Antique 19th century, South American 800 silver yerba mate and Bombilla Straw

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Antique 19th century, South American 800 silver yerba mate and Bombilla Straw. Flower decoration with gold applied.

The bombilla, marked Argentina silvered 925, maybe early 20th century.

Size 13 x 7 cm

Wight matte with out bombilla 93 gr.

From the 17th century onwards, the highest strata of viceregal Peru summoned renowned goldsmiths for the production of mates, bulbs, kettles, yerberas and other exclusive accoutrements for the consumption of yerba mate that came from Paraguay.

As the cities of America grow, wealthy families live in greater comfort and surround themselves with luxury items that were previously reserved for the viceroy and high officials. In the 18th century, the most important center of consumption of yerba mate was Peru. The pumpkin mate begins to be covered with silver and the utensils necessary for its consumption are carved from the same metal: bulbs, kettles, sugar bowls, pots, spoons, etc.

Spanish artisans decorated the silverware pieces with the styles and techniques of the rich civil and religious goldsmithing of the peninsula. Indigenous decorative motifs appear on some carved gourds and correspond to the ancient Peruvian art of carved and pyrography mates.

Portuguese artisans were prohibited from setting up workshops in the viceregal cities of the Spanish crown. Despite this, the influences of the styles with which silver and gold were worked in the 18th century have European styles from which the bombast of the Baroque and the asymmetry of the Rococo come from, from Hispanic and Portuguese influences.

Until the first half of the 19th century, the pieces were completely handmade. Then come mechanical advances thanks to the industrial revolution that brought the invention of hydraulic and steam machines that allow the development of die-cutting, stamping, laminating, polishing and enameling that manage to lower manufacturing costs. The goldsmiths' workshops evolve and many of them incorporate the jewelry sector.