This is a stunning and rare vintage Mexican Blue Crab bowl or coin tray signed by the artist. The Hallmark has Tlaquepaque Cobre, Mexico, with the letter B in the middle. It is made from copper and brass, and has inlaid abalone shell or mother of pearl. It measures approximately 10 inches long from back leg to back leg and 6 inches from the back fins to the claws. It stands 1 1/2 inches high. It weighs 1 pound 2.3 ounces.
The name Tlaquepaque means "place above clay land" and the area is famous for its pottery and blown glass. The town of Santa Clara del Cobre is in Michoacan, It is known for it's copper artisans. All of the work is made by hand in century-old methods and it produces almost all of the beautiful copper pieces that are sold in Mexico. There is a similar piece for sale on a site that carries Mexican Mixed Metals. They are asking close to $400.
This crab is a marvelous design with wonderful color variations and a fabulous patina; it has been polished to a bright finish on the backside. It is a beautifully handcrafted, one of a kind, copper art creation. It is in very good vintage condition, with just a few little tarnished areas and cracks in the Abalone. I did not want to try cleaning this piece. I have taken close up pictures of the claws so you can see the placement and condition of the abalone shell. The left claw near the body has a dark spot where the Abalone was not placed up against the brass. Please look at the claws carefully, I think several of the cracks are actually from how the shell was placed into the claws.
This would look great on a dresser to hold coins or keys or as a nut dish for your next seafood dinner party or a place of honor in the kitchen or dining room. What a great gift for anyone who enjoys the Maryland Blue Crabs and crabbing. It is a truly unique piece of artwork.
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