The cultures of the
are rich and varied, and I find the modern "Indian" celebrations,
beliefs and adornment as fascinating as the ancient
and the post-colonized cultures as rich as the pre-Columbian or
pre-Hispanic. If there are layers of knowledge, language,
cultures, rituals and the arts then Mexico and the countries south are
filled with them.
Beads in the Americas
date back to many thousands of years ago and beads have always been important
decoratively, symbolically, and socially. I am pleased to be able
to offer a small selection here... please remember to hit "Reload"
each time you visit...
...and if you are interested
in new, but traditional items from Mexico such as rebozos, do
visit my new pages. There are textiles including shawls and clothing from Chiapas here: textiles and the first of three pages of rebozos here: rebozos I have also found some creative contemporary jewellery from a designer in Guadalajara, you can find it here...
books I cite here are:
"The History of Beads: from 30,000
B.C. to the Present" by Lois Sherr Dubin
"Collectible Beads: a Universal
Aesthetic" by Robert K. Liu
"Milagros: Votive Offerings from
the Americas" by Martha Egan
"Relicarios: Devotional Miniatures
from the Americas" by Martha Egan
"Mexican Jewelry" by Mary L.
Davis & Greta Pack
"North American Indian Jewelry and
Adornment" by Lois Sherr Dubin
AM679. This strand of preColumbian/preHispanic greenstone beads
is fairly grey but attractive. The strand measures a little over
16 inches long. The old shell pendant in the middle is slightly
over 2 inches tall. This is ready to be made into an attractive
AM698. This is a pin made of fine designs made of a delicate
twisted silver wire. The center has an enamelled image of Chac
Mool laying on his throne. This is an antique piece just over 2
1/2 inches wide and 1 5/16 inches tall. $60.US.
AM710. There are three preColumbian stone spindle whorls here.
Whorl #1 is 15/16 inches across and 7/16 inch tall. It has
some wear around the bottom that you can see on the photo. $35.
Whorl #2 is 1 inch across and 9/16 inches tall. $45.
Whorl #3 is 1 inch across and 3/8 inch tall. $45. (#2 is sold)
AM723. Here are two strands of preColumbian beads
from the state of Morelos. There was a rich and interesting
Indigenous culture all around Mexico City. Strand #1 is 24 inches
long and nicely graduated from front to back. The pendant at the
front is a little over 5/8 inches tall. These are attractive dark
stone beads with just a tinge of green to them.
$350.US. Strand #2 is 19 inches long with a central beads
that is 1 7/8 inches long. Some of the beads still have some
scaling on them from a calcium deposit acquired by being buried for so
long. $325.US. (#1 is available, #2 is sold)
AM732. There are two groups of preColumbian beads/pendants from
the state of Morelos here. The rectangular pendant in group #1 is
over 1 1/8 inches tall. A crystal bead is included.
$135.US. Group #2 includes a brass bell, not as old as the
preColumbian beads and pendants but well over 100 years anyway.
The tubular bead is 1 1/4 inches long. $155.US. (#2 is sold, #1 is available)
AM735. This is a gorgeous SouthWestern pair of coral/silver
earrings. They measure slightly over 3 inches from top of
earloops to bottom of pendant. $265.US. (sold)
AM736. I have three self portraits of Frida Kahlo here.
They are set in a tin frame and have a tin backing with a hanging
hook attached. The images are 3 inches by 4 1/4 inches in size.
$15.US/each. (#1 & #3 are sold, #2 is available)
AM737. Here is a bunch of plastic coin purses bought in Oaxaca,
Mexico. I love them and keep a collection myself holding travel
money from various countries. The bags average 3 3/4 inches wide,
3 1/2 inches tall and an inch thick and close with zippers. This
is the whole bunch. I don't have duplicates that are not shown in
the photo. $12.US/each.
AM738. I think these images of la Senora el Virgen de Guadalupe
are stamped out of thick aluminum. It can be easily bent so one
has to be careful - and none of these are perfect. All good, just
not perfect. You can use the pieces creatively. I have a
dozen or so sheets of them here. The pieces are 3 3/4 inches by 5
AM746. This is a beautifully made charm bracelet from Mexico
from the fifties or sixties. It takes a lot of labour to shape
the pieces and construct them like this so they are no longer being
made to the same standards. The piece has a good firm clasp
(takes effort to open it and can't accidentally slip off) and strong
chain. It measures 7 1/4 inches around when closed.
It weighs 57grams. $250.US.
AM747. I just found this among a lot of vintage jewellery.
It came from a very different place. The silver pieces are
"tweezers" from Colombia with the largest one in the middle measuring
slightly over 1 1/2 inches tall. One of them is still springy
enough to work but the other two cannot be used without breaking them.
The necklace (which definitely needs re-stringing) is made up of
vintage bone beads contrasting with shell/spondylus beads that are
hundreds of years old. The tweezers or pinchers are hundreds of
years old as well. The strand is 18 inches long. $165.US.
AM756. This strand was being worn when I bought it. A loop
goes over the double holed bead, that acts as a "button". There
are 15 inches of dark brown/green beads with a round central greenstone
bead an inch in diameter. The double holed piece is slightly over
1 inch in length. Very terrific combination. $450.US.
AM759. This 22 inch long strand of stone preColumbian beads has
some variety included. The longest beads are 1 inch long.
The central bead is 1 inch long as well. $400.US.
AM760. These preColumbian greenstone beads vary in colour and
shape and measure to 19 inches in length. The fattest one at the
front is 5/8 inch in diameter. There is a 1 1/4 inch long piece
of shell in the back. $360.US.
AM762. Here is a good heavy strand of preColumbian beads that
will cost a little more than average in shipping. This is nicely
graduated at the back and very impressive and memorable with the
selection of beads at the front. I find this to be a very
exciting strand, and would love to see it with a silver "S" hook clasp
attached. The entire strand is 23 inches long, the largest round
bead is 1 1/4 inches across and the disc is 1 1/2 inches across.
AM763. This monumental strand of stone preColumbian beads from
the State of Morelos is 23 inches long. The rather amazing
central bead is 1 3/4 inch in diameter, and nicely scored with lines.
It does not have a hole going through the center but two holes at
the top where a cord can go in and out. It has been broken across
one side for hundreds of years and was found buried like that.
The fishing cord just snapped as I was measuring the strand so
now the beads are mostly loose in the bag - ready to be re-strung (on
something with more strength) once more. $450.US.
AM769. This pendant/celt is from the Tairona people of Colombia.
It is 4 7/8 inches long. It has not been damaged (many have
been broken and glued together again) although there is one little
"bite" out of it at the bottom, which is just a part of the stone
itself. I haven't had one of these for sale for many years.
AM776. There are two dried gourds here, turned into water
containers (or pulque, mezcal or tequila) by an older man in Malinalco.
They are tied with cords so that they can be strung over your
shoulder. Gourd #1 is 4 12 inches tall plus cork. $18.US.
Gourd #2 is 3 3/4 inches tall plus cork. $15.US.
The "corks" are made from the centers of corn husks.
AM779. The shape of this carving is rectangular though my photo
gives it a bit of an angle. This is a slice of wood 1/2 inch
thick and carved with an image of the temple at the pyramid at Malinalco, Mexico State, Mexico.
You have to put in a hanging hook - I just have it leaned up
against the wall right now. This is a great memory of a magical
town. 6 inches by 8 inches rectangle. $60.US.
I put together these earrings with coloured niobium earwires
that will not have any allergic effect on your earholes. It is a
very clean metal coloured by heat, not by dyes. The tiny copper
pots are from Santa Clara del Cobre, Michoacan, Mexico. All
handmade, each pot is different having been shaped by hammering and
then soldering. The earrings in the preview picture are 1 1/2
inches from top of earwire to bottom of pot. $18.US/pair
AM782. I often see these bag hangers in Mexico but haven't seen
them used at home. They are very practical (as long as your bag
handles are not bulky) as you can slip them onto a table so have your
bag hanging safely next to you. This one has a decorative disc
that is 1 1/2 inches across. When placed on a table it hangs down
3 1/2 inches. It lays flat in a soft bag which you can use to
store it in your bag when not in use. Quite brilliant I think.
I only have one of this style. $26.US.
This bag hanger is a little smaller than the one above.
The decorative discs are 1 1/4 inches across and when placed on a
table it hangs down 3 inches. The hook itself is an inch long.
Hanger #1 has an image from a self portrait of Frida Kahlo on
it. Hanger #2 also has an image from a self portrait of Frida
Kahlo. The third hanger has an image from Diego Rivera.
AM786. Here is a 23 inch strand of preColumbian beads from the
State of Guerrero alternating between greenstone and creamy/pinky
spacers - some made of shell and some of stone. The central bead
is the widest, just below 7/8 inch in diameter. $350.US.
AM787. Here is another strand of beads from the State of
Guerrero strung in a rather odd way. There are 3 greenstone
earpieces along with some almost black dark green stone beads.
The strand is 18 inches long. The earpiece in the front is
1 1/4 inches in diameter. The ones at the back are 7/8 inch
across - $450.US.
AM788. The bead strand has a little over 14 inches of
preColumbian greenstone beads and in the front there is a 1 3/4 inch
long tubular bead. The tubular bead has been damaged over the
years, but still contains quite a charm to it. With cracks going
down it and broken ends it speaks of many years of wear and then
burial. It is ready to become a necklace. $330.US.
AM798. Here is a tangled group of preColumbian beads that I
found in a market. Most of them are stone but there is are two
shell slabs, a shell, and three clay beads - it is a good variety for a
collection. The fattest bead is 2 inches across at the widest
diameter and 1 1/4 inches at its thickest. $250.US.
AM799. It is impossible to photograph this pendant properly as
it has been carved quite askew. It seems the the stone dictated a
rather side-ways carving. This preColumbian pendant does have two
eyes but the head is facing a little to the side. The stringing
hole (big enough for a decent cord to go through) is at the back of the
head, so at an angle to the whole body as well. This is a dark
brownish green stone, 2 3/4 inches tall, and it came from the State of
AM800. This creamy coloured (and dirty) carved man does not have
a stringing hole. It could be hung by knotting around the body.
Pieces like this are often set against a silver backing with
prongs to hold them in place acting as pins or brooches. The
preColumbian piece is from the State of Guerrero and is 2 1/2 inches
AM801. This preColumbian pendant from the State of Guerrero is
the colour of clay but actually carved of stone. It has a simple
but expressive face and strangely a stringing hole to one side of the
head. The pendant is 3 inches tall. $135.US.
AM803. This carved preColumbian greenstone piece is simple,
lovely, delicately carved, and reassuring to hold tight in the hand.
It is not pierced for stringing but is a more symbolic piece.
I liked this the moment that I first saw it... 1 3/4 inches tall.
AM804. These two paintings from Mexico City measure 8 inches by
12 inches. The first is a portrait of Jesus Malverde a folk hero
from the State of Sinaloa, but his image and empathy for the poor have
gained popularity in other areas. The second painting is one of
Frida Kahlo a Mexican painter who worked on the edge of surrealism.
AM805. These two paintings from Mexico City measure 8 inches by
12 inches. The first is a grandmother (la abuela) and her
grand-daughter (la nieta) painted as skeletons or calaveras, imagery
popular during the Days of the Dead, los Dias de Los Muertos.
The second painting is a portrait of a newly married couple, with the
husband wearing a mask of a luchador, or masked wrestler very popular
in Mexico. The "fights" are often orchestrated and more like
modern choreography than battle. $35.US/each painting (#2 is sold)
AM806. This painting from Mexico City measures 8 inches by 12 inches.
It portrays la Anima Sola (or forsaken soul), an image that you
might find within a church or cathedral - sometimes painted but more
often as a carved wood statue. Leonard Cohen used an image for an
LP cover as well. $35.US.
AM811. I have 5 strands of preColumbian beads from the Tairona
people of Colombia. They are each a little over 16 inches long
and perfect for necklaces. They came from a larger piece with
modern metal pieces attached. I took the strands from the
necklace off, removed the metal pieces and restrung the beads on waxed
cotton. All that they need are clasps added to make them
wearable. These were quite a find as crystal has become
very expensive. The diameter of the beads in average ranges from
1/4 to 3/8 inches across. The strands are $350.US/each (#@ & #4 are available, the rest are sold)
AM813. This is a strand of green stone beads from the State
of Guerrero in Mexico. The beads are gathered by farmers and
those working in the country, grouped together and sold as
strands. The population of the preHispanic people was huge and
these were a typical sort of adornment. This strand is slightly
under 12 inches in length with the central bead 1 3/8 inches in
diameter, and 5/8 inch thick. $260.US.
AM815. This preColumbian green stone bead strand would be
great as a necklace with the addtion of some spacer beads at the
back. The strand right now is 12 inches plus the 2 inch long,
nicely curved pendant. The tubular beads at each side of the
pendant are 1 1/4 inches and 1 3/8 inches long. $380.US.
AM818. Both of the strands of beads shown here are typical
of ones that Frida Kahlo loved to wear. She had a huge collection
of jewellery and beads ranging from preHispanic, to Spanish &
Italian influenced traditional, to contemporary. Unfortunately
the pieces from her collection have wandered off in different
directions so there is little chance they will ever be exhibited
together. Strand #1 is made of a variety of stones in creams,
greys and brown. The strand is 13 inches long so needs a few
spacers or beads in the back to fill a necklace. The beads could
be used individually as pendants though. The tubular bead in the
front is 1 5/8 inches long and 3/4 inch in diameter.
$280.US. Strand #2 is 13.5 inches long with some good
sized beads in the front. The largest is 1 inch wide and 1 1/8
inch in diameter. The beads are nicely graduated and ready to
create a necklace or use individually. $320.US.
AM823. There are three strands of dark green preHispanic
stone beads here. They have been oiled to richen the colour a
little as the beads dry out easily. Strand #1 is a little over 14
inches long. $260.US. Strand #2 is just
under 16 inches long. $270.US. Strand #3
is 13 inches long. $235.US.
AM828. This 23 inch long amber necklace is from the State
of Chiapas, Mexico. The beads have been nicely rounded and have
an interesting variety of colours and patterns. $200.US.
AM829. This is a richly coloured strand of Chiapas amber
beads with a nice variety of shapes included. Very unusual.
The strand is 18 inches long and ready to be strung into a
AM830. A group of amber strands from Chiapas. The
strands are 22 inches long. $65.US/each strand (#3 is available, the others are sold)
AM832. These two amber rings are from Chiapas. They
are quite wonderful to look at with all of the internal lines and
colours. They are softly facetted as well. Amber is very
soft so I would wear one of these rings with care. Ring #1 is a
size 8 - $75.US. Ring #2 is a size 8.5 - $75.US.
AM833. #1 - 2 3/4 inches across, 3/4 inch tall -
$130.US. #2 - 1 1/2 inches across, 1 1/8 inches tall
- $110.US. #3 - 1 inch across, 1/2 inch tall - $30.US. (#2 is available, the others are sold)
AM835. There are four excellent mask pendants here, all
from the State of Guerrero. #1 is a greyish green stone,
slightly over 1 3/8 inches tall and 7/8 inch thick with a strong
stringing hole at the back. $110.US. #2 is 1 3/8
inches tall and made of greenstone. It is 5/8 inches thick.
$85.US. #3 is a little over 1 1/4 inches tall and
5/8 inch thick. The stringing hole is large enough for a cord to
go through. $125.US. #4 is the simplest of the
group. It has two very large eyes and a straight line for a mouth
which is strangely expressive. It is slightly over 1 1/2 inches
tall and has a large stringing hole at the top. $75.US. (#4 is available, the others are sold)
AM837. I went back to Malinalco, Mexico looking for the
young woodworkers who constantly create interesting pieces. I
found two well carved sling-shots, one by the son (this armadillo) and
the other by the father (the sirena below). The armadillo is 8
inches tall, has hands and feet close at his chest, and his tail
wrapped around the wood piece. $95.US.
AM840. These mirrors have images on one side and a mirror
on the other - 2 3/8 inches across. $9.US/each mirror.
AM841. Pendant #1 - Frida Kahlo - 2 1/2 inches tall, set in
aluminum with key chain attached (can take it off and use the pendant
on a necklace). $22.US. Pendant #2 - Virgin of
Guadalupe - 1 5/8 inches tall. $18.US. Pendant
#3 - Virgin of Guadalupe - 2 1/2 inches tall, set in aluminum.
AM842. Bracelet #1is 2 5/8 inches wide and 6 inches long
plus closures. It will fit a wrist from 6 1/2 inches to 7 1/4
inches. - $28.US. Bracelet #2 is 2 inches wide and 5 1/2
inches long plus closures. It will fit a wrist from 5 3/4 inches
to 6 1/4 inches. - $24.US.
AM843. These Virgin of Guadalupe bead bracelets average 2
inches in width. They are all different sizes though.
#1 will fit a wrist from 6 1/4 to 7 1/4 inches around. #2
will fit a wrist from 6 1/2 to 7 3/8 inches around. #3 will
fit a wrist from 6 1/2 to 7 3/8 inches around. #4 will fit
a wrist from 6 1/2 to 7 inches around. $24.US/each
AM844. When lying flat this San
Judas Tadeo necklace measures 16 inches from back of neck to bottom of
fringe in front. The image of San Judas is 2 1/8 by 1 3/4 inches
in a rectangular shape. $24.US
AM845. These Virgin of Guadalupe earrings also have a
variety of images on the back. The pendants are 7/8 inches tall
including hanging loop. The finished earrings are 1 3/8 inches
tall. The earwires are coloured niobium which can be used
comfortably without any allergic reaction that one might get from
silver or even gold. $16.US/each pair
AM846. Sirena earrings - the round pendants are 5/8 inch
across plus hanging loop. They have flower images on the
back. The earwires are sterling silver and the entire earrings
measure 1 3/8 inches tall. $22.US. The Virgin of
Guadalupe earrings have pendants 1 1/8 inches tall including hanging
loops. They are strung onto coloured niobium and the entire
earrings measure 1 5/8 inches tall. $26.US.
AM847. The wood guitars on these earrings measure 1 1/4
inches tall. Including the sterling silver hanging loops they are
2 inches tall. $26.US.
AM848. I was very excited to find this bracelet made of 13
silver coins, all more than 125 years old. It closes with a latch
going into a slot behind the coin shown on the left in the photo.
That coin is slightly over 1/2 inch across, and the entire bracelet
closes to 7 5/8 inch around. These are quite important coins, all
carrying their own history. The first coin on the left is of
Philip of Spain. Written on the 8 real coin is "Philippus+V+D+G"
and it was struck in 1729. Then there are four small coins (1
real each) creating a square. They all say "Reina de las Españas"
and date from 1847, 1839, 1855 and 1861. The next coin is 1 5/16
inch across and of 50 Centisimos. On it is written "Republica
Oriental del Uruguay" and it was struck in 1877. It is the newest
coin of the bracelet.
The next four coins (1 real each) say "Reina de las Españas" and were
struck in 1860, 1738, 1849 and 1852. The next large coin (8 real)
is 1 1/16 inch across and says "Philippus+V+D+G" and on the other side
"Hispania Rum+Rex", struck in the year 1721. The last two small
coins were struck in 1731, and the other is unreadable but around the
same time. This is a very unusual piece. $245.US.
AM849. Here are two miniature, finely detailed, graceful
carvings of two traditional drums from Mexico. I bought these
from the maker in Malinalco, a small and beautiful town in the State of
Mexico. The tall one is called a huehuetl and features a number of traditional Aztec symbols. The flat one with the head and shape of a jaguar is called a teponaztli
and is 3 7/8 inches long and 1 1/8 inch tall at the top of the
head. Malinalco has a strong Aztec culture, traditions, spiritual
rites and education in the historic and symbolic stories so that it was
easy for me to ask people there to tell me some of the stories of the
past. Of course there were full size drums there as well but I
fell in love with these two beautiful miniatures from a young and
interesting young man. They are sold as a pair for $250.US.
AM850. This is a traditional Guatemalan pendant with a
curious image on it. The coin part was cast from an older pendant
- the coin had once been holed for hanging but the hole has been filled
in. On top of the coin, with a hole for suspension - a portrait
of a man has been added. The traditional quetzal birds and cross
hang from the bottom. This is made from some mixed metal - it
stands 3 3/4 inches tall. $45.US. (sold)
AM855. These preColumbian Tairona pieces were meant to
become beads one day. They are nicely shaped (some rougher than
others as they are not finished) but the holes were never
drilled. These came from a group put together in the 1950s and
are a great addition to any collection. There is a nice variety
of beads including quartz and carnelian. The longest bead is 1
13/16 inch and the shortest is 3/4 inch. $165.US.
AM857. There are three pieces here that were all bought in
a Mexico City street market. Coin #1 is 1 1/4 inches across, a
medallion in honour of "Asociacion Caballeros y Damas de Honor de las
Madre Santisima de la Salud - Patzcuaro, Mich." It is very
beautifully made. $65.US. Coin #2 is a 1940 20
centavo silver coin with an image of the Madre Santisima on it.
It is 3/4 inch across. $35.US. #3 is a piece
that I was told might have originated in Russia - but I have no idea
where it was made, only where I bought it. It is a silver pendant
which is 2 inches tall from top of hanging loop to bottom of
AM861. Here are some bits and pieces of preColumbian work
that I found in my drawer, leftovers from past projects. #1 is a
dark green pendant 1 1/4 inches wide. It is lightly rounded on
one side. $45.US. #2 is a double holed greenstone
bead 1 3/4 inches long. $85.US. #3 is a 1 3/4 inch
long shell pendant from Southern México. $65.US. #4
is a group of 3 beads and one pendant. One of the beads is an
early glass bead which would have arrived with the Spaniards.
$45.US. #5 is a pair of double holed greenstone beads, the
larger one being just under 3/4 inch long. $50.US. #6
is a 1 3/8 inch long carved greenstone pendant. $50.US. (#2, #3, #4 & #5 are available)
AM862. Here is a group of 5 Spanish coins ready to be made
into a necklace. The central coin known as a "piece of eight" and
the type often found in shipwrecks, is 1 5/8 inches across and dated
1731. The next coins are dated 1788 and 1813. The last two
are 1774 and 1809. They were holed hundreds of years ago and most
likely used in necklaces in Mexico or further south.
AM863. I bought this spindle whorl ten or so years ago with
this description attached: "Ecuadorian Whorl (geometric)
C.800-1500AD/Manteno culture. The diverse geometric patterns on
Ecuadorian whorls may have each had special meaning (zigzag for snake,
diamond-shaped line for reptilian scales, spiral for snail) but the
symbology is now and forever obscure." The base of the whorl is
9/16 inches across and it is 9/16 inches tall. $50.US.
AM864. There are two modern bone pendants here (bought
about 20 yrs ago) from west coast México - Guerrero. Pendant #1
is 1 3/8 inch tall and has stringing holes on each side.
Pendant #2 is 2 1/4 inches tall and has a stringing hole going across
the top. The carving is similar to ancient work from the
area. $75.US/each pendant.
AM865. There are 3 preColumbian spindle whorls here, each
very different from the other. #1 is from Ecuador
C.800-1500AD/Manteno culture - 5/8 inches across and 9/16 inch
tall. It has 3 birds going around. $55.US.
Spindle whorl #2 is a narrow cone which seems to be made of clay.
$20.US. Spindle whorl #3 is Méxican and made of stone with
scratchy looking lines adding a look of texture to the surface.
The whorl is 15/16 inches across and 5/8 inch tall. $40.US. (#2 & #3 are available)
AM872. These tiny carved faces of men are from Guatemala
and are made of greenstone. They are at least 50 years old and
possibly much older but it is difficult for me to date them too
specifically. The face in the preview image is 7/8 inches
tall. I bought these in the early nineties as "vintage"
pieces. Each one has a tiny stringing hole at the back of the top
of the head. These are very beautifully carved and each has his
own character. $95.US/each mask
AM874. There are two necklaces here made of greenstone
beads from the Mixteca people of Guerrero. The necklaces were
strung by the former collector north of the borde - so sterling silver
clasps were added as well as some silver beads (which in my mind don't
suit the stone beads alongside) on one of the necklaces. They can
easily be restrung in a more traditional way if the new owner chooses
to. Necklace #1 is 20 1/2 inches long and features a slightly
scratched up brown stone face pendant which is 1 1/2 inches tall.
The face is more distinct than it appears on the photo. It is
double holed at the back. $360.US. Necklace #2
is 17 inches around and has a small (11/16 inches tall) face pendant
attached. It has a silver spring ring going through the stringing
hole. $310.US. (#1 is sold, #2 is available)
AM875. This is a great pair of vintage earrings from
Guatemala. It is made from coins that were once used in a
necklace - the stringing holes have been filled in, pieces soldered
together, and facet glass beads added to decorate the earrings.
The coins are dated in the late 1800s. The earrings are 2 3/4
inches tall from top of earwire to bottom of dangles.
AM876. This pair of vintage earrings from Guatemala uses
two coins as the centerpiece, one from 1872 and the other from
1878. The coins were once used on a necklace but the stringing
holes have now been filled in with silver. The earrings measure a
little more than 2 3/8 inches from top of earwires to bottom of
AM877. Here is a pair of vintage earrings from the north of
Guatemala. Silver and facet black beads are used to construct
water jugs. The earrings measure 2 1/8 inches tall and are quite
AM878. There are two pairs of earrings from México here,
the first from Tlaxco. The earrings are both a little different,
one longer that the other, and slightly different pairs of birds.
They measure 2 1/2 and 2 5/8 inches long. $110.US.
The second pair of earrings is from Guanajuato. They traditionall
use a casting process to make the different pieces. These
earrings are 2 inches tall from the top of the earwires to the bottom
of the pendants. $110.US. (#2 is available)
AM879. I bought these earrings in Zihuatanejo, GRO, México
over 20 years ago. They are quite unusual with what seems to be 2
headed silver snakes hanging beneath the teardrop shaped amethyst
pieces. The earrings are just under 3 inches tall from top of
earwires to bottom of pendant. They are very unusual.
AM880. This is the 50th Anniversary medallion for the
"Hospital de México" in Mexico City. It has a wonderful
preHispanic figure on one side. The medallion measures 1 3/4
inches across and weighs 53.5 grams. $32.US.
AM881. Here is a great Tairona Indian bead strand from
Colombia. It has a figural pendant at the front made of shell
measuring 2 3/8 inches tall. The shell pieces poking outwards are
about 1 1/8 inch long. The beads going around are made of
carnelian, greenstone and shell. They measure 17 inches around
and are closed with a brass hook so the beads are wearable as they
AM882. What a gorgeous richly coloured lively group of
carnelians suspending a greenstone larva/grub. There is one
"bullet" bead on the strand and a group of pendants. The necklace
goes 17 inches around and is closed with a silver clasp so ready to
wear. The grub is 1 1/8 inch long and 5/8 inch tall. It is
a great combination. $925.US.
AM883. Here is a typical coin necklace from Peru. It
is made of trade beads brought by the Spanish strung with local silver
coins struck in various mints dating from 1786 to 1877. One is
20th C. from 1913. The largest coin is 7/8 across, the smallest
is 5/8 inch. The necklace goes over the head and has 27 inches of
beads. The centerpiece is a 1 1/2 inch long shell. $385.US.
AM884. There are two strands of antique trade beads here,
both found in Pala, California, a little ways south of Los Angeles in
North San Diego County. This was the home of the Cupeño and
Luiseño people. The beads have been made in Europe and include
"Russian blues." Strand #1 is 28 inches long - $200.US.
Strand #2 is made of finer beads and is 26 inches long - $175.US
are two strands of antique trade beads here, both found in Pala,
California, a little ways south of Los Angeles in North San Diego
County. This was the home of the Cupeño and Luiseño people.
The beads were made in Europe for trade into the Americas - both
strands include "Russian blues." Strand #1 is 29 inches long -
$200.US. Strand #2 is 26 inches long - $190.US.
(#2 is available)
AM886. This amulet bead/pendant is a preHispanic piece from
the Tairona people of Colombia. It is difficult to photograph
this to display all of its charms as it is a piece that one would want
to hold. It is made of a textured looking greenstone and carved
as a standing man. It stands 1 1/5 inches tall and would be
a charming centerpiece of a necklace. $220.US.
AM889. There are three strands of preColumbian/preHispanic
beads in this photo. Strand #1 is 18 inches long with some nice
solid looking mottled green beads. The central bead is 7/8 inch
in diameter. $400.US. Strand #2 is a little over 18
inches long with a 1 1/4 inch long central bead.
$380.US. Strand #3 is 16 inches long with some odder shaped
beads on it. They are mottled greenstone beads, some with rust
colours on them. The tubular beads are 7/8 inches
long. $350.US. (#1 is sold)
AM891. This strand is 18 inches long with a variety of
shades of beads on it. Many have a shell or coral colour, others
are pale green/cream. The beads are graduated and the central
broken bead is 13/16 inches in diameter. $350.US.
AM892. There are 19 inches of shell beads on this
preHispanic strand from México. There is a variety of shapes on
the strand. The central bead has a slash cut into it where the
swirl of the shell would be. $300.US.
AM896. This is a very good sized preColumbian pale stone
pendant - 3 1/2 inches tall. One leg has an old chip in the front
but that is just typical for a piece this size. There are
stringing holes at the back of the head. It was full of dirt but
I carefully used a dental tool to open up the hole - one could use a
narrow size leather cord or a thick waxed cotton cord in it. This
is a very impressive piece. $375.US.
AM899. The second carved bird looks like a duck. It
is a hard dark green mottled stone with 1 3/16 inches from front of
bird to end of tail. There are two stringing holes on the
tail. The holes for the eyes meet in the middle as
well. $265.US. (sold)
AM900. The third bird has a hooked beak and looks very
tropical. It is a dark green speckled greenstone, very typical of
the area. The bird measures 1 5/16 inches from end of beak to end
of tail. There are two stringing holes in the base of the
tail. $265.US. (sold)
AM901. Here is a group of pendants, all typical Mexican
imagery wrapped in zinc frames, and all with loops for hanging.
Pendant #1 is a man in purgatory, an image I often see in Puebla
churches as well as others. It is 2 1/8 inches tall plus
loop. $28.US. Pendant #2 is 1 1/8 inches tall and is a
saint holding a baby. $24.US. Pendant #3 is a nun holding
a baby and measures 2 inches tall. $26.US. Pendant #4 is a
nun with a skull. 2 3/8 inches tall. $36.US. #5 is 2
1/2 inches tall. $36.US.
AM902. This is a preColumbian collection of beads and
carved pendants. One has to look carefully to see the various
shapes and images portrayed. I bought this group together and am
selling them together. The large piece that you see in the photo
on the left is 1 5/8 inches from top to bottom. $650.US/for
AM903. Here is a simple preColumbian character, slightly
rounded in the front and flat in the back. It is slightly over 2
inches tall. It had details on it long ago but they have been
worn fairly smoothly. It is a magical little piece that needs
some research. This is made of stone. $155.US.
AM904. Here is an enano, a dwarf. It is a
preColumbian stone sculpture with an evocative portrait of a man's face
on it. The proportions have the head larger than the rest of the
body. You can see the two hands held in front of him, than a
damaged area below that still has grains of sand in it. There is
a stringing hole at the top end of the back of the head so he can be
strung up. The green on his face is slightly transluscent - I
like this piece very much. $350.US. (sold)
AM905. This stone preColumbian standing figure from
Guerrero has no stringing hole but could be carried in a little pouch
as a good omen. It could also be set in silver as pieces have
often been done in Taxco workshops. He is slightly over 1 7/8
inches tall. $110.US.
AM906. These combs were carved from flattened horn.
#1 measures 4 inches across. $22.US/each comb. (#1 is sold)
AM907. These combs were carved from flattened pieces of
horn. #1 is slightly over 4 inches across.
AM908. These Mexican combs were carved from flattened
pieces of horn. #1 is 7 1.2 inches across. $38.US/each
AM909. These Mexican combs were carved from flattened
horn. #1 is 4 3/4 inches across. $32.US/each comb.
AM910. Here is a gorgeous rebozo very different from any I
have had in the past. This is from the state of Veracruz, woven
of two colours of cotton, one peach and one moss green. The
rebozo is thicker and more substantial than those from Tenancingo or
Michoacan. The weaving is on a hand loom and is slightly uneven
in lines and tension. It has a very natural non-machine look to
it. Each end has the zigzag you can see on the left. The
rebozo is 62 inches long plus an 8 inch fringe at each end. It is
25 inches wide. I fell in love with the subtle colours of this
AM911. Oaxaca earrings. $245.US.
AM912. Oaxaca earrings. $245.US.
AM913. Oaxaca earrings. $245.US.
AM914. Oaxaca earrings. $135.US.
AM915. Taxco earrings. $195.US.
AM916. Taxco "tree of life" earrings, one pin, and
pendants. The prices are: Earrings #1 - $65/pr.
Earrings #2 - $80/pr. Pin #3 - $85.US. Pin #4 -
AM918. This preColumbian bead strand from Mexico has a nice
mix of beads on it. It is ready to turn into a wearable necklace
with some restringing and a clasp. The strand has 22 inches of
beads on it, a mix of greenstone, white stone and shell. The
shell disc is 1 1/8 inches long. The green tubular bead has a
chip at one end. There are two double holed pieces on the
AM919. There are 25 inches of dark greenstone preColumbian
beads from the State of Guerrero. The largest is 1/2 inch in
diameter and the smallest 5/16 inch in diameter. This is a very
typical strand from that historic period. $250.US.
AM922. This is a lovely small silver ring with an old Spanish
coin (most likely struck in the 1500s) set in the middle. The
coins traded in the Americas are known as "cobs" and are often trimmed
to collect a little silver or gold - they become a little irregular in
shape and in contemporary times are often used in jewellery. The
ring is a size 7.5. $75.US. (sold)
AM923. Here is a 21 inch long gorgeous strand of amber
beads from Chiapas. The largest diameter bead in the front is 1
inch across. The beads are in attractive chisel shapes with soft
facets and nicely graduated. All of my amber has been light
tested to make sure that it is good natural amber - no repros
AM924. There are two strands of finished Chiapas amber
necklaces here (though you can easily cut the beads and restring them
to your desired length) each with an attractive pendant. Necklace
#1 is 19 inches long with a 1 3/4 inch long leaf shaped pendant.
Necklace #2 is also 19 inches long with a slice of raw amber as a
pendant. It measures a little over 1 5/8 inches long and is 5/16
inch thick. $145.US/each necklace.
AM925. This strand of amber beads from Chiapas is just
under 20 inches long. The largest rounded bead is 3/4 inch
across, and the smallest is 1/2 inch across. It is very nicely
graduated with an attractive selection of amber. $350.US.
AM926. There are two very different strands of amber beads
from Chiapas here (and yes, I tested each strand and each piece to make
sure that they are good, genuine amber) both quite
impressive. Necklace #1 is 24 inches long with a 3 inch
long pendant bead. The colours are rich and attractive.
$375.US. Necklace #2 has 29 inches of nicely rounded
beads, the ones in the front being 3/4 inch in diameter with sizes
receding at the back to 7/15 inch in diameter. There are easily
enough beads to make both a long necklace and bracelet. $420.US.
AM927. Strand #1 of these amber beads from Chiapas is the
largest of this group. The strand is 21 inches long with the
largest diameter bead in the front being a little under 3/4 inches
across. This does not have a clasp so needs to be finished into a
necklace. $260.US. Strand #2 is 21 inches long with the
central bead being just under 5/8 inch across. $215.US.
Strand #3 is just under 21 inches long with the largest central bead
being 3/8 inch in diameter. $215.US. (#1 is sold)
AM928. Necklace #1 is 21 inches long with richly coloured
amber beads from Chiapas. $165.US. Necklace #2 is 19
inches long - amber beads from Chiapas. $165.US. (both strands are sold)
AM929. This strand of amber beads from Chiapas is a little
over 20 inches long. The largest bead in the center is 5/8 inch
in diameter. $210.US.
AM930. There are three sets of diamond shaped amber beads
from Chiapas here, each one different in colour and textures. The
strands are each 20 inches long and ready for an interesting
project. $85.US. (#1 is sold)
AM931. Necklace #1 is a little over 20 inches in length
made of natural shaped beads that have been cut and polished so that
they are smooth and soft. Each bead is different.
$65.US. Necklace #2 is 19 inches long with squarish beads
strung corner to corner. This is all genuine amber from Chiapas,
all tested for authenticity. $110.US.
AM932. Here are some great natural amber slices from
Chiapas, all with a hole drilled across to turn them into
pendants. To gauge the sizes of the different pieces, compare
them to pendent #1 which is 1 3/4 inches long. They average 1/8
inch thick though some are double that. $26.US/each pendant. (#1 is sold)
AM933. This chunk of amber from Chiapas is rough on one
side and polished smooth on the other. The image on the left is
the rough side. It has a large hole for stringing cut into
it. The piece/pendent is just under 1 3/4 inches tall. It
is a fat piece. $40.US.
AM934. There are three slices of rough amber here from
Chiapas. If you look carefully you can see that there is a
stringing hole cut across the top of each one so that it can be used as
a pendant. #1 is just over 2 3/4 inches long and over 1/4 inch
thick. The rough shapes of these pieces work beautifully with
more polished and disciplined beads in a necklace. $55/US
each piece. (#2 is sold)
AM935. I fell in love with this silver necklace the moment
that I first saw it. The combination of antique and new pieces is
a great and energetic mix. The cross at the bottom is complex and
interesting. The cross itself resembles a Yalalag cross from
Oaxaca but the extension makes me think more of Puebla, another nearby
State. The cross with dangles is 3 3/4 inches long. The
necklace itself is 25 inches long so sits quite low. There are
oval pendants hanging from the chain, all for various saints.
AM936. Here is a typical antique silver necklace from
Yalalag, Oaxaca. I was very lucky to come across it in a
market. The chain which has links of hearts with wings
representing angels is 25 inches long. There is a lot of work
involved here from making the round beads out of sheet silver to
casting each of the angels. The Yalalag cross is 4 inches long
from the top of the loop to the bottom of the cross.
AM937. There are 64 inches of antique Guatemalan beads
here. It looks to me like they were made of copper and then
dipped in silver as where they are really worn one can see a warm
colour peeking out. These are old ones that I am sure have lived
an interesting life. $75.US.
AM938. Here is the only single antique silver Yalalag cross
that I found on my last trip. They are becoming rare as many have
entered collections or been strung onto modern necklaces. This
cross is 2 5/8 inches tall. $45.US. (sold)
AM939. This is a newly made retablo (ex-voto) which has
been dated into the past, as the new ones often are. This is what
is written at the bottom: "Gracias Virgen de Guadalupe por damos
buena pesca y poder comer. Toño y Felipe, Oax. México
1969." In english it says: "Thank you Virgin of Guadalupe
for giving us good fish and the ability to eat." This is as
typical, painted onto a sheet of metal 6 inches by 4 1/4 inches
across. $35.US. (sold)
is a newly
made retablo (ex-voto) which has been dated into the past, as the new
ones often are. This is what is written at the bottom: "Yo
Rosendo Garsia da Gracia a la Virgen de Guadalupe por aberme sacado
vivo de la operacion del corazon. Yo agrade sido de las
Grasias. 1967. Oaxaca. Oax. Mexico." He left the "h" off
'alberme' and mis-spelled "gracias" - they are deliberate errors.
The english version is basically: "Me, Rosendo Garsia gives
thanks to the Virgin of Guadalupe for allowing me to live after my
heart operation..." $35.US.
is a newly
made retablo (ex-voto) which has been dated into the past, as the new
ones often are. This is what is written at the
bottom: "Santo Niño de Atocha has gracias te doy porque ya
no me ven los ojos que se me aparecian cuando tomara Coca Cola.
Gracias. Aug. Oax. Mexico." The basic meaning is "I thank
Santo Niño de Atocha for making it that the eyes don't appear to me any
more when drinking Coca Cola." The artist often makes spelling
errors or clumsy language to make the writing seem more natural and at
times more amusing as well. The metal piece that the painting is
on is 6 1/8 inches by 4 1/8 inches. $35.US. (sold)
is a newly
made retablo (ex-voto) which has been dated into the past, as the new
ones often are. This is what is written at the
bottom: "El luchador El Santo todas las veces da las
gracias a la Virgen de Guadalupe por luchar y salir con bien,
Mexico, Mex. 1966." The piece of metal that the retablo is
painted onto is 8 1/2 inches by 6 inches. These are all ready to
hang by the strings that are wound through a hole at the
is a newly
made retablo (ex-voto) which has been dated into the past, as the new
ones often are. This is what is written at the
bottom: "Las gracias te doy Virgen de Guadalupe por hacerme el
milagro de correr más rápido que mi novio y que lo pude alcanzar pa'
casarnos. Chole, Oaxaca, Mex. 1963." The english version
(más o menos) is: "I give thanks to the Virgin of Guadalupe for
giving me the miracle of running faster than my fiance that allowed us
to get married." The errors in spanish are deliberate to make the
story more innocent and natural. The metal that the retablo is
painted on is 8 5/8 inches by 6 inches. $65.US.
AM944. This is a heavy ancient preHispanic Mezcala stone
celt from the State of Guerrero. This is quite large - 4 7/8
inches long and 2 1/8 inches along the sharp edge. It weighs 364
grams or 12.8 ounces. Although hefty this still sits nicely along
the curve of the open hand. These are important tools that have
been carved with great care. $210.US.
AM945. This ancient preHispanic Mezcala stone celt is from
the State of Guerrero, to the west of Mexico City. It is an
attractive dark spotted greenstone, often called "jade" but that is not
technically correct. The stone has been laced with patterns
created from long burial. The celt is 3 1/2 inches long and 1 3/4
inches at the widest. The round part at the handle end can be
gripped very comfortably. I love holding these pieces. I
can't even imagine the history that they have been through.
167.1 grams. $150.US.
AM946. I hadn't seen a Mezcala stone celt in quite this
shape before. The piece is quite large, 5 1/2 inches long and
weighing 299.3 grams but the cutting end is quite narrow and shaped to
be quite sharp. This must have had a very specific use to
it. The point is only 3/4 of an inch wide. Part of the
stone is quite rough - that is the side that I took the photo
from. The other side is much smoother and must have been the side
that rested against the palm of the hand. These pieces do excite
AM947. Here is a gorgeous Mezcala stone figure of a
man. This is late PreClassic 300-100BC and in excellent museum
condition with just some roughness at the top of the head. This
came from the State of Guerrero and was quite crusted when found, then
cleaned. There is still a trace of the creamy coloured crusting
that was caused by long burial. The figure is 6 inches long, 2
1/2 inches at the widest and about 2 inches tall at the highest - where
the nose extends. It weighs 22.6 ounces. It would be great
with a stand that would support him upright. $650.US. (sold)
AM948. This frog or rana has been created as a quite heavy
(143.6grams) pendant. This dark green stone piece is preHispanic
and from the State of Guerrero. The frog has a good sized
stringing hole at its back between its legs so hangs upside down.
It is a little over 2 3/4 inches long and 2 1/2 inches at the
widest. Long burial causes a streaky kind of lacy pattern over
the stone, most of it on the stomach side. This is cleaned off at
times, but I like the proof of long life that it has created.
AM949. This preColumbian/preHispanic Mezcala stone figural
pendant was found in the State of Guerrero. I don't believe it
was made to hang as a pendant but to be laid down in a grave as the
stringing hole is in the exact middle so that it doesn't suspend the
figure in one direction or another. The figure is just under 2
7/8 inches tall and weighs 52.6 grams. The stringing hole is
large enough for an average leather cord. This was brought in by
a farmer who found it while turning the soil in his field.
AM950. There are two very nice tubular greenstone beads
here, from the PreColumbian culture in Morelos. Bead #1 (the
longer bead) is 4 1/4 inches long and 7/16 inch across at the
widest. The greenstone has some lines running around it but they
are not repaired breaks - they are just natural patterns in the
stone. The holes are quite large at the ends of the beads with a
narrower bit (still large enough for a leather cord) in the
middle. It needs to be strung carefully because even stone
becomes delicate when carved so thin. $285.US. Bead
#2 is slightly under 3 1/2 inches long. It was probably longer
originally as one end has been polished flat as you can see in the
photo to the left. The other end thins down in the same way as
bead #1 does. It is quite amazing to carve such perfect shapes
with such large holes using simple hand tools. The widest part of
this bead is under 3/8 inch across. $245.US.
AM951. This group of preColumbian stone pendants all came
out of the State of Guerrero. Face #1 is 1 3/8 inches tall with a
stringing hole at the top of the back of the head.
$85.US. Face #2 is 1 3/8 inches tall with a stringing hole
at the top of the back of the head. $145.US. Face #3
is 1 3/4 inches tall with a stringing hole at the top of the back of
the head. $145.US. Face #4 seems to be wearing a
hat. It is 1 3/8 inches tall with a stringing hole at the top of
the back of the "hat". Face #5 1 3/8 inches tall with a
stringing hole at the top of the head. $85.US.
Pendant #6 is an entire person with the top half being the head, and
the bottom half the rest of the body. It is 1 3/8 inches tall
with a stringing hole on one side of the head. $85.US. (#2 & #4 are sold)
AM952. Here is a 12 inch strand of coral beads cut into
very attractive slices. Their diameter averages 4-5/16 inch
across. There is a small (1/2 inch tall) gourd shaped
greenstone/jade piece at the bottom. With spacer beads or beads
to use at the back this could be made into a very sweet
necklace. $250.US. (sold)
AM953. This strand of beads has been hand drilled and
carved from shell. It is an antique strand of a warm creamy
colour that is waiting to become a necklace. At 19 inches in
length you have some interesting possibilities. The largest bead
at the front is 1/2 inch in diameter, the smallest beads at the back
are 1/4 inch in diameter. $145.US. (sold)
AM954. There are two strands of preColumbian shell beads
here, each very distinctive. Strand #1 is made up of 5
beads. The two long beads are 4 1/4 inches long each and have
pairs of holes cut into the inside of the beads. The center bead
is 3 3/4 inches long on the outside. They could be the basis for
a very interesting necklace or the pieces could be used
separately. $210.US. Strand #2 is 20
inches long with the longest piece being slightly over 3 1/4
inches long. It could easily be strung into a finished
AM955. This strand of preHispanic shell beads is 18 inches
long and needs re-stringing (as most of what I sell does) to become a
true necklace. The carved centerpiece pendant is an alligator I
think, with part of his tail broken off long ago. It is 1 3/8
inches long. $210.US.
AM956. I am having trouble getting the correct colour of
green in my photos of the preHispanic/preColumbian greenstone
beads. These came from the State of Guerrero and are more
attractive in real life. Strand #1 is 20 inches long, plenty for
a necklace. The stones are a dark green, sometimes almost
black. The beads have been sorted so that they carefully
graduated. The largest diameter bead on the strand is 5/8 inch
across. $245.US. There are 20 inches of greenstone
beads on Strand #2 with the central bead being a little over 5/8 inch
wide with a diameter of 5/8 inches. There is a nice selection of
beads with some attractive green ones included. $295.US.
AM957. Strand #1 of these preColumbian greenstone beads is
9 3/4 inches long with a central pendant bead slightly over 7/8 inch
long. The beads are a dull green colour.
$100.US. Strand #2 is also a dull green colour and 18
inches long - enough for a necklace. $190.US. (#2 is sold)
AM958. Here is an attractive strand waiting to become a
necklace. The preHispanic beads are made of greenstone.
Many people oil their beads to bring up the colour often using skin oil
as the beads become dull looking from dryness. The strand is 17
inches long and the central bead is a little over 1 inch in
diameter. $385.US. (sold)
AM959. This strand of preColumbian/preHispanic beads is
unusual in its colour. The stones are in ranges of cream, brown,
touches of green and a bit of quartz. The 21 inches of beads are
nicely strung in graduates sizes with the largest central bead being
3/4 inch in diameter. $365.US.
AM960. Here is a long sturdy strand of preColumbian stone
beads with a pendant attached. There are over 24 inches of beads
(so that you could easily make both a necklace and bracelet from this
strand) with the larger ones at the front having a diameter of 3/4 inch
or so. The main colours are grey and grey/green. The
pendant is a fossilized shell I think. It was once a shell and is
now like stone. americas960b.jpg Worn as is (just tied with a string) it is still impressive. $450.US. (sold)
AM961. The preColumbian strands here both have face masks
as pendants. Strand #1 is 14 3/4 inches long with a 1 1/4 inch
long pendant - the face bead being 3/4 inch long. The beads are
mostly greenstone, many with attractive spotting on them.
$300.US. Strand #2 is 14 1/4 inches long with a 1 5/8 inch
long pendant, the face bead being 1 1/8 inches tall. The face has
been worn, one can see the flat mouth and the smallest spots for
eyes. It all looks good together. $280.US.
AM962. Strand #1 of these preColumbian/preHispanic beads is
a good colour of green. The strand is 13 3/4 inches long with the
center bead being a little over 1 1/8 inches long. It does have
chipping at each end which is expected when stone is cut so thin.
$265.US. Strand #2 is 16 inches long with the central
tubular bead 1 1/2 inches long. $280.US.
AM963. The preColumbian greenstone beads here are ready to
become necklaces. Memorable ones at that, similar to ones that
Frida Kahlo wore and that I now see artists, writers and those in tune
with their pasts (both male and female as in the past) wearing in
contemporary México. Strand #1 is 16 1/2 inches long with a
central tubular bead 2 1/8 inches long and 1/2 inch in diameter.
$330.US. Strand #2 is 17 inches long with a 2 1/2 inch long
tubular central bead. It is over 1/2 inch in diameter.
AM964. There is a little over 12 inches of beads on this
preColumbian strand of greenstone - Strand #1. There are two
attractive polished beads at the front and 1 inch long central pendant
bead. $275.US. The 21 inches of preColumbian stone
beads in Strand #2 are very unusual cut in slices just like coconut
beads might be, or shell beads at times. This is stone though and
a pendant or unusual beads along the strand would look great.
AM965. This strand of preColumbian beads is a very good
rich colour of green. This colour is often called "jade" but in
reality is still greenstone. The general rule is that jade
absorbs light and stone reflects it. There are 17 1/2 inches of
beads with the central tubular bead measuring 1 5/8 inches long.
This would be a gorgeous necklace once it was removed from the fishing
line and properly put together with a clasp. $425.US. (sold)
AM966. This 19 inch strand of preColumbian greenstone beads
is ready to be made into a necklace. The beads are very carefully
graduated with the largest and greenest at the front and the smallest
and darkest at the back. The central bead is 7/8 inch in
diameter. This is very attractive. $450.US.
AM967. This strand of preColumbian beads from the State of
Guerrero in México has an almost opaque quartz bead at the front.
It is 7/8 inch in diameter. The entire strand is 15 inches
long. There are two very nice tubular beads at the front as
AM968. This strand of preColumbian beads is 19 inches
around with a 2 inch long pendant. The beads themselves are a
nice mix with a few small pale jade ones included. The pendant at
the front is a mask face which is worn away a bit in the front but
still identifiable. I think it had crystal as part of the stone
which didn't have the same long life as the rest. You can see the
back of the face pendant here: americas968b.jpg This is a very interesting strand which would make a great necklace. $400.US. (sold)
AM969. These rough beads were collected by a group of
farmers when plowing their crops in their Guerrero village. They
are in odd shapes and were oiled with "Pomada De Tepezcohuite" This is
an ointment used on skin for burns, sprains, arthritis, etc. which is
made from a tree in Chiapas. It was used on the beads to
moisten them to bring out their real colour - colours of stones
fading with dryness... Strand #1 is 17 inches
long. $175.US. Strand #2 is 22 inches long.
$200.US. Strand #3 is 21 inches long.
$195.US. Strand #4 is 21 inches long. $195.US. (#3 is sold)
AM970. This is a wonderful preColumbian clay whistle.
I haven't tried it at all (don't want to breath the ancient dust) but
every intact one that I have seen has worked. This is a
beautifully constructed sculpture of a face. The piece is 2 5/8
inches tall and has been buried for a long time. This sits
beautifully as a sculpture in a display case. $235.US.
AM971. This preColumbian clay whistle has a face that reminds me
of the people of SouthEast Asia. There have long been discussions
on travels across oceans long before the Spaniards arrive and pieces
like this are indicators. The piece is 2 5/8 inches
tall. It still has dirt inside from long burial but is easily
ready to sit as a sculpture in a display case. $235.US.
AM972. I have two pictures of the Virgin of Guadalupe, both
in wood frames - one in red, and the other in yellow. The frames
measure 4 3/4 inch by 5 1/2 inches and are 1 inch tall. These
were being sold to use in altars or ofrendas during los Días de
Muertos, but would typically continue to hang for the rest of the
year. The collaged, boxed images are $28.US/each.
AM973. This is a large painting or retablo (16 inches wide
and 11 1/2 inches at the tallest) that I found in Malinalco,
Mexico. The writing says "Al Señor Jaguar le damos gracias por
sus benediciones" meaning: "Señor Jaguar, we thank you for your
blessings", most likely referring to help in their lives. The
Olmecs tell stories of descent from the jaguars and there are many
dances to them in the State of Guerrero and others. The jaguar
has been an important symbol from preHispanic days and continues to
represent fertility, power, safety, etc. The piece of wood was
once part of a cupboard I think. $75.US.
AM974. There is a lovely beaded zip top bag here made by
Huichol beadworkers. It measures 4 1/4 inches by 3 inches and is
lined in black. $28.US. The earrings by the bag are 2
3/4 inches tall from top of earring hook to bottom of dress. They
AM975. These beautiful little bags are woven of wool and
them embroidered with cotton in brilliant colours. Each bag is
different and many are made by groups of women. The bags average
4 inches by 3 inches, tie shut and have shoulder straps tucked inside
them that you can pull out. $14.US/each or 2/$25.US. (#1 & #2 are sold)
AM976. These beautiful
little bags are woven of wool and them embroidered with cotton in
brilliant colours. Each bag is different and many are made by groups
of women. The bags average 4 inches by 3 inches, tie shut and have
shoulder straps tucked inside them that you can pull out. $14.US/each or 2/$25.US.
AM977. This simple preColumbian stone pendant is 1 3/8
inches wide and rather lop-sided. It has a reasonably sized hole
for stringing. $35.US.
AM978. The two preHispanic stone pendant pieces from
Guerrero are quite different. Pendant #1 is a fat oval and I
don't know if it is portraying anything in particular. It is 1
1/8 inches long. $35.US. I couldn't do a reasonable
photo of Pendant #2 as it looks like the head of an animal or a
snake. It has a large mouth and then depressions for the eyes
with the stringing hole running across the back in a rather odd
way. It is 1 3/8 inches long. $40.US.
AM979. These three preColumbian stone pieces from the State
of Guerrero are sold together. The longest one is 1 1/4 inches
long. $60.US/for all three. (sold)
AM980. These two preColumbian stone pieces were found in
the same place in the State of Guerrero. They have been carved to
show faces I think - I am not sure - they need some research.
They are sold together. The longer one is 1 3/8 inches
long. $60.US/for the two. (sold)
AM981. I have four stone masks, all preColumbian and from
the State of Guerrero. Mask #1 is not actually a pendant but more
of a charm that can sit in a pocket, in a display, or be set into a
piece of jewellery. The face is a well carved Mezcala image a
little over 1 1/4 inches tall. $55.US. Mask #2 is
pretty hefty weighing 57 grams. The face is a series of lines
with holes for the eyes and the stringing hole is at the back of the
head. $135.US. Mask #3 is much smaller and very
simple. It is a little over an inch tall and has a stringing hole
at the top/back of the head. $65.US. Mask #4 is the
smallest at 7/8 inches tall. It also has the typical hole at the
top of the head for stringing. $45.US. (all sold)
AM982. One needs to do research to discover what this
carved pendant represents. It is preColumbian and from the State
of Guerrero. It is slightly over 2 inches long. $85.US.
AM983. Green, poished and simple, this preColumbian
greenstone (many people call it "jade") figural pendant is very
attractive. It seems that the top half is the head and the bottom
half the legs... It stands 1 1/2 inches tall and has a stringing
hole at the back of the top of the head. $145.US. (sold)
AM984. This preColumbian clay spindle whorl has a diameter
of 7/8 inches and is just under 3/4 inches tall. $30.US. (sold)
AM985. I bought a number of interesting contemporary items
in Malinalco in the State of Mexico. There are lots of artists in
stone, wood, horn, silver etc. there and I always fall in love with
some pieces there. This is a leg carved from stone. It is 2
1/8 inches tall and just below the knee are the dry seeds that work as
rattles during Aztec dances. It is a very interesting
AM986. This unusual ring was carved (by a young
artist/carver in Malinalco, Mex) out of two pieces of horn - the creamy
colour provides the ring band and the dark was used to carve the image
of a snake. The ring is a size 8. $65.US.
AM987. This lovely creature was made of natural materials -
the wings being horn - I am not sure what the creamy part is made
of. I bought this in the town of Malinalco, known as a "magical"
town. This is quite a magical piece itself. The pendant is
1 5/16 inches tall. It simply has a leather cord going through
but that can be changed to what suits you, or this could be added to a
beaded necklace. $85.US.
AM988. I bought this silver pendant in Malinalco,
Mexico. The round pendant is silver and 15/16 inch across.
It has a loop on the back for stringing through. $50.US.
AM989. This contemporary pendant from Malinalco, Mexico is
made of both wood and silver. The silver piece is rivetted onto
the wood. It measures 1 3/8 inches across, and the center is set
with a stone that looks like a garnet. $75.US.
AM990. This very attractive contemporary quartz frog was
carved in a village in Guerrero in the same tradition as in the
past. It sits like a real frog deciding on where it will hop
next. This is an enlarged photo - it is 1 7/8 inches long and 7/8
inches tall. $45.US.
AM991. This very
attractive contemporary quartz frog was carved in a village in Guerrero
in the same tradition as in the past. It sits like a real frog
deciding on where it will hop next. This is an enlarged photo - it is
1 3/4 inches long and 3/4 inches tall. $45.US.
AM992. This amethyst pendant has a stringing hole behind
the knees of the legs are that are bent in the back of the piece.
It was carved in a village in Guerrero in the same tradition as in the
past. The colour of the amethyst is very pale and delicate.
The figural piece is 1 1/4 inches long and slightly over 1 inch
AM993. I fell in love with these drinks coasters when I
found them in a market in México. They are vintage from the 50s
or 60s I imagine, not in perfect condition but in quite good condition
especially after those years. Three of them have the original
prices stamped on the backs, 85cents each - unfortunately that was in
the "old days"... These are 4 1/2 inches across and each has a
different drink on it: Cuba Libre, Mezcal, Aperitivo, Martini and
AM994. I bought this woven leather wrist wrap in Malinalco
in the State of Mexico. It has a sterling silver slider on it in
a traditional preHispanic design. The image is 5/8 inch by a
little over 3/4 inches. The leather has a button on one end and a
loop at the other. It is 6 3/4 inches around when closed.
It is very comfortable. $54.US. (sold)
Here is a rough and interesting group of preColumbian beads from the State
of Guerrero. One is a face pendant, 2 inches tall. The
entire group of beads measures about 14 inches long. The various
beads could be used for different projects and they are certainly a nice
eclectic group for a collection. $275.US.
This is a rather wonderful rough looking character. He has come from
the state of Guerrero and is very typical of their work there. The
pendant is 2 7/8 inches long and is made from a pale greenish stone which
still has a fair bit of dirt on it. I leave the cleaning to the new
owner. There is a typical set of stringing holes across the back
so that he can sit upright very easily. $255.US.
This strand contains the biggest bead that I have ever had. It is
2 3/8 inches in diameter and just over 1 1/2 inches in width. The
bead is attached to a strand of about 15 inches of similar looking beads,
though of course - smaller... These are all from the state of Mexico.
The entire group is $550, or it can be divided - the large bead selling
for $200 (large bead is sold - rest of strand is available) and the strand selling for $350.
Here is a curious preColumbian roughly made strand from the state of Guerrero.
The pendant has been worked on quite a bit to shape and smooth it.
On one side is a line cut across it for an interesting look. One
side must have been broken hundreds of years ago so it is irregular in
size. The beads are more like pendants with the holes cut at the
ends so that they flip-flop against each other so hang very thickly like
blossoms. The pendant is 3 inches wide and there are 18 inches of
Here is a round (2 7/8 inches across) disc pendant made of soft sand coloured
stone and measuring slightly over 1/4 inch thick. This will make
a great and easy pendant. $70.US.
This head shaped pendant is rough and typical of the state of Guerrero.
These have tiny little holes for suspension, and are very heavy...
This head shaped pendant is rough and typical of the state of Guerrero.
These have tiny little holes for suspension, and are very heavy...
This head shaped pendant is rough and typical of the state of Guerrero.
These have tiny little holes for suspension, and are very heavy...
These beautiful antique relicarios are from Bolivia, bought in the
mountains... As tradition insists, the hand paintings are done on
metal (probably brass or bronze) with a different image on each side.
The frames are made of silver and sit very nicely on a strand of beads
or a ribbon. I love them on velvet ribbon with the bow tied in the
front where it can be seen. One can often see the knots and the bows
as these are tied on as they are items of devotional thoughts not objects
of jewellery. A great reference book is "Relicarios: Devotional
Miniatures from the Americas" by Martha Egan. The idea of the relicarios
was brought to the new world during the colonial period, and the pieces
have changed to reflect a different kind of a soul. The
large relicario (3 inches tall including hanging loop, 2 1/8 inches wide,
and more than 1/4 inch thick) is priced at $425.US. (the larger relicario is sold) The smaller
relicario (2 3/4 inches tall, 1 3/8 inches wide, and 5/16 inch thick) is
Frida Kahlo pendants set in silver, made in India. #1 is $42.US.
#2 has a stone set on it - $50.US. #3 has 3 stones set on it
- $55.US. #4 is the Virgin mother and child - $42.US.
(#3 & #4 are available)
I love this collection of new pendants featuring Frida Kahlo and other
Mexican images. I only have one of each. They are made in India
- all hand painted and set in sterling silver. $48.US/each
(#1 & #4 are available)
Here is a gorgeous shell necklace which came out of Colombia. The
strongly coloured shell beads were made in preColumbian times and the Venetian
chevron bead was brought for trade later by the Spaniards. It is
has been cut flat on one side so is no longer oval. Perhaps there
was a break in it and the repair consisted of cutting and polishing that
side. You can clearly count the 6 layers of the chevron. I
find it very attractive. The chevron is 13/16 inch in diameter and
5/8 inch thick. The strand is 18 1/2 inches long. $450.US.
This is a simple strand which needs to be restrung so that it is not on
fishing line anymore but on a softer cord. There are 3 preColumbian
beads here - the greenstone ones, with the pendant bead having a simple
face carved on it. The coral and the shell beads are not particularly
old. The entire strand is over 26 inches long and the pendant section
is just under 1 inch tall. $135.US.
There are two long strands of mixed preColumbian beads from Colombia here.
The beads have been strung with brass nose clips as pendants at the end.
The necklaces can be worn as is, but truthfully could use a slightly more
professional looking stringing. Strand #1 hs 27 inches of beads,
mostly carnelian and greenstone. The 5 very clear "crystal" beads
on this strand are newish and not preColumbian. They were added for
their attractiveness. There are some darker coloured true old beads
on the strand... $330.US. (#1 is sold) All of the beads on strand
#2 are preColumbian. There is even a little greenstone creature on
the strand as well as some rich thick carnelian beads. I love the
colour combination of the beads together. $365.US. (#2 is available)
Here are two strands which are a mix of cultures.
These two Tairona preColumbian nose ornaments were once covered
with gold. Now the bronze castings show a green oxidization
instead. They have been casually wired onto strands of ancient
beads - carnelians cut in India and traded into North Africa and some
ancient blue Roman glass beads as well. It might be best to take
of the preColumbian pieces and use them on different projects than the
beads. A confusion of cultures, but this is how I bought the
pieces. Strand #1 is 26 inches long with a nose piece a little
over an inch wide. Strand #2 is 28 inches long with a nose piece
1 1/2 inches wide at the widest. $295.US/each strand. (#1 is available, #2 is sold)
AM449. This is a very attractive vintage shawl pin from
Peru or Bolivia or somewhere close by. I am not quite sure what
kind of animal the monkey is riding on - a dog? This is a cast
piece soldered onto the hammered stick pin. It has a nice winding
to it, and a hook behind the animal's head so that when you pin it in,
it will stay in place. The pin is made of a mix of metals which
polishes up nicely. It has four loops for hanging beads or
pendants from. The originals have disappeared over the years...
The pin is 5 inches long and quite unique. $145.US.
AM453. The carnelian and stone beads at the front of this
necklace are Tairona from Colombia. They measure 7 1/4 inches and
include 7 attractive pendants. I do like the mix of colours here.
The entire ready to wear necklace is 19 inches long.
The silver beads are from a totally different culture but are
close in shape to beads that were made in the preColumbian period in
the same area. These are beads from Ethiopia though...
$350.US for the necklace.
AM461. I like the feel of tools in my hand. They
often sit nicely in my palm and since they have been used so much they
fit well. This cuts or scraps. It is preColumbian from
Mexico, it is small, just 1 3/4 inches tall and has a nice smooth blade
to it. $60.US.
AM467. Most of these preColumbian beads are stone from
the area of the state of Mexico. There are a few pottery spindle
whorls though. It is a nice mix with a stone bead pendant in the
middle. The necklace measures 24 inches long. $255.US.
AM473. Here is a true treasure and collectors item.
This is a capote de paseo for a Mexican matador. It is a
cloak that is worn over one shoulder while the other is tucked under
the opposite arm. The Virgin of Guadalupe is embroidered there to
protect the matador from harm. You might typically see photos of
the very fancy, very ornate capotes of the top matadors of the country.
This instead was made for a matador from a smaller pueblo with a
lot of local love within it. This is totally made by hand - I
couldn't find a single machine stitch anywhere on it so the work is
quite immense. There are spangles and all kinds of flourishes in
gold against a deep sea green/blue. The embroidered flowers stand
out beautifully and the Virgin at 7 1/2 inches tall is very impressive.
The capote when lying on my floor stretches 53 inches across from
one side to the other. The widest part is 21 inches high.
If you would like to see how they are worn you can google "capote
de paseo" under "images". A few can be found on flickr.com as
well. This is a vintage piece and the lining has some bleaching,
some spots and some irregularities on it. The outside has a
couple of spots that I imagine could be reasonably cleaned. It
would look quite wonderful hanging on the wall. $375.US.
AM476. I have four pendants here from Mexico. Some
are decorated on both sides, and others just on the one side.
They are all sterling grade silver and religious in nature.
#4 is 1 inch across in diameter. $22.US/each pendant (#1, #2 & #4 are available, #3 is sold)
AM479. This is a vintage paperweight which I bought in a
market in Mexico City. It is made of glass so quite heavy.
It had felt on the bottom but much of that is worn off. It
could easily be replaced. The image inside is of the madonna with
the baby, and it has a romantic old look to it which I like very much.
This measures 3 inches in diameter and is 1 1/2 inches tall.
AM480. This is a very beautifully made, cast sterling
silver pin. This is a vintage piece, over 50 years old.
There was once another leaf at the bottom of the design but it
has broken off years ago. The pin is normally pushed through a
shawl or sweater. It has a pin added to the back so that it can
be fastened without a worry of falling out and being lost. Birds
are important in Mexican art often for their air of romance. The
pin is 4 7/8 inches long and the wings of the bird are truly 3-D, made
individually which is quite unusual. $135.US.
AM481. I was pleased to find such a lovely and artistic
pendant, carved in a preColumbian style but newly made. The stone
is a correct type and the image is very close to original ones that I
have seen in museums. The face pendant is just under 2 inches
tall. The necklace itself has true preColumbian stone beads mixed
with modern brass ones - 24 1/2 inches long $345.US.
AM482. This is a precious little sterling silver vintage
pendant. The monkey is riding on a deer and must be expressing
some curious story. The pin is 1 1/4 inches tall. $110.US.
AM487. Here is an impressive gold (I can't give you an
accurate percentage) pendant which originated in the area of Costa Rica
and Panama before they existed. You can view gold pieces in the Costa Rica gold museum to compare this with varieties of the same bird pendant
that they have there. This is a bird that has had repairs but
they don't detract from its attractiveness. Both wings have been
repaired as has the tail. From behind you can see where the
repairs were made but this is typical of ancient gold pieces as they
have been buried and easily broken. The gleaming gold bird has a
snake in its mouth which it holds with its beaks and with its claws.
The piece is 2 3/8 inches wide at the wings and 2 7/8 from top to
bottom. The piece is strung with greenstone beads from Mexico as
well as a few shell beads. The greenstone is a good colour with
some quite bright ones reminding me of jade included. I wish that
I had more delicate beads to string it with but wanting to keep the
entire piece in the same time zone I didn't have another substitute.
This is a remarkable and attractive piece. $2250.US.
AM489. Here is a very interesting pendant bought in the
S(#1 & #5 aretate
of Veracruz in eastern Mexico. It look like a seated person
although when suspended it hangs with the stringing holes at the top
and the longest side of the pendant making a horizontal line. The
piece measures 3 inches along the longest side. This is a very
curious piece. I had a knowledgeable customer tell me this:
"...this is a broken Mezcala anthropomorphic carving, it would
normally have legs (you can see one leg) with the head at top.
The piece was drilled at one time in order to make it a pendant.
Mezcala Culture, Guerrerro, Mexico, roughly 200 BC." I always
appreciate knowledge being passed on. $145.US.
AM492. I lost this group of beads from the pages for a
while. They are rought looking preColumbian beads from the State
of Guerrero of a mixture of stones. The shapes are generally
irregular. Strand #1 is 28 inches long. $120.US/each
strand. (#4 is the only strand remaining)
AM495. Here is a group of trade tokens from Mexico -
mostly dating to the 1800s. The tokens are made of bronze, hand
stamped, and the one to the left measures slightly over 1 1/8 inches
across. Landowners or hacienda owners would pay their workers
with tokens, then the tokens would be used in the hacienda owners'
stores to buy their necessities. The tokens were all very
specific to particular properties and could not be used in other areas.
#1 says "PROVICIONAL DEZ ...IN OCTAVO 1833" and has an image of
an eagle on it. It is plain on the other side. #2 is
unclear and seems to say "...NISTRACION DE MINAS 1855" on one side and
"...S.M. DE 1/8" on the other. (#2 is sold) #3 says "1/8 1824" on one side
and has a bunch of grapes with "B T" on the other. (#3 is sold) #4 says
"SAYULA 1/8 1830" on one side and the other side is flat. #5
says "PUEBLA DE JALA 1833" on one side and "LUIS ...APIS 1/8" on
the other. $32.US/each trade token #6 says "H. LA FLOR
1877" on one side and has a sculpted flower on the other - $50.US. (#1& #5 are available)
AM499. I have the same type of bracelet up above at
AM450. That one is from P.E.I. though and this one is for Quebec,
Canada. I think that these are all attractive having had one for
Calgary in the past. A collection of Canada would be an
interesting one. This bracelet portrays: Quebec City 1608,
Chateau Frontenac, Parliament, Porte St. Louis, La Basilique and
Spencerwood. It is 7 inches long and closes with a very tidy snap
shut. It is not silver, but silver coloured. $65.US.
AM502. What a sweet and strange little guy. I
couldn't resist him. This sterling silver pin is a Mexico
souvenir piece from the 50s or 60s. The little boy on his burro
is 2 1/4 inches tall. His sombrero has a nice wide 3-D rim, he
has an odd and peaceful look on his face and the burro strands quietly
AM504. These Mezcala preColumbian abstract stone figures
are simple but evocative. They come from an area in the State of
Guerrero close to Morelos. There are some amazing pyramids close
to there like Xochicalco. They are much nicer in real life as one
can cradle a sculpture in their hand. These sculptures do not
have stringing holes in them. They were meant to be used more as
talismans. A cord could be tied around the figures under the
heads and they could be turned into pendants. One would have to
be very careful though, that all was tied tight so that they could not
fall and break. The pieces have flat backs and are sculpted the
most deeply on the sides. Sculpture #1 is 2 3/8 inches tall -
$145.US. Sculpture #2 is 2 5/8 inches tall - $145.US.
Sculpture #3 is 1 7/8 inches tall - $135.US.
AM507. These are fairly rough beads but good ones.
They are preColumbian beads from Guerrero - the area close to
Mexico City. Bead #1 is flared and 1 1/4 inches across. It
is 1/2 inch tall. $45.US. Bead #2 is thick and dark grey.
It is 1 inch long and 7/8 inch in diameter with a good sized
hole. $40.US. Bead #3 has a nice natural shape. It
is 1 1/8 inches long and 3/4 inch diameter at the widest. It will
sit nicely as a central bead on a necklace. $45.US. (#1 & #2 are available, #3 is sold)
AM510. There are three face pendants here, each very
different from the other. They do all come from the State of
Guerrero. Pendant #1 is a warm rounded greenstone. It is 1
1/8 inches tall and 7/8 inch wide. It is over 1/2 inch thick.
The face is simple with a straight mouth across and the stringing
hole is at the top of the back - the hole going from the top to the
back. Very typical. $85.US. Pendant #2 is tiny but
has a very clear face. It is 5/8 inches tall and a nice mottled
greenstone. It has a typical hole at the top of the pendant in
the back. $45.US. #3 has a straightfordward face - a line
across as a mouth and two deep wideset eyes. This is a mottled
dark grey stone holed at the back, at the top of the back.
$40.US. (#1 & #3 are available, #2 is sold)
AM519. I don't usually buy spoons but it this case I
couldn't help it. This is a tourist spoon, but an old one.
The spoon is 5 1/4 inches long and is covered with intriguing
images. At the top is the eagle holding a snake in its beak -
symbol of Mexico. Below that is a burro carrying bags, and below
the burro is an agave plant with a man with a sac on his back making
pulque. Above him are the words: Pulque Gatherer.
Pulque is a fermented drink made from the agave, but since it
constantly ferments a true pulque cannot be bottled. You could be
wandering through a market or passing through a town and you might be
offered pulque to buy from the man who made it. There are some
pulquerias as well but they are becoming rare.
Below the pulque
worker is someone carrying jugs and it says above: Water Carrier.
Below that the word MEXICO is spelled out. On the spoon
part is an illustration of a matador, a bull, two men on horses, and an
audience. Above that it says: Bull Fight. Engraved on
the back of the spoon is: Juarez, Old Mexico. The spoon is
sterling silver. $145.US.
AM522. This collection of scrapers is from Guatemala.
#1 is 1 3/4 inches long and 1 1/4 inches at the widest. You
can compare the others to that one. These are all smoothly
finished with a good edge on them. Numbers 1 through 4 are
$68.US/each. Number 5 is $80.US. (#5 is available, #1, #2, #3 & #4 are sold)
AM523. I fell in love with this statue when I saw it for
sale from a carver in Malinalco. I kept walking past it and
finally had to stop and buy it. Talking with the artist I kept
looking at him and then at the mask and realized it was a self portrait
- so you can see the artist who created this. His name is Gabriel
Vergara, and he is from Chalmita Ocuilan in the State of Mexico.
The country is full of art from ancient to the present.
This mask is carved from wood (you can see how the back has been
gouged out) and decorated with bone from a bull. The eyes are set
with pieces of shell. The mask is 6 1/8 inches tall and 4 1/8
inches wide. It stands out over 3 inches and has a hole to use to
hang it. $285.US.
AM524. Oh, the stories, the histories, the travails of
the luchadores are part of life in Mexico. In Mexico City there
are a number of places to watch the wrestling (lucha libre) as well as
museums dedicated to some, and restaurants owned by others. I
bought one of these bracelets for myself, and then three others for
those who are interested in the luchadores but won't have the chance to
stop in the city and buy one of these. The bracelets are woven of
seed beads, and close with knots and loops made from beads as well.
When closed the bracelet winds around for 6 3/4 inches.
These will be great on a bare arm in the warm weather and I am
sure will cause a smile here and there... $24.US/each bracelet. (#2 & #3 are available, #1 is sold)
AM615. The three bracelets here have been made by the
Huichol people. Both men and women work on these, and the designs
follow the interests of the makers. Bracelet #1 is for a wrist of
6 1/2 to 6 3/4 inches. Bracelet #2 is for a wrist of 6 1/2 to 7
inches. Bracelet #3 with the Virgen de Guadalupe is for a 6 1/2
to 7 inch wrist. They are each $24.US. (#3 is sold)
AM616. I am amazed at the talent of the Huichol women of
Mexico to build three dimensional pieces like the bracelet illustrated
here. It has two layers of leaves rising up from the wristband of
leaves, and then stamens come out of the flowers as well. It is a
little over 7 inches around and beckons Spring. $35.US.
The necklace sits very nicely around the neck with the design
extending out. The inside of the piece is 17 1/2 inches around.
The necklace is 2 inches tall. $45.US. (necklace is sold)
AM618. This is a new pin (last ten years or so) that was
made by casting a copy of an antique one. The original design
most likely originated in South America and was used to keep a woolen
shawl closed. There is a loop under the flowers where beads or
something special or colourful could be attached. The sterling
silver pin is 6 1/5 inches long. $35.US. (sold)
AM619. This is a beautiful strand of blown glass beads
which were cherished in Guatemala and southern Mexico. This
strand has a great variety so is excellent for a collector - shapes,
sizes and colours vary a huge amount. There are 30 inches of
beads on the strand, and two coins tied onto it. The coins are
silver, 1/2 real, and from Guatemala - 5/8 inches across. One
reads 1945 but the beads are older than the coins and antique, most
likely made in Bohemia. The glass is very thin on the beads so
they do need to be handled with care. $275.US
AM628. Here is a traditional sterling silver charm
bracelet from Mexico. Pieces like this have traditionally been
made since the forties & fifties. They are always time
consuming to make as the shapes of the charms are all constructed
individually by hand. There are two pitchers, an Aztec calendar,
a sombrero, a sandal, and a cooking grill. There is also a
cowbell with a little ringer inside so that it makes a delicate sound.
Thes pieces are very well made. The bracelet is 7 1/4
inches long when closed. $120.US.
AM635. This is a charming group of
preHispanic/preColumbian beads. Two of them are shaped like
larvae or grubs. The one on the left of the preview image is 5/8
inch long. The small creamy one (1/2 inch long) is a tiny
"bullet" bead. These are often gathered together in groups on
necklaces from the Tairona people of Colombia. Seven beads for
AM636. Here is an inexpensive preHispanic/preColumbian
necklace from the Tairona people of Colombia, South America. The
central greenstone bead is the charmer on this piece, 2 7/8 inches long
and 1/2 inch in diameter. The other beads consist of more
greenstone, bloodstone and bauxite. There is one carnelian bead
but it has two big chips on it. It does look fine on the necklace
as they are all beads with a long history, but the piece can be easily
restrung without it. The spacer beads are stone, shell, and
seeds. The necklace is 21 inches long. $230.US.
AM637. Here are 32 inches of preHispanic/preColumbian
stone beads from Colombia. They were made by the Tairona people
and have been buried for hundreds of years. The longest tubular
bead is 1 inch long. the beads came from a collection put
together in the fifties and sixties. This is a nice contrast in
beads of good earth tones. $300.US.
AM642. I love getting these groups of beads that have a
character of the place where they were collected. These
preColumbian beads came from Veracruz. Strand #1 has an
interesting collection within it of round, tubular, tooth shaped, and
one face bead. The face bead is the creamy one that you can see
in the preview on the left. It has two soft barely there eyes and
a delicate impression of a mouth. The longer tubular bead is 2
inches long. The entire strand is just under 13 inches long.
With some beads to go behind the neck, this could be a
fascinating necklace. $300.US. Strand #2 is a short
strand (only 7 1/2 inches long) but it contains a wonderful pendant of
a man which is 2 1/4 inches tall - becoming very hard to come across.
The stringing holes across his chest are quite large and a strong
cord could go through. This strand came from Veracruz as well.
$300.US. (#1 is sold, #2 is available)
AM643. Here are two pale strands of preColumbian beads,
made of a softer stone than greenstone. They are closer to a pale
fresh colour than this photo demonstrates. It was impossible for
me to get the colour correct. Strand #1 has a nice selection of
rounded beads measuring 15 inches in length. The fattest one is
just under an inch in diameter and the one tubular bead is 1 1/4 inches
long. Many of the beads have a chalky feel to them.
$250.US. Strand #2 is a combination of rounded and tubular beads
with that same chalky surface. The strand is 20 inches long.
3 of the beads have lines going from top to bottom to portray
melons. I saw similar beads in the Museo Nacional del
Antropologia in Mexico City. $325.US. (#2 is sold)
AM650. This preColumbian clay bird whistle originally
came from Veracruz, a state that is full of music in every form.
It can be blown quite loudly into the end of the tail with the
air hole at the bottom. The piece is intact with the only damage
being a shortened wing on one side and a little old chip on the crest
above the eyes. Those are old changes and not noticeable.
From front to back the whistle is a little over 3 1/4 inches
long. When sitting it is 1 7/8 inches tall. It is quite a
thrill to make the same sound that was made well over a thousand years
AM659. I bought three of this style of bag in Mexico -
the other two are below. I thought that they were all interesting
and made by hand and sold by a small distributor to very few shops.
I imagine another one would be pretty difficult to come across.
This bag features images of Frida Kahlo, a photographic portrait
in front and a focus on her eyes in the back. The images are much
more attractive in real life - it was difficult to take pics avoiding
glare from light in the room. The bags snap shut in the front.
On the back they have a flap which covers a pocket where you can
slip some pieces of paper or credit cards... The bag, when closed
is 8 1/2 inches tall, 6 3/4 inches wide, and slightly over 1 1/2 inches
thick. This is a small bag but fine for a wallet, with sunglasses
and a phone, or perhaps a paperback novel. The webbed strap is
3/4 inch wide and can be shortened to comfort. When fully
extended the strap is about 50 inches long. $35.US. (Frida is sold)
AM660. The size of this bag, and length of strap is the
same as the one above. This features Che Guevarra.
AM661. The size of this bag and length of strap are
described in AM659 above. This one features el Santo, a famous
luchador in Mexico. $35.US.
AM664. Carved coconut shell bowl 4 inches across, 1 3/4 inches tall. $15.US.
AM665. Carved coconut shell bowl 2 3/4 by 3 3/4 inches across, 1 1/2 inches tall. $15.US.
This strand of preColumbian stone beads is 16 inches long and ready to
make into a Frida Kahlo style necklace. $320.US.
AM670. This is a rather wonderful necklace with an
elegant man standing at the center. He has double sided holes at
the back and had a code number written on him (6550) as he had been
part of a serious collection which was disbanded ten or so years ago.
He is 2 inches tall, made of a dark green flecky stone, has his
hair-line or hat defined, a line across his face for a mouth, a belt, a
line across the bottom of his tunic and he has his legs and arms well
defined. The necklace is 17 1/2 inches long, made of more
delicate preColumbian stone beads graduating nicely to the end.
The necklace is closed with a sterling silver clasp of a pair of
hands, made in Oaxaca. $550.US.
AM671. Although I have earrings from Oaxaca, Mexico for
sale in my "Mexico" pages, I have listed these here as they are
vintage. These are very traditional and similar to earrings one
or two centuries old that you might see in museums. The same
beautiful, complicated styles have remained popular. Every bit of
work in these earrings is done by hand, each piece of silver cut out,
hammered, shaped, each part hinged or soldered to another, with the
pearls woven into the silver. It is a huge amount of work with a
beautiful and graceful result. These earrings actually remind me
of a view of a woman, with her head studded with pale pink pearls, her
shoulders pearled over curved arms and a wide skirt below...
Stamped on the back is: MC 44, Mex 925. The earrings
are 3 1/8 inches tall. $195.US.
AM526. I bought a couple of these woven images of San
Judas Tadeo. They are 4 1/2 inches tall, and $8.US./each.
AM527. These are sterling silver pins from Mexico - with
Aztec style illustrations. Pin #1 is 1 1/2 inches square and has
the circular Aztec calendar on it. It also has a loop on the back
so that it can be worn as a pendant. $45.US. Pins #2 -
this pair of pins is the same size and shape 1 1/5 inches tall but both
have different illustrations on them. They look terrific worn
together. The decorative part is on a sheet of silver that stands
a little above the background sheet of silver so it has a nice raised
appearance. $75.US/the pair. (#1 is available, pair of pins #2 are sold)
have some pre Columbian strands of spondylus shell beads from Peru
below. Peru is a country of jungles, mountains and white sand
beaches with the archaeology of ancient history across it. There
were many cultures including the Chavin, the Paracas, Moche, Nazca,
Tiahuanaco, Wari, Chimu and the Inca. There was sophistication,
beautiful crafts and complex social structures. It is a wonder to
be able to wear a small reflection of that...
AM535. There are two strands of beads here, each with
nice flat shell slices for a bit of drama. They look great when
worn. Necklace #1 has 22 inches of shell and spondylus beads with
pendants all around. The central pendant is 2 inches tall, smooth
on one side and textured on the other. The preColumbian aesthetic
was always interesting and attractive. The colours have a very
natural sense to them and look great against the skin. $395.US.
Necklace #2 is a heavier variation. The beads going around
are sturdier with them going around just under 20 inches. The
side pendants are closer together and the central pendant is 2 3/8
inches tall. Again the colours are creamy variations of brown,
orange, pinkish - looking great against the skin. This should be
restrung - one of the brick coloured beads has been improperly strung
and sits sideways, and too much of the fishing line shows at the back.
A nice cord would work perfectly and would not take long to do...
$450.US. (#1 is sold, #2 is available)
AM549. These three pieces are from Puebla. The
first two are not pierced but used to hold or to display. #1 is
2 7/8 inches tall and slightly curved outwards. The back has a
crust on it from years gone by. You can distinguish the line
between the legs and barely see where the mouth is - all has been very
worn over time. $145.US. #2 is quite 3-dimensional and 2
1/4 inches tall. All of the lines are quite clear with most of
the wear occuring at the forehead and feet. It is a mottled pale
green and very attractive. $185.US. #3 is 2 3/8 inches
tall and has a stringing hole at the top. You can see a little
dent where it is in the photo, so it can be hung as a pendant. It
is quite plain with spread legs, a straight mouth and clear ears.
AM554. The first piece here was once a head pendant
carved of stone but the holes have worn through - they are clearly
visible on the back. It is a great piece for display though with
a clear and simple face. $30.US. Pendant #2 is 1 inch tall
stone pendant with a vibrant face. The stringing hole goes
straight through his forehead. $45.US. (#2 is sold, #1 is available)
AM555. These two carved stone pieces from Mexico have
both been broken hundreds of years ago. They are still attractive
and interesting. Piece #1 is an expressive face of black stone -
2 inches tall. It was once a pendant but the top with the
stringing hole is missing - the stone is just rought at the top.
$35.US. Piece #2 is the top half of a body. The face has
been damaged with a rather crushed top of head and nose, and the piece
has been broken roughly at the waist. It still carries a long
story with it. $35.US. (#1 is sold, #2 is available)
AM559. Beads and whorls. #1 - $45.US. #2 -
$45.US. #3 - $40.US. #4 - $50.US. #5 - $50.US.
#6 - $40.US. #7 - $55.US. (#6 is available, all others are sold)
AM560. Spindle whorls. #1 - $75.US. #2
- $50.US. #3 - $45.US. #4 - $65.US. #5 -
$75.US. #6 - $50.US. (#1, #2, #5 are available, all others are sold)
Spindle whorl #3 is available - a preColumbian piece 2 1/8
inches across and a little over 1/2 inch thick. $110.US.
AM568. I love the good silver tokens from the past - the new ones are not at all as interesting. This is a Virgin of Guadalupe
token measuring 1 3/8 inches in diameter. On one side is a
typical 3-dimensional portrait of Guadalupe standing in the clouds.
Around her are the words "NON FECIT TALITER" and "OMNI NATIONI"
with a rose next. On the other side is a view of the basilica of
Guadalupe in northern Mexico City. Around the image of the plaza
and the four main churches are the words "RECUERDO DE LA INAUGERACION
DE LA PLAZA MONUMENTAL DE LA BASILICA DE GUADALUPE" and "1952 Mexico
D.F." Now there is a modern basilica as well with the image that
is claimed to have been found by Juan Diego, now a saint hung in a
hallway. There are moving walkways like in an airport for people
wanting to view the image - so everyone passes at one speed. The
token is $45.US.
greenstone skulls with stringing holes in the back
have been carved by modern Mayans. They use the same methods as
past to create contemporary versions of the images. The skulls
are each a
little different with individual personalities. They have
been smoothed nicely and have a rather elegant look. They average
about 7/8 inch in height. They are $24.US/each. (#1, #2 & #3 are available)
AM573. These skulls with stringing holes in the back
have been carved by modern Mayans. They use the same methods as in the
past to create contemporary versions of the images. The skulls are each a
little different, carved in crystal as well as one small one in turquoise. They have
been smoothed nicely and have a rather elegant look. They average about
3/4 inch in height. They are $20.US/each. (#2, #3, #4, #7 & #10 are available, all others are sold#1)
AM591. This is a rather typical Peruvian tourist piece.
It has its charms though. This is made from an unknown
metal and is probably 30 or 40 years old. The disc pendant is 3
inches across and the interesting chain is 15 1/2 inches long with a
hook closure. $40.US.
AM603. This is a very curious pendant. It is made
from a soft stone and has lost (during burial) most of its surface.
There are just a few small areas on the piece where you can see
the darker original surface. It has a slightly dusty surface now.
This is one of those strange pieces though, that has more than
one image to it. If you hold it in one way it looks like a bird
with head, eyes, wings, and a tail. In that case the stringing
hole is just under its tail. If you tip it and look straight at
it while it is sitting on the stringing hole and tip of tail, it looks
like a sitting man facing you. The arms and face are clearly
defined. Perhaps there is another creature to see there as well -
those are the two that are clear to me. The piece is 2 1/2 inches
at the longest and quite a collector's piece. $185.US.
AM607. These earrings are antique in the traditional
filigree style brought by the Spanish and Portuguese. The Mexican
(these are from Oaxaca) version has its own aesthetics. The
largest part of the earrings are 10K gold although the hanging wires
for the pearls are white metal. The pink glass stones are bright
and contrast beautifully with the natural pearls. They are very
AM611. This is a fat and simple greenstone mask from the
State of Guerrero, Mexico. It has the usual stringing hole at the
back of the head. For once it is actually big enough for a small
cord to go through. It is 1 7/16 inches tall and 1 1/8 inches
AM614. The four PreColumbian pieces here all have good
sized stringing holes - all are ready to string up and wear. The
first piece is like a leif, pale green and 1 inch tall. $20.US.
Mask #2 is slightly over 1/2 inch tall with a very plain face.
$25.US. Mask #3 is 1/2 inch tall - two eyes and a line
across for a mouth. $25.US. Mask #4 is 1 inch tall.
It has two fat eyes and a bit of a smile. $35.US. (#1 is on hold, all of the rest are sold)
AM574. This is a group of pre Columbian/preHispanic beads
all from the Tairona people of Colombia. Strand #1 is 22 inches
around and made mostly of shell. 14 of the larger beads are
carnelian though, and the central bead is a curled up larva made of
carnelian as well. $245.US. Strand #2
$245.US. Strand #3 has 20 inches of beads going around plus a 1
1/8 inch long carnelian pendant in the center.The 8 largest beads on
the strand are carnelian as well. $245.US. Strand #4
$245.US. (#1 & #3 are available, #2 & #4 are sold)
This is an attractive 20 inch long necklace with black clay whorls and
3 stone pendants. $275.US.
This is a vintage Peruvian shawl pin. The needle part is
pushed into the wool where one part of a shawl is laid over the
other. The piece is 8 inches long and made of typical mised
metals. The dangles clink lightly when walking.
AM226. This vintage Peruvian shawl pin has a hook on the
back (3 3/4 inches long) to weave into the fabric of the shawl to keep
it closed. This is made of the typical mixed metal and has three
proud peacocks on it. The hand at the bottom holds a chain but
the pendant at the bottom has been long gone. You can add
something of importance there. The decorations are made of glass,
some with a reflective backing. The piece is 5 1/4 inches tall
plus chain. $125.US.
Here are 3 Tairona preColumbian stone frogs along with a slice of a bird.
The bird is 1 1/4 inches long from end of beak to tail. The frogs
are quite 3 dimensional and best seen in real life. #1 is not a frog
but a clenched fist, a popular symbol in south America $80.US.
#2 is $150.US. #3 is $110.US. and #4 is $75.US.
(#1 is available)
These are good heavy preColumbian stone beads from an old collection which
was formed in the mid-1900s. I don't think that they were used as
beads to wear but the holes were smoothed through so that they could sit
on a rod - performing some sort of function. The tall bead $4 is
2 inches tall and just under 1 1/4 inch in diameter. Bead #5 has
a broken part this is old and worn. #2 is the largest - 1 1/8 inches
tall and 1 5/8 inches in diameter. #1 - $120.US.
#2 - $140.US. #3 - $120.US. #4 - $150.US.
#5 - $100.US. #6 - $130.US. (#5 is available,
the rest are sold)
This is a well worked preColumbian grooved stone block decorated with cut
stripes. This measures 2 5/8 inches long, 1 1/2 inches tall, and
1 3/4 inches wide and is made of a dark roughly hewn volcanic rock.
A strap would have been fastened around the indented center.
I saw one very much like this in a museum in Mexico in San Luis Potosi
placed next to a piece of paper. It is known as a "bark beater" and
used to pound bark to make it soft and sticky enough to work with - to
create textiles or paper - often used for papel amate. $145.US.
Sculpted stone face, beautifully done in preColumbian style but contemporary
carving. Looking at this it is hard to believe it is a copy as it
is so well done. The face is 2 1/4 inches tall so would be quite
impressive on a necklace. It has the typical four stringing holes
in the back so it could be used in a number of ways. It would also
look great in a display. $185.US.
Here is a Tairona preColumbian bead strand with a contemporary brass pendant.
There are 24 inches of beads, both shell and stone clasping a flat brass
pendant. It does look good but would be nice with an old piece in
the center. $300.US. (sold)
This bead strand has a wonderful pale green preColumbian Mezcala pendant.
The strand is 26 inches of shell with a 7 1/2 inch long beaded pendant
hanging from it (shell and stone).. The figure hanging from the bottom
is of a man, 1 5/8 inches tall. He has a very poetic face and I like
him very much. As is, this can slip over your head but if it was
mine I would feel more secure restringing it first. $550.US.
This strand of preColumbian Tairona shell and stone beads has a centerpiece
of a nose clip. It was once gilded with gold and still has a very
small trace of it remaining. The necklace itself is just under 24
inches long. the pendant/nose piece is 7/8 inches tall and just under
1 3/4 inches at the widest. $330.US.
I have four cutting tools - preColumbian celts here that came from the
area of Copán in Honduras which was occupied between AD 400 and
800. They are smoothed beautifully and very worn from use so that
they have the smoothness of silk when held in the hand. #1 is 1 7/8
inches long and an attractive buff colour with darker lines running through
it. $75.US. #2 is 2 inches long and has lots of the grain
of the stone showing though it has been well smoothed in use. The
cutting edge is nicely polished. $55.US. #3 is the fattest
and widest. It is 3 1/8 inches long just over 3/4 inch thick.
I love holding it in my hand. The edges curve to a point very gracefully.
$195.US. #4 is a beauty as well. It measures just over
3 inches in length and is again gracefully cut. Looking at it from
the side makes me think of perfection. $165.US. (#1 & #3 are available, the others are sold)
Three pairs of earrings are illustrated here, all bought in Mexico within
the last 20 years or so. Earrings #1 have hammered silver discs with
Aztec faces elegantly showing on them. They have rectangles hanging
below them of shiny black onyx. They look quite elegant and dramatic.
$65.US. Earrings #2 pierce straight into the ear and have safety
clips to hold them comfortably. The top pieces have carved onyx as
centerpieces. Glass drops (1 1/8 inches long) fall beneath them.
Lovely. $60.US. Earrings #3 are made with amethyst.
The colour did not scan really well. The top amethyst is quite dark
in colour, a little mysterious in nature, and the pendant is a delicate
colour. The earrings from top to bottom are 1 3/8 inches long.
$45.US. (#1 onyx & #3 amethyst are sold, #2 is available)
Three preColumbian shell pieces are illustrated here. #1 could easily
be used as a pendant. It looks like some kind of a whistle but I
am not capable of causing it to make any noise. The piece is 4 3/4
inches long and gently curved. On the inside of the curve are 3 holes
rather like those in a flute. There is another hole that runs the
length of the piece so that the 3 holes on the side all open into the larger
channel which opens at each end. $45.US. #2 is a necklace with
a shell pendant a little over 4 inches long. It is pierced straight
through at the strung end, and has a small hole drilled across one corner
of the bottom end. The pendant is strung with small pre-Columbian
shell and stone heishi beads. The black beads at the end are new
Peruvian beads though. This is a great & wearable piece.
$145.US. #3 is another necklace with a shell pendant. Broader
and shorter and in lovely fleshy tones, it makes a lovely slice.
Above it are two pre-Columbian beads - the tubular one is shell, and the
one above it is a very dark greenstone. The necklace beads are new
Peruvian ones. Lovely to wear. $145.US. (#2
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to "Contents" page
.....Eastern beads and ornaments
.....African trade beads
- traditional rebozos and market shopping