Large Vintage Los Castillo Onix Negro Married Metals Modernist Inlaid Lapis Malachite Brass and Sterling Brooch 032P 45 Grams


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This large round Modernist Onix Negro designer brooch was made by highly
regarded Mexican taller Los Castillo of Taxco. The brooch has a sandwich
construction with a sterling back topped by a thick layer of unpolished onyx.
The onyx is banded at the top by a brass border. The face of the brooch
features abstract shapes executed in inlaid brass and sterling silver. The
brooch also features an angular inlaid lapis accent along with a circular
malachite accent.

The brooch is in good vintage condition showing signs of wear consisting of
tarnish and scratching to the surface, the most obvious of which is located on
the silver inlay near to the malachite circle. It should also be noted that the
lapis shows some pitting under magnification, but it is not clear if this is
related to use or if it is a naturally occurring anomaly in the matrix. As seen
in photos 4 and 5, the pin bar at the back of the piece is bent but fits into
the rolling clasp. The clasp itself is fully functional and closes securely.
The brooch is 2" in diameter and is .25" thick, and has a weight of
approximately 45 grams.

The back of the brooch is clearly marked for Los Castillo and is stamped "LOS
CASTILLO TAXCO", "ONIX NEGRO" and "HECHO EN MEXICO" along with design number
"032P" and the Mexican government eagle assay mark indicating silver purity
which bears the number "15", designating manufacture by Los Castillo.

This highly collectible brooch displays well and would be a great addition to
a collection of fine Mexican designer jewelry. A very pretty piece!

A note about the designer:
Los Castillo was founded in Taxco Mexico by Don Antonio Castillo Terán along
with his brothers Jorge (also known as "Chato"), Miguel, and Justo. The
Castillo brothers began their careers as apprentices in the workshop of
renowned silversmith, William Spratling. The brothers went on to establish
their own taller in 1939 under the leadership of Don Antonio, and developed a
reputation for expert craftsmanship and innovative techniques. Of particular
note is the 'Metales Casados' or married metal technique developed by Chato
Castillo.

Los Castillo's sought after Onix Negro married metal pieces required a high
level of technical proficiency and are crafted from black onyx in addition to
sterling silver and other metals including polished brass. Pendants, earrings,
cufflinks and brooches often featured colorful pieces of inlaid stone including
Azurite, Malachite and Chrysocolla.

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