Antique Coral Drops - Oaxaca
Given the quality of craftsmanship, these early 20th century gold filigree coral drops from Oaxaca were likely worn only on very special occasions. Suspended from kidney hooks, this classic form is made in two parts and connected by a thick gold hinge in the middle. The large gold blossoms were fabricated from gold wire and further embellished with large iridescent freshwater pearls. Granulated flower blossoms, a procedure which involves small beads of gold soldered to the surface, is evident throughout.. 14 karat gold. Circa 1920's / 1930's.
When the Spanish colonized Mexico in the first half of the 16th century much of the pre-Hispanic jewelry was collected and melted for the Spanish crown. Indigenous craftsman were taught new techniques while artist's guilds were established for the purposes of taxation and quality control. Given the strict standards to which both indigenous and itinerant jewelers were held, there was little room for individuality or artistic expression. That all changed when Mexico won independence from Spain 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 New techniques were popularized and the colonial baroque designs of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries were superseded by less formal, more intimate, whimsical designs.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, granulated work and sometimes semi-precious stones.
Dimensions: 2.6 inches long.