1980s Mexican Matl Silver Cross w/ Semiprecious Stones:
Latin America, Mexico, ca. 1980s CE. A stunning sterling 95% silver cross inlaid with semiprecious stones inspired by the Mexican artist Matilde Poulat, also known as Matl. This exquisite piece sits on a concave pedestal with wrought silver. The arms are covered with circular and square bezels containing turquoise, amethyst, coral, greenstone, and aventurine stones! Colorful semiprecious stones are included in many of Matl’s works and are a characteristic of pieces made by her workshop after her death in 1960. From the cross beams dangle two repousse angels, and hemispherical suns and rays protrude from the inner top corners. The back is signed “MATL” and includes the makers mark “MATL M REGIS 14-2033 MEXICO 925 MS-12.” A simply glorious piece of both beauty and religious symbolism inspired by Mexican folk art and European Baroque aesthetics. Silver quality: 95%. Size: 5″ L x 2.75″ W x 8.675″ H (12.7 cm x 7 cm x 22 cm)
Matilde Poulet began jewelry making in Mexico City in 1934. Little is known about her early life, and her birthdate is not recorded. She is known for her Baroque inspired pieces made of silver with semi-precious stones. Poulet’s nephew, Ricardo Salas, worked closely with her learning the craft, and continued handmaking jewelry in the Matl style after her death in 1960. Pieces stamped “MS-12” are made after 1980.