Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hubert Harmon

I was trolling the internet and found this info on Hubert Harmon on the DECOTINI website...she really dug around to get it. He is one of the least known you go:

Hubert Harmon

There is so little known about Hubert Harmon, that I decided to do some digging, much in the same way I do my genealogical research. It paid off, as I discovered a grainy newspaper photograph of Hubert and Louise Harmon, taken just 5 days after their wedding. I also pieced together the following information:

BIO: Hubert Pickering Harmon, Jr. was born around 1910 and enjoyed a privileged childhood in Highland Park, Illinois. His father, Hubert Harmon, Sr., was the president of a Chicago Coal Company. His great Uncle (Hubert Pickering) was a student of Homer Winslow.

Prior to his marriage in 1940,he lived abroad, designing fashions in Paris and London. His design work then took him to New York.

He was married Jan 2, 1940 in Greenwich, Ct. to a woman named Mrs. Louise (de Mocher) Frazier. They resided at 51 E 51st in NYC.

I found a couple of 1951 Chicago Newspaper gossip columns, which give us some clues as to his whereabouts and activities. These little tidbits of news give us a clue as to the possible date of his Poodlemania Atlas plates and glasses.

April of 1951
[currently living on the French Riviera] A leather belt designed by Hubert Harmon popped up among highly touted accessories in the current issue of a fashion magazine, indicating he is continuing the work he and Mrs. Harmon started when they lived in Mexico and designed silver and leather goods.

December of 1951
Hubert Harmon will have an exhibit of poodle paintings in a NYC gallery soon. When previously heard from, Mr. Harmon and his wife were living in Mexico and designing in silver, then living on the French Riviera.

Hubert Harmon items are rare, as he was in Taxco for a few short years during the early 1940s. Unlike his fellow American jewelry artists in Taxco at the time (Spratling and Margot) , his aesthetic was one of whimsy, not one heavily influenced by the Mexican culture.

We have included Maya pieces which pay homage to Hubert Harmon designs. Not much is known about Maya at this time.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Miguel Covarrubias

You know I love his Patzcuaro design...So I came across this pic of him = Doesnt he look angry?

Here is his self portrait as an Olmec = he still looks angry doesnt he?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Patzcuaro 'Silvertone' Brooch

This just popped up on ebay by the seller addieryta who sells lotsa mexican and taxco jewelrey. I thought this was of interest for 2 resons.
1) Its silvertone. What exactly is silvertone? Well, I can tell you what its not: Sterling. Most likely its a pot metal.
2) Its a Patzcuaro Miguel Covarrubias design which you know I really like.
I never considered 'silvertone' metals for such an iconic Patzcuaro piece. I guess this seller didnt want to go the xtra mile for sterling :(

Here is a pic of the back silvertone.

Opening bid is at $9.99 which is a good price for silvertone Patzcuaro.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

My Haunted Necklace

So I got this Antonio necklace off eBay - marks are good, its a nice design. After I get it in the mail I notice it stinks...I mean really, it stinks!

I checked the description again to see if there is anything about smell and email the seller. I want to know if this necklace came from a smokers home or owned pets or what cuz it smells. The seller says, no, that its from the daugher who was disposing of her moms estate. So I explain to the seller that after scrubbing it and soaking it, the thing still stinks.

So, I take it to my jeweler - I put it on the counter and ask him to ck for sterling content and see if he can get the smell out....He doesnt smell it but his assistant does. She exclaims "It smells like something crawled in there and...yuck" yeah, smells like something crawled in there and died.

The links are wonderfully crafted - no holes or other openings that some foreign bug could crawl in and die. So how is that even possible?

Anyway, my jeweler doesnt smell it he just gingerly touches it and says he would have it looked at and let me know about the silver content and see if they can use the sonic cleaner to get the smell out.

OK so a week goes by - I call my jeweler and ask about my necklace. His assistant answers the phone and says 'oh, wait, let me pass the phone'. My jewler says there is good news and bad news.
The good news is that the necklace is sterling.
The bad news is they cant get the smell out...and there is worse news.
The smell, he says, is decomposition.
I'm confused.
Decomposition. What does that mean?

He goes on to explain that the another jeweler that looked at it said that his wife worked at the coroners office and that the smell on the necklace came from a dead person - which the necklace had been on for some time...hence the smell.

OMG! No wonder the smell was awful!

OK, so now I have a necklace that someone loved so much that they were buried in it. And someone was so greedy that they desecrated their resting place, ripped off their necklace and sold it, so that it ends up in my house...
Like I dont have enough issues in my own home....

OK. so now what?!

I think I would be upset if I was buried in my favorite necklace only to have it ripped off my neck by some greedy lowlife.

I consult with my daughter and we come from a culture where we do believe in sprits. My sister also has some training is folk healing and shaman type stuff.
So, after some discussion, we decide that incense and prayer is the way to go - for two reasons:
First, the seller isn't inclined to take back the necklace back and return my $$.
Second, I really like it and would like to keep it, if it doesnt stink.

Its been 14 hours since the prayers and incense. I can tell you that it smells sweet, just like sterling is supposed to (well, it does to me). The stench is gone and I hope the spirit has found some peace in that it has a good home with someone that loves it....

I may never wear it. I have been buying sterling jewelry for over 40 years....mexican for over 30. I have never, never seen or smelled anything like this. It is so freaky. I asked my jeweler if he had seen or smelled anything like this and he said 'never' and chuckled.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Patzcuaro - Yeah Patzcuaro not From La Loteria

The seller of these super fun earrings note that they are by a new and upcoming designer 'with his own vision' from Lake Patzcuaro. Clearly not the traditional fish jewelry that's usually from Patzcuaro...I loved these! The are so La Loteria El Diablo - and it looks like she is just nagging him well into hell.