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Mexican Silver

Jewelry and Metalwork from Taxco, Mexico

Silversmithing has been practiced for centuries in Mexico. Historically speaking, the Navajo of the Southwestern United States learned their trade from Mexicans. Interestingly enough, an American named William Spratling took the craft to entirely new level. He did this in 1931, when he established a retail outlet for Mexican jewelry near the silver-mining center of Taxco.

Spratling and his contemporaries borrowed liberally from pre-Columbian imagery for their designs. They found some designs on Mexico’s pyramids and lifted others from the 14th-century symbols that fill the Codex Zouche-Nuttal. Essentially, this made it "open-source material." It shouldn’t be too surprising that these shops succeeded and borrowed liberally from one-another.

Some competitors were actively encouraged. The Taxco School, as it is known today, was formed largely from former Spratling employees such as the Castillo brothers, Héctor Aguilar, Antonio Pineda, and Valentin Viadurreta, who brought a Mexican eye to Art Deco. Naturally, these artisans and their shops became incubators for still more generations of silversmiths.


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Total items in collection: 408. Total items on page 36

Image Item Secondary Material Maker Type Primary Material Catalog ID ID
S Curve Brooch Obsidian Fred Davis Brooch Sterling Silver 4001 32652
Onyx Cabochon Bracelet Obsidian Fred Davis Bracelet Sterling Silver 4002 32653
Chevron Necklace (Amethyst) Amethyst Fred Davis Necklace Sterling Silver 4003 32742
Chevron Bracelet (Amethyst) Amethyst Fred Davis Bracelet Sterling Silver 4004 32743
Four Layer Link Bracelet Fred Davis Bracelet Sterling Silver 4005 32744
Beads and Bars Amethyst Bracelet Amethyst Fred Davis Bracelet Sterling Silver 4006 32745
Wings Necklace Amethyst Fred Davis Necklace Sterling Silver 4007 32746
Wings Bracelet Amethyst Fred Davis Bracelet Sterling Silver 4008 32747
Shields and Cabochons Necklace Amethyst Fred Davis Necklace Spratling Silver (980) 4009 32781
Bear Claw Bracelet Fred Davis Bracelet Sterling Silver 4010 32782
Tree Brooch Opals Fred Davis Brooch Dark Silver (Silver, Nickel and Brass) 4011 32783
Gill Cuff Fred Davis Bracelet Sterling Silver 4012 32784
Palm Brooch Fred Davis Brooch Sterling Silver 4013 80186
Sombrero Man Brooch Fred Davis Brooch Sterling Silver 4014 80185
Leaf and Tulips Brooch Amethyst Fred Davis Brooch Sterling Silver 4015 80187
Guitar Man Earrings Fred Davis Earrings Sterling Silver 4016 80188
Onyx Masks Necklace Onyx Fred Davis Necklace Sterling Silver 4017 80189
Leaves and Tulip Brooch Amethyst Fred Davis Brooch Sterling Silver 4018 80190
Amethyst Lens Bracelet Amethyst Fred Davis Bracelet Sterling Silver 4019 80191
Amethyst Cabochon Bracelet Amethyst Fred Davis Bracelet Sterling Silver 4020 80192
Three Layer Link Bracelet Fred Davis Bracelet Sterling Silver 4021 80193
Guitar Man Brooch Fred Davis Brooch Sterling Silver 4022 80194
Amethyst Sun Brooch Amethyst Fred Davis Brooch Sterling Silver 4023 80195
Dove Brooch Fred Davis Brooch Sterling Silver 4024 80196
Bow Brooch Amethyst Fred Davis Brooch Sterling Silver 4025 80197
Amethyst Flower Pendant Amethyst Fred Davis Necklace Sterling Silver 4026 80198
Onyx Shield Necklace Onyx Fred Davis Necklace Sterling Silver 4027 80199
Malachite Mask Necklace Malachite Fred Davis Necklace Sterling Silver 4028 80200
Amethyst Cabochon Earrings Amethyst Fred Davis Earrings Sterling Silver 4029 80201
Concho Link Bracelet Turquoise Fred Davis Bracelet Sterling Silver 4030 80202
Amethyst Plates Triple Bracelet Amethyst Fred Davis Bracelet Sterling Silver 4031 80203
Beads and Bars Turquoise Bracelet Turquoise Fred Davis Bracelet Sterling Silver 4032 80204
Amethyst Plates Single Bracelet Amethyst Fred Davis Bracelet Sterling Silver 4033 80205
Chevron Bracelet Fred Davis Bracelet Sterling Silver 4034 80254
Linked Amethyst Bracelet Amethyst Fred Davis Bracelet Sterling Silver 4035 80255
Chevron Earrings (Amethyst) Amethyst Fred Davis Necklace Sterling Silver 4036 80256