Tuesday, July 12, 2016

An unusual Antonio Pineda creation or how our teachers influence our early works

When I was growing up, I always thought I would become a writer - I would definitely write something at some point in my life. That's what I promised myself. Yet here I am, decades later, and though I have written this and that over the years, some academic, some prose, an attempt at poetry (if you forgive me the use of the term, please!), it seems that I have yet to fulfill that promise.

I have not been diligent enough - not even with this blog that I started back in 2011- and my excuse is, of course, that life somehow always got in the middle and I just didn't have enough time. You know the feeling, I am sure. So I am not promising anything now - I am just coming back to write about early beginnings and Mexican silver, the influence of inspiring teachers and Antonio Pineda's exquisite jewelry.

early Antonio Pineda 980 silver brooch

And it is this wonderful repousse brooch that instigated it all! Just look at it. If you had to guess, to which Taxco maestro would you ascribe it?

pre-Colombian repousse motifs

To the trained eye of the collector, the motifs point to the "archeaological" period of Taxco design, an era definitely dominated by the genius of William Spratling. The repoussage is bold and very nicely worked and most of the times, this indicates an early date. And the texturing on the stylized feather part of the brooch, all hand-done of course, doesn't it remind you of old Mexico City pieces and Matilde Poulat's early work?

Matl-style textured repoussage

Now, please, look at the hallmarks! Wrought out of high purity, 980 silver, this is an Antonio Pineda creation. And it does date in the beginning of his career, when the maestro whose name came to denote Mexican modernist jewelry was still under the influence of his teacher, Valentin Vidaurreta. 

Antonio Pineda early hallmarks (1941-1948)

This is one of the reasons for which years ago I fell in love with Mexican jewelry. No matter how long you hunt for it, no matter how many pieces you have handled and bought and sold and researched, chances are there will always be that one example just around the corner, that will make your heart jump out of your chest...

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