Tuesday, April 14, 2009

BARGAIN SILVER JEWELRY

Siam Sterling Modernist silver jewelry is hot, especially Mexican pieces by William Spratling and American pieces by Art Smith. But prices are getting high, so some collectors are searching for Siam jewelry, the tourist jewelry made in Thailand in the 1960s and later. Pieces are usually silver with black enamel decorations of Siamese gods, boats, and other traditional designs. Also starting to attract interest is midcentury silver jewelry from Peru, especially pieces by Graziella Laffi. The Peruvian jewelry designs are based on pre-Columbian art. To find out more about what's hot, subscribe to Kovels on Antiques and Collectibles, Kovels' monthly newsletter on collecting, now in its 35th year.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

this is NOT enamel, it's called Niello. I am a metalsmth, and I have a bracelet like this.
Thanks.
hammerstonemetal@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I have several pieces with the design on the bracelet in the picture. They are marked Siam. My father gave them to my mother. He bought them when he was serving in the Korean War--I guess on his way home.

Anonymous said...

To quote Wikipedia: "The country's official name was Siam (Thai: สยาม; IPA: [saˈjaːm], RTGS: Sayam) until June 23, 1939,[4] when it was changed to Thailand. It was renamed Siam from 1945 to May 11, 1949, after which it was again renamed Thailand." This contradicts your statement about when this jewelry was produced.

Joyce Chapman said...

The Siam black jewelry is not enamel or niello - it is anodized. They did make enamel jewelry, but in colors. All of the black jewelry is anodized silver. joyce@unusual1.com

Anonymous said...

Same thing as one of the anonymous...some of these were made in the 1950's as my Dad also brought several pieces home after serving in Korea.

zvicki said...

I just wanted to point out that the Thai/Siam jewelry is much older than the 1960's. My Uncle who served in WWII broght a piece of this back for my Mother in the 1940's. I still have that piece and have colleted others to match it. Vicki H.- Michigan

Mage Alnutt said...

I have a butterfly pin that say Siam Sterling on the back. the front has blue on it not black and dancing girls. Does anyone know how old it is?

Anonymous said...

Re: Peru- In Lima 30 yrs ago- my daughter & I found a small silversmith shop behind the historic Bolivar Hotel. Owner sold beautiful piees, sterling with enamel in bright colors- I still wear a pin of an extinct bird. I brought many home for family and office crew. Very reasonable. We had tea in lobby of the Bolivar- a grand tradition

Anonymous said...

I just purchased a bracelet similar to this at an auction in San Diego, CA, 3 weeks ago for $50. Its construction consists of 8 panels with intricate engraving of dancers on a fan motif with filigree-type trim. the design is engraved in the sterling on a greyish-blue field. It came in its original box, bottom is flannel or felt-lined, and inside the lid reads "by appointment to HM the King Thai Nakon silverware & niellow Bangkok Siam". I was quite taken with it at the time, never having seen nor heard of these before, but am now beside myself at seeing a similar item featured in the newsletter!!!

Anonymous said...

I have bracelet and earrings of this"Siamese silver" which I purchased in the military post exchange in Germany in the late 1950s. We called it oxidized silver.

Anonymous said...

I have an extremely elaborate 4 piece set that belonged to my Mother. Until now I knew littl about it. The set consists of a belt, necklace, bracelet, broach. Each piece is made up of graduating sized discs, ornate carvings along with scroll edging. The back of each piece is stamped Siam Sterling. Even if it is "bargin silver" it is extremely beautiful and I am glad to have it.

Billy James said...

I don't have that much knowledge about it But I would like to say that this is really a Antique and beautiful..
Thanks.

Hammer Stone Metal Art Jewelry said...

You can not anodize silver, that is a process used for aluminum. It is niello, I know for sure and another comment said so as well. Oxidized silver is not nieloo either. Different cultures had thier own techniques and even alloys that they would "name", but process is another story.