We have over 200 pins and brooches in the collection, only a small part of a very extensive jewelry and personal adornment sub-collection.
One particularly interesting brooch is a purple and white enamel design set in sterling silver. It was designed by Margot van Voorhies Carr, professionally known as Margot de Taxco. She was a major contributor to the success of Taxco silver, attaining worldwide attention.
Taxco de Alarcón (usually referred to as simply “Taxco”) is a small city and administrative center of a Taxco de Alarcón Municipality
located in the Mexican state of Guerrero. The city is heavily associated with silver, both with the mining of it and other metals and for the crafting of it into jewelry, silverware and other items. Silversmithing was reinvigorated by American William Spratling, who moved to Taxco in the 1920s, creating silver design workshops and exported items, mostly to the United States. With its fame for silversmithing, tourism became a major economic force for the town.
Margot first came to Mexico in 1937 and soon met and married Antonio Castillo of Los Castillo, a silver design and manufacturing enterprise formed by Antonio and his three brothers. Castillo had trained under William Spratling. During her time with Antonio, he encouraged her to translate her designs from paper (primarily watercolors and sketches) to three-dimensional forms in silver. After divorcing Antonio in 1948, Margot struck out on her own with a business card that read, “As the stars are to the Night, So are Jewels to the Woman”. Margot is most famous for her works in enamels on silver and her devotion to Art Deco, Mayan and Japanese-inspired motifs. Her clients included such Hollywood celebrities as John Wayne and Lana Turner, who visited Margot’s Taxco silver shop every year. Margot’s enamel work is highly collectible today due to the hand firing and delicacy required to work with enamel, some selling in the hundreds of dollars for single pieces and into the thousands for entire collections. Margot’s shop closed in 1978 and she passed away in 1985.
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