Recycled 200 year old silver shilling
Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is an ancient Aztec celebration some believe dates back over 3000 years. Today it is a fabulous Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died.
A calaca is a figure of a skull or skeleton (usually human) commonly used for decoration during the Mexican Day of the Dead festival, although they are made all year round. Tracing their origins from Aztec imagery, calacas are frequently shown with marigold flowers and foliage. As with other aspects of the Day of the Dead festival, calacas are generally depicted as joyous rather than mournful figures. They are often shown wearing festive clothing, dancing, and playing musical instruments to indicate a happy afterlife. This draws on the Mexican belief that no dead soul likes to be thought of sadly, and that death should be a joyous occasion. This goes back to Aztec beliefs, one of the few traditions to remain after the Spanish conquest.
Calacas used in the festival include carved skull masks worn by revelers, small figures made out of carved wood or fired clay, and sweet treats in the form of skulls or skeletons. Calacas are sometimes made of wood, stone, or even candy. In this case a recycled almost 200 year old silver shilling coin!
It is difficult to cut and engrave because it is a tough metal and the space is small at only 24 mm diameter working area. Each one of these pendants is handmade from a silver shilling coin. Using a marker pen a quick inspired sketch is dropped on to the surface of the silver shilling. I then meticulously carve away the design with a traditional hand engraving tool and cut details using a traditional jewellers saw. Once the details are cut the pendant is given an extremely bright polishing which really brings the coin to life.
As I handcut each coin individually to order every one is completely unique and unusual. They look and feel special. The centre of the flower is a piece of 24ct gold inlaid into the silver. Handmade and recycled in Cambridge, England.
Handcrafted and recycled in Cambridge, UK.
Size : Approx 24 mm diameter