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Author Topic:   Imported Silver: a Discovery

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 04-03-2006 11:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We frequently come across odd silver items that show up in the US though they were made in other countries. And this is a constant topic here, such as the wonderful Jensenesque bracelet. Something happened to me yesterday that I would like to share with you.

After years of the show circuit, I no longer drive. I get about on public transit, pathetic as it is in LA, and on my bike. Sunday I was riding over to a friend's. The route took me through a largely Mexican neighberhood. Going down the sidewalk I could see ahead of me a blanket on the ground with a canopy over it. Figured it for someone selling hand made baby clothes. As I cruised past, the familiar glow of silver caught my eye.

So, I turned around and got down on the ground to look this over. It was about 20 square feet of silver jewelry. There were quite a few Mexican ladies ohhing and ahhing and buying relatively inexpensive rings, earrings and necklaces. It is getting so I can hear words in Spanish now, and these ladies really liked what they were seeing.

Anyway, the young woman running the show was surprised to see an extreme white guy like me paying attention. So she told me in somewhat labored English that she goes regularly to the 'silver city, Taxco'. And brings back silver which she sells. On the sidewalk in front of her apartment and on the internet. Ancient and modern at the same time.

This was mainly inexpensive, $10 to $25, with a few obviously hand made braclets with stones going for $50. The designs were fairly good traditional ones (especially the linked sun faces) along with some abstract types. The display was simple but nicely done. She could pack up and be gone in a few minutes.

All pieces were marked 925 only. Some cardboard mounted things were proclaiming Tika or Lila as the makers. Most had nice stones.

Anyway, my sense was she financed trips back to her family in Mexico by buying silver jewelry. Which she sold to her Mexican neighbors who wanted to keep in touch with their heritage.

Which leads me in a round about fashion to saying that there is a lot more of this in the silver trade than we suspect. It would not surprise me to learn that the Danish and Norwegian pieces we marvel at came to the US in the same way.

Anyway, just a little silver adventure while out bike riding.

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Posts: 124
Registered: Mar 2006

iconnumber posted 04-03-2006 11:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for witzhall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What a wonderful story, Dale! It sounds as if the experience had been equally pleasurable for both you and the young woman running the show. I'm impressed, too, by your having moved beyond driving. My younger son, in Providence, RI, has done the same. I am admiring and grateful to you both and others who are no longer increasing the pollution of the planet.

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 04-04-2006 06:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
    "..... blanket on the ground with a canopy over it ..."

This conjures up an interesting image - if there is an opportunity for a photo, that would be fun to see.

Thanks for the story.

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Posts: 390
Registered: Nov 2005

iconnumber posted 04-05-2006 01:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for outwest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great story. I have seen these ladies selling all kinds of things under a canopy on a blanket. I, too, live in LA County. I like the handmade crafts they sell. There are some wonderful handmade Mexican crafts.

I have some Mexican silver from Ortega. Just a few little coaster size dishes with engravings of animals around the edges. They appear handmade and I think they were probably made around 1900 when my Great Grandparents were Americans working in Mexico City. Did Ortega always make handmade items?

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Posts: 282
Registered: Jul 2005

iconnumber posted 04-05-2006 08:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for venus     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I could feel the breeze as you wizzed through the streets and see the glint of the silver. Great story Dale. It is amazing how silver tarnished or not, out of the corner of the eye or head on just gathers a person in. Hope we hear more of your adventures. I lived in LA and then Pasadena for a short while. In Pasadena rode 2 buses to Glendale to school. Yes, bikes are better. wink

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