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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 22

Image Item Secondary Material Maker Type Primary Material Catalog ID ID
Yellow And Black Ribbon Earings Enamel Miguel Arias Earrings Sterling Silver 8001 25799
Linked Shield Enamel Necklace Enamel Miguel Arias Necklace Sterling Silver 8002 26909
Black and Yellow Necklace Enamel Miguel Arias Necklace Sterling Silver 8003 26910
Black and Yellow Bracelet Enamel Miguel Arias Bracelet Sterling Silver 8004 26911
Sombrero Pin Enamel Miguel Arias Brooch Sterling Silver 8005 26912
Flowers and Leaves Necklace Enamel Miguel Arias Necklace Sterling Silver 8006 26913
Flowers and Leaves Bracelet Enamel Miguel Arias Bracelet Sterling Silver 8007 26914
Flowers and Leaves Earrings Enamel Miguel Arias Earrings Sterling Silver 8008 26915
Curved Swirl Brooch Miguel Arias Brooch Sterling Silver 8009 26916
Blue Wreath Bracelet Enamel Miguel Arias Bracelet Sterling Silver 8010 89258
Dichroic Glass Ring Glass Miguel Arias Ring Sterling Silver 8011 89259
Veined Leaf Bracelet Enamel Miguel Arias Bracelet Sterling Silver 8012 89260
Blue Wreath Necklace Enamel Miguel Arias Necklace Sterling Silver 8013 89261
Blue Wing Earrings Enamel Miguel Arias Earrings Sterling Silver 8014 89262
Blue Leaf Earrings Enamel Miguel Arias Earrings Sterling Silver 8015 89263
Veined Leaf Necklace Enamel Miguel Arias Necklace Sterling Silver 8016 89264
Cat Earrings Enamel Miguel Arias Earrings Sterling Silver 8017 89265
Yellow And Black Ribbon Bracelet Enamel Miguel Arias Bracelet Sterling Silver 8018 89266
Yellow And Black Ribbon Necklace Enamel Miguel Arias Necklace Sterling Silver 8019 89267
Curved Swirl Earrings Miguel Arias Earrings Sterling Silver 8020 94078
Blue Wreath Earrings Enamel Miguel Arias Earrings Sterling Silver 8021 94079
Butterfly Brooch Enamel Miguel Arias Brooch Sterling Silver 8022 94080