Old silver handled basin. Mexican?

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ttsf
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu May 19, 2005 12:33 am
Location: Ursala Major, Moon

Old silver handled basin. Mexican?

Postby ttsf » Thu May 19, 2005 12:44 am

Hello! I came across this nice big heavy basin and am not having any luck with the touch marks on it. I suspect the piece is from Mexico and appears to have age to it.
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It measures 12" wide x 2" high. There appears to be marks stamped on both the underside:
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And on the top:
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As you can see, there isn't much to go on. Here's a closeup of one of the handles:
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And a pic showing the full back:
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I'd appreciate any and all feedback. I'm mostly interested in discovering if this is indeed a piece of early Mexican silver.

Thanks for looking. Tim :-P

PS: This thing weighs a pound!

admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2488
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2005 6:52 pm

Postby admin » Thu May 19, 2005 1:42 am

Hi Tim,

There are not a lot of accessible references in this area and there seems to be a fair amount of guesswork on dating and geographically pinpointing the origins of such pieces. Mainly due to overlap of styles throughout Central & South American and inconsistencies in hallmarking and often, no markings at all. Not to mention a fair amount of fakery, at least in the first half of the 20th century.
All that said, I'll tender my guesses and gut feeling.
To begin with - Wow, what a beauty!
Based on illustrations in "Spanish Colonial Silver" by Leona Boylan Davis & "Mexicaans Zilver" the catalogue from a museum show held in Belgium in 1993, I think it is Mexican and 19th century. The chased decoration on the cast handles looks typically Mexican in style, and the simple functional lines are consistent with what Ms. Davis denotes as the Northern Provincial style.
Around the TS mark there is some flaking, tiny fractures caused by too much hammering without enough annealing. Flaking is most often seen on provincial and tribal work.
The TS may be a maker's mark or may be an owner's mark (a common practice on Spanish Colonial pieces). The other mark, I can't make head or tail of, can you describe it?
Hopefully, someone with real knowledge in this area will come along and tell us about it.

Regards, Tom

ttsf
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu May 19, 2005 12:33 am
Location: Ursala Major, Moon

Postby ttsf » Thu May 19, 2005 5:57 pm

Hi Tom:

Thanks for the very informative response. I'll see if my local library has either of the books you mentioned.

As for the other mark, I believe it is a repeat but even less clearly stamped then the other. I see the "T" also but can't make out if the second letter is a C or G. From what you've written, it sounds like these may be owners marks and may not be identifiable.

It is a very nice piece. I couldn't believe my luck finding it.

Thanks again. Tim


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