Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sterling Marked Macie

 

My skills at photography are pretty poor and I lack the ability and camera at this moment to show great detail. This is one of the reasons why there are not better pictures of the gobs of flatware that I bring in and process. I just cannot get close enough to really show the extraordinary detail of some of them. This piece is one of those times where the camera has utterly failed to capture its beauty. 

I was talking to one of my favourite dealers at the local flea market, she usually has silver on hand and knows a bit about it. I had poked around on her table and there was nothing of real interest and on a whim I asked her if she had anything else. She reached in a box and pulled out this little thing. Its about the size of the palm of my hand, about half a dollars length. It was clear that it was sterling (from the mark on the back) and was stamped MACIE. The best part was that you could tell that it had been hand hammered. the hammer strikes are all over the piece but not purposely.  This is a piece you can tell that has been made by someone still learning the craft but getting better and better at it.

Every other little dip on the rim has a hand chased figure in remarkable detail. There are some worms with leaves, a small bird like a sparrow, a flower, a butterfly, some grapes, and a larger bird like a duck. Around the rim on the underside there is geometric chasing. The style looked Mexican thought there are no marks to that effect. The best I could track down was a really shaky report of a Macie silversmith in Mexico but with some pieces it may take years to know or you may never. Unfortunately this picture can not really do this piece justice. I got it for a song, and it is small but it already has a nice place in the display cabinet. Unlike a lot of my silver that is an industrial product and is beautiful for being a beautiful industrial product. This is a beautiful piece of silver made by someone moving towards mastery of an ancient craft.

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