilized for the manufacture of earrings. As artisans became more proficient, their creations were further embellished with fresh water pearls, seed pearls, coral, semi-precious stones and granulated work, a procedure which involves beads of gold or silver soldered to the surface to produce new patterns.
Dimensions: 2.5 inches long.
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