come from the cool and high town of Patzcuaro in the State of Michoacan.
Famous in the past as an important Purepecha ceremonial site during the
pre-Hispanic eram it is now known for the "Dance of the Little Old Men",
the beautiful Lake Patzcuaro nearby, Tarasco soup and corundas, as well
as the Days of the Dead ceremonies celebrated in the area, most famously
on Janitzio Island...
Many of the necklace styles
had ceremonial uses, and the traditional earrings in their different shapes
distinguish the woman of the different villages around the lake.
PATZ.01. These sterling silver earrings were made in Pátzcuaro,
a beautiful, high altitude town in the state of Michoacán.
They are a modern interpretation faithful to the style of traditional
earrings. Earrings #1 - 1 3/4 inch from top of loop to bottom of
fish - $42.US. Earrings #2 - 2 1/16 inch from top to bottom
- $48.US. Earrings #3 - 2 inches from top to bottom - $48.US.
Earrings #4 - 1 3/8 inches tall - $78.US. Earrings #5 - 1 3/4
inches tall - $90.US. Earrings #6 - 2 1/4 inches tall from
top to bottom of fish - $90.US. Earrings #7 - 1 3/8 inches
tall - $90.US. (#5 are sold)
PATZ.02. Earrings similar to these can be seen on page 101
of "Mexican Jewelry" by Mary L. Davis and Greta Pack. They have not
changed much over the years, and they define the area which their wearers
come from. These are 2 1/4 inches long from top to bottom and signed
with an "F" by the maker, Salvador Farfan. $200.US.
PATZ.03. These earrings have been set with red glass beads,
a nice touch against the silver. They are just under 2 inches long
from top to bottom, and signed with an "F" by the maker, Salvador Farfan.
PATZ.04. This is essentially a Tarascan Indian (in Michoacan)
design which has only changed in small ways over the years. This
design is a traditional wedding necklace especially popular on Janitzio
Island. You can see something very similar on page 100 of "Mexican
Jewelry" by Mary L. Davis and Greta Pack. This necklace is sterling
with openwork beads and matching earrings. The chained part is just
over 22 inches long and the pendant including cross and a number of sections
is 9 inches long. $445.US/necklace and earrings together.
earrings here are available...) Patzcuaro, Mexico
is well known for its "Days of the Dead" celebrations as well as for the
small silvery fish that live in the serene lake nearby. The delicate
fish are a subject of traditional silver jewellery made in the region by
a handful of artesans, and I was lucky to pick up these pieces while travelling
in the region.
The designs of the necklaces and earrings
originated with Sr. Herminio Cazares a local jeweller, and his work can
be seen in the local folk art museum there. They are Tarascan by
nature (the local people who lived there in pre-Columbian times are are
still the predominant population today) in feel and very specific to Patzcuaro
itself. The necklace illustrated here was designed by Miguel Covarrubius,
the well known Mexican illustrator, muralist, and caricaturist, was first
made by Sr. Herminio Cazares and continues to be made in various interpretations
by his descendants.
This necklace was made by Salvador Farfan
who I believe is a nephew of the original jeweller. The necklaces
are traditionally strung on beads that imitate coral (see page 98 of "Mexican
Jewelry") but the original style of beads is difficult to acquire in Mexico
these days. I restrung the silver beads and pendant with antique
red whitehearts. The beaded section of the necklace itself is 21
inches in length, and the pendant is 2 inches wide and 2 1/2 inches long.
The plaque with the boat on it is made in two pieces -- one cut out layer,
soldered over a hammered background. The dangling fish are cast and
identical on either side. It's quite a stunning piece and sells for
Salvador Farfan also made the earrings
#1 and #2. Earrings #1 are 2 1/4 inches in length including earwires
and the fish are cast and identical on each side. $70.US.
(earrings #1 are sold) Earrings #2 are slightly over 2 inches
long, are cast, and are flat on the back. $65.US.
Earrings #3 are made by Jesus Cazares,
the son of Sr. Herminio. They are not cast but constructed from sheet
silver. They are cruder in manufacture than the work of Salvador
Farfan, but are nevertheless very charming. They are signed on the
back but otherwise identical front and back. 2 1/4 inches long -
PATZ.05. I have two pairs of these earrings showing the look
of the world on el lago de Patzcuaro where the fisherman are famous for
using their "butterfly nets" to catch the whitefish there. This is
a reinterpretation of the Covarrubius/Cazares necklace. The earrings
are alive as the fish move when one walks. $50.US/each pair.
(all are sold)
PATZ.06. The jewellery that was first designed by Miguel Covarrubius
and continues to be made in Patzcuaro has become rather famous and because
of that, with the few jewellers producing it - has gone up quite a lot
in price. This miniature piece is $265. but such a delight.
It is definitely more attractive in real life than on the photo - the chain
of silver and red glass beads is 16 1/2 inches long. The pendant
of the fisherman with his butterfly nets, rowing his boat - is 1 1/4 inches
wide and 2 1/4 inches tall. This was made by Salvador Farfan and
is signed with an "F".
PATZ.07. Necklace #1 is full of red beads, silver and fish.
The strand is 18 1/2 inches long and has 12 1 3/8 inch long fish
hanging from it. (#1 is sold)
Necklace #2 is the original version of the
fishers, the boat and the fish described above in PATZ.06. In
this boat is a fisherman and his wife. The pendant is 2 inches
wide and 2 3/8 inches tall including the boat and the fishes. The
fishes are 1 1/8 inches long including the hanging loops. The
bead strand is 25 inches long and hangs in a very nice way.
$350.US. There are also matching earrings a few listings
PATZ.08. These are very unusual earrings made in
Patzcuaro. They come from an artist with his own vision.
There are two devils here, one man and on woman, both with tails
and horns... They measure 2 inches from the tops of the earwires
to the bottom of their feet. $85.US.
to Mexico Introduction page
to "Contents" page
.....Eastern beads and ornaments
.....African trade beads
.....the Americas including preColumbian
.....Modern copies of ancient objects
.....Odds and ends