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Looking for Antonio Pineda jewelry? Learn about the history, materials used, jewelry marks, and collectible pieces in this guide.
"The richness of silver is immortal. It doesn't die." - Antonio Pineda
Antonio Pineda is one of the most influential and prominent Taxco Modernist Jewelry Designers and silversmiths of the 20th century. His elegant and exceptional silver jewelry and fashion accessories are highly coveted by collectors and command top prices at auctions around the world.
Antonio Pineda Jewelry History
Antonio Pineda Gomez was born on July 19th, 1919, in Taxco, as the third of ten children. In his early years, he developed his artistic skills in painting and sculpting by studying locally in Taxco. As a teenager, he further honed his skills by serving as an apprentice for William Spratling's Taller de las Delicias. In 1941, after gaining experience as a silver craftsman for Los Castillo, he established his own workshop in Taxco where he created jewelry from the 1930s until the 1970s.
While studying at a trade school in Mexico City to enhance his skills, Pineda met Valentin Vidauretta, a well-known silversmith and painter, who helped him develop his unique Modernist style. Pineda's workshop incorporated several innovative touches, such as creative clasps and link styles, into their jewelry. Pineda used .980 silver in his earlier years and .925 silver in later years, but most of his pieces are stamped .970 to indicate their fineness.
In 1946, Pineda received recognition for his work when Richard Gump encouraged him to participate in an exhibition at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. His work was showcased alongside that of Georg Jensen, and Gump's, an upscale store based in the city, was so impressed by Pineda's work that they bought his entire exhibition line. Consequently, Gump's became a consistent retailer of Pineda's work for the next ten years.
Thanks to his incredible success, Pineda expanded his business in 1956 with the opening of a second workshop. This new workshop employed up to 100 skilled silversmiths and added master smiths to his team, encouraging even greater experimentation and pushing the limits of their skills. Pineda credits Bruno Pineda, Rafael "Chino" Ruiz, José María "Chema" Pineda, and Filiberto Gómez for the new levels to which his work and business soared during the 1950s and 1960s.
Pineda's work captured the attention of Hollywood stars like Bette Davis, Rita Hayworth, and Marlene Dietrich, as well as politicians and dignitaries worldwide. Jewelry from Pineda's shop won the Presidential Prize at the Taxco silver fairs in 1953 and 1959.
During the 1980s, Antonio Pineda played a crucial role in establishing the Taxco Museo de la Pateria, a museum dedicated to showcasing the silver culture for which his hometown is renowned. His workshop's creations earned him a solo exhibition titled "Silver Seduction: The Art of Mexican Modernist Antonio Pineda" at the Fowler Museum at UCLA in 2008. The show was accompanied by a published catalog that highlighted the presentation.
Antonio Pineda passed away at the age of 90 in 2009 and was considered one of the most distinguished Mexican silver artists of his time.
Antonio Pineda Jewelry - Identification & Value
The jewelry crafted in Antonio Pineda's workshop is renowned for its superior quality and modern design aesthetic.
If you are looking to invest in Pineda jewelry, the most collectible and valued pieces are collar necklaces and chunky bracelets adorned with gemstones like moonstone, turquoise, sapphire, amethyst, lapis, obsidian, or onyx. If you are lucky enough to come across his matchstick set, you have found a truly valuable item.
For those looking to add Pineda's jewelry pieces to their collection without making a significant investment, several options are available. Keep an eye out for earrings in various styles, such as abstract floral designs, a range of cufflinks, and articulated brooches in his signature fish motif.
If you can't get enough of his fish-themed jewelry, you can find necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and even cufflinks to match. However, be prepared to pay a higher price for some of these items. It's important to note that this style has been widely copied, so if the jewelry you purchase wasn't made in Pineda's workshop and doesn't bear his stamp, it's not an original piece.
Antonio Pineda's jewelry prices vary depending on the item. For example, amethyst bracelets can fetch up to $2000, while vintage earrings are typically priced between $200 and $500. Pieces with gemstones are generally more expensive than those made strictly from silver. Chunky necklaces can range from $3000 and up.
Antonio Pineda Jewelry Marks
- 970 ANTONIO TAXCO
- AP TAXCO 980
- JEWELS BY ANTONIO
- SILVER BY TONO AP MEXICO
- SILVER BY TONO ZR 117
- SILVER MEXICO AP
Antonio Pineda utilized diverse markings on his works, making it a challenge to create a complete list. However, pieces from the early 1940s usually bear the signature "AP". The "Silver by Tono" and "Jewels by Antonio" stamp was used between 1948 and 1953. Other markings, such as the Antonio crown-shaped emblem, were used afterward.
Most Antonio pieces included:
- A design or inventory number.
- The origin of the article (Mexico or Taxco).
- The fineness of the silver (usually .970, but occasionally .980 and .925).
It was not uncommon for Antonio Pineda's marks to be combined with others. One of the most well-known co-brands is Los Castillo. Also, keep an eye out for eagle marks that have numbers on the chest. These marks were initiated by the Mexican government in 1948 to identify the numerous silver workshops throughout the country. However, they can sometimes be mistaken for a bell shape since the stamps are usually tiny.
In addition to the several documented marks that help in dating his work, Antonio Pineda assigned specific characters to indicate different jewelry categories. For instance, he used the letters YY to represent Silver Jewelry Pins and ZZ to denote Bracelets, Rings, etc. However, he only sometimes followed this system. Certain special designs were also marked with extra characters.
Materials Used in Antonio Pineda Jewelry
Antonio Pineda's Jewelry Aesthetic
Antonio Pineda's designs were known for their size and boldness, yet remaining elegant and not overly ornate. Antonio's jewelry was famous for its impeccable fit and comfort. Even the seemingly bulky or stiff geometric necklaces were designed with facets, hinges, or hollows that allowed them to gracefully wrap around the neck or drape elegantly on the décolletage.
Antonio Pineda was distinguished from other jewelers in Taxco by his use of expensive semi-precious stones set with creativity, expertise, and variety. The unique challenge of setting gemstones in silver at high temperatures was only overcome by the most skilled silversmiths. Antonio Pineda could set gems with minimal contact with the metal, resulting in a floating look while still securely holding them in place. Antonio was skilled at embedding stones into his designs, using rows of gems placed closely together to accentuate the structural lines of a piece or cut stones to fit irregular shapes in the design. He often incorporated cultured pearls, large amethyst drops, and onyx into his creations.
Antonio Pineda's designs were crafted with great attention to detail, featuring thick and weighty silver elements designed to provide a tactile experience for the wearer. The thickness of the silver ensured that the jewelry had a substantial weight that could be felt on the skin, adding to the overall impression of quality and craftsmanship. By incorporating these design elements, Antonio was able to create pieces that not only looked beautiful but also felt substantial and luxurious to wear.
Based on my extensive research of Etsy and eBay, I have curated a collection of exquisite jewelry pieces from trustworthy vendors who offer authentic and high-quality items. All of the products listed below are sourced from shops with a history of positive reviews and high-resolution images of maker marks and hallmarks.
Antonio Pineda Zig Zag Chevron Necklace
This stunning necklace is made of 970 silver, weighs176g, and is fully hallmarked. It features solid silver links, a raised center line, outward radiating points, and a box tongue with a ball push button clasp. The necklace is in excellent vintage condition and has a few light marks and scratches from wear.
Antonio Pineda Taxco Geometric Moonstone Bracelet
This Antonio Pineda moonstone bracelet is an exquisite example of modernist design. The angular panels are seamlessly linked, and the oval moonstones match perfectly. The solid sterling silver gives it a quality feel, and it's marked 970, indicating a higher silver content. Made between 1962 and 1963, it's a highly sought-after collector's piece.
Vintage Antonio Pineda Silver Fish Pin
This is a classic silver fish bone brooch by Antonio Pineda, the legendary Mexican silversmith. It has a simple yet sophisticated sculptural design and is marked and guaranteed. The brooch is in excellent vintage condition and has no significant damage or repairs. Makers marks include "Antonio Taxco" and "Mota Tasco" within the famed crown makers mark of Fortino Mota. It also bears the "970" silver purity mark and "3" in the delineated eagle for Taxco between 1948 and 1955.
Vintage Antonio Pineda Silver and Amethyst Modernist Earrings
These vintage silver and amethyst modernist earrings by Antonio Pineda, a renowned Mexican silversmith, are incredibly rare and extraordinary! These earrings were crafted during Pineda's classic Modernist era. The quality craftsmanship and the elegant and sleek design are a testament to why Pineda's work is highly valued today. These earrings are in fantastic vintage condition, adding to their charm and allure.
Vintage Antonio Pineda Silver Cufflinks
These cufflinks are a prime example of Pineda's style. They have a curved rectangular face with silver stripes and recessed lines. They measure approximately 15/16" x 9/16" with a 1/8" depth. One has a crown and "Antonio, Taxco" inside, "Hecho en Mexico" and "970" markings. The other has an eagle with "17" inside and is marked "Silver".
Vintage Antonio Pineda Silver and Opal Ring
Vintage Antonio Pineda Mexican silver ring with split and sectioned opal in size 6 1/2". The ring is marked inside and weighs 14.1 grams, with the top measuring 1 3/16" by 7/8". It's a unique and unusual piece that dates back to the mid-century, making it a quirky and fun addition to any collection.
Antonio Pineda Silver Skeletal Fish Necklace
A circa 1968 .970 silver necklace by Antonio Pineda of Taxco, Mexico. The necklace is designed as a stylized and 3-dimensional sculptural fish skeleton with a tongue and box clasp. The neck size is 16 1/2 inches, and is fully marked. It is in excellent condition and boasts remarkable design and construction. This necklace was showcased in the 2008 Antonio Pineda exhibition at the UCLA Fowler Museum.
Antonio Pineda Silver Onyx Bracelet
This bracelet is made of sterling silver and features crescent-shaped black onyx inlaid in large sterling pieces that are linked together for flexibility. It is a very unique piece of jewelry that is secured with a box clasp and safety chain. The bracelet measures 7 inches in length and 1 inch in width. The mark on the bracelet is very early and reads "Jewels by Antonio," which was used from 1949-1953. The item number is ZZ272.
Antonio Pineda's jewelry pieces are highly sought after and are expected to remain so for a long time. Investing in Pineda jewelry is a wise decision as its value is predicted to increase beyond its intrinsic precious metal worth. Pineda's designs are usually one-of-a-kind and invaluable, taking inspiration from genuine Mexican history and folklore but with a unique Modernist edge.
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Happy Vintage Hunting!