Saturday, April 10, 2010

William Spratling & the Taxco Silver School

William Spratling was an American architect by training who re-invented the Mexican silver jewelry business back in the 1930s.  His architectural background, appreciation for the history of Taxco and pre-Columbian art, along with his business acumen helped him to successfully establish a silver business.  He built his design studio in Taxco, a silver mining town in Mexico that had never established itself as a silver manufacturing center.  All that changed as silversmiths and artists joined the movement and Taxco became the heart of modern Mexican silver design and manufacturing.  Spratling has been proclaimed the Father of Contemporary Mexican Silver.

His designs  are both modern and ancient.  It is easy to see the influence of art deco and modernism that is applied to pre-Columbian imagery in Spratling's designs.  Here are three 1940s Spratling silver pieces that we have at Vintages.

The designs from the Taxco School have continued in the Spratling tradition right up to today.  We have many Mexican silver pieces available, including Francisco Torres, Erika Hult de Corral, Sigi Pineda, and others.  Many of these can be found in our online antiques shop.

The Taxco School did not limit itself to silver or even jewelry.  Designs crafted in a variety of metals  stone and wood were all part of the design output.  Spratling and his followers produced a wide variety of items from jewelry to boxes, dinner ware, serving pieces, household specialties and whimsical toys.  Here's a few that we have in stock.

For more information on William Spratling go to these informational sites: and

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