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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 52

Image Item Secondary Material Maker Type Primary Material Catalog ID ID
Jaguar Brooch Amethyst Spratling Brooch Sterling Silver 1001 25794
Sterling Silver Box Spratling Box Sterling Silver 1002 25795
Condiment Salts Rosewood Spratling Tableware Sterling Silver 1003 25796
Artesanos Flatware Rosewood Spratling Flatware Sterling Silver 1004 25797
Hands Necklace Azur Malachite Spratling Necklace Sterling Silver 1005 25804
Halo of the Virgin Necklace Spratling Necklace Sterling Silver 1006 25803
Pillows Bracelet Spratling Bracelet Spratling Silver (980) 1007 25811
Vindobonensis Bracelet (Type 1) Spratling Bracelet Spratling Silver (980) 1008 25809
Double Bamboo Bracelet Spratling Bracelet Spratling Silver (980) 1009 25810
Silver Amethyst Pill Box Necklace Amethyst Spratling Necklace Sterling Silver 1010 25812
Petate Bracelet Spratling Bracelet Sterling Silver 1011 25805
Rosewood Moon Necklace Rosewood Spratling Necklace Sterling Silver 1012 26402
Silver and Rosewood Bead Necklace Rosewood Spratling Necklace Sterling Silver 1013 26403
Dome Ring Spratling Ring Spratling Silver (980) 1014 26405
Teardrop Necklace Spratling Necklace Spratling Silver (980) 1015 31293
Feathered Eagle Pendant Spratling Necklace Spratling Silver (980) 1016 31305
X and O Bracelet Spratling Bracelet Spratling Silver (980) 1017 31316
Twin Birds Necklace Spratling Necklace Spratling Silver (980) 1018 31317
Conch Brooch Spratling Brooch Spratling Silver (980) 1019 31318
Mermaid Brooch Amethyst Spratling Brooch Sterling Silver 1020 32592
Mayan Cross Necklace Spratling Necklace Sterling Silver 1021 32593
Hands Buckle Tortoise Shell Spratling Buckle Sterling Silver 1022 32594
Mask Pin Spratling Brooch Spratling Silver (980) 1023 32595
Eyes Buckle Malachite Spratling Buckle Spratling Silver (980) 1024 32596
Birds Brooch Amethyst Spratling Brooch Spratling Silver (980) 1026 32597
Monkey Brooch Spratling Brooch Spratling Silver (980) 1027 32598
Guitar Brooch Amethyst Spratling Brooch Spratling Silver (980) 1028 32599
Star Necklace Abalone Spratling Necklace Spratling Silver (980) 1029 32600
Caviar Bracelet Turquoise Spratling Necklace Spratling Silver (980) 1030 32601
Cholula Bracelet Spratling Necklace Spratling Silver (980) 1031 32602
Ribbon and Bead Earrings Spratling Earrings Spratling Silver (980) 1032 32603
Arrow Brooch Amethyst Spratling Brooch Spratling Silver (980) 1033 32604
Fish Earrings Spratling Earrings Sterling Silver 1033 80206
River of Life Bracelet Spratling Bracelet Spratling Silver (980) 1034 32605
Pyramids Bracelet Rosewood Spratling Bracelet Spratling Silver (980) 1035 32606
Fish Earrings Abalone Spratling Earrings Sterling Silver 1036 80207
Abalone Waves Necklace Abalone Spratling Necklace Spratling Silver (980) 1037 80208
Fish Pin Abalone Spratling Brooch Spratling Silver (980) 1038 80209
Jade Star Necklace Jade Spratling Necklace Gold 1039 80210
Jade Block Earrings Jade Spratling Earrings Gold 1040 80211
Jasper and Gilt Necklace Jasper Spratling Necklace Sterling Silver 1041 80213
Jade Swirl Pin Jade Spratling Brooch Spratling Silver (980) 1042 80212
Agate Swirl Pin Agate Spratling Brooch Spratling Silver (980) 1043 80214
Owl Bracelet Spratling Bracelet Spratling Silver (980) 1044 80215
Amethyst Owl Bracelet Amethyst Spratling Bracelet Spratling Silver (980) 1045 80216
Amethyst Rope Bracelet Amethyst Spratling Bracelet Spratling Silver (980) 1046 80217
Amethyst Bee Pin Amethyst Spratling Brooch Sterling Silver 1047 80219
Amethyst Bee Earrings Amethyst Spratling Earrings Sterling Silver 1048 80218
Turquoise Crossover Ring Turquoise Spratling Ring Sterling Silver 1049 80232
Amethyst Cabochon Ring Amethyst Spratling Ring Sterling Silver 1050 80233
Green Mask Ring Jade Spratling Ring Gold 1051 94507
Green Band Ring Jade Spratling Ring Gold 1052 94509