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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 23

Image Item Secondary Material Maker Type Primary Material Catalog ID ID
Silver and Glass Bracelet Glass Los Ballesteros Bracelet Sterling Silver 11001 25807
Silver Cuff Bracelet Los Ballesteros Bracelet Sterling Silver 11002 25808
Spiral Foliage Necklace Los Ballesteros Necklace Sterling Silver 11003 26344
Abalone Bracelet Abalone Los Ballesteros Bracelet Sterling Silver 11004 26906
Abalone Earrings Abalone Los Ballesteros Earrings Sterling Silver 11005 26907
Purple Agate Flower Pendant Purple Agate Los Ballesteros Necklace Sterling Silver 11006 26934
Linked V Bracelet Los Ballesteros Bracelet Sterling Silver 11007 27911
Sun Face Bracelet Los Ballesteros Bracelet Sterling Silver 11008 27912
Topaz Bracelet Topaz Los Ballesteros Bracelet Sterling Silver 11009 27913
Engraved Bracelet Los Ballesteros Bracelet Sterling Silver 11010 27914
Ripple Cuff Los Ballesteros Bracelet Sterling Silver 11011 27915
Leaves and Circles Bangle Los Ballesteros Bracelet Sterling Silver 11012 27916
Chain X Bracelet Los Ballesteros Bracelet Sterling Silver 11013 27917
Square Spiral Necklace Turquoise Los Ballesteros Necklace Sterling Silver 11014 27918
Onyx Pendant Onyx Los Ballesteros Necklace Sterling Silver 11015 27919
Linked V Necklace Los Ballesteros Necklace Sterling Silver 11016 27920
Oval Chain Necklace Los Ballesteros Necklace Sterling Silver 11017 27921
Three Line Choker Los Ballesteros Necklace Sterling Silver 11018 27922
Water Stream Choker Los Ballesteros Necklace Sterling Silver 11019 27923
Warrior Panel Necklace Los Ballesteros Necklace Sterling Silver 11020 27924
Hanging Turquoise Necklace Turquoise Los Ballesteros Necklace Sterling Silver 11021 27925
Amethyst Engraving Pendant Amethyst Los Ballesteros Necklace Sterling Silver 11022 27926
Linked V Bracelet Los Ballesteros Bracelet Sterling Silver 11023 94081