Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Lure of Mexican Silver

Ever since the Spanish conquistadors introduced metalsmithing to the Americas, the art of working the precious silver mines of Mexico have provided a lucrative craft.

But it wasn’t until a young designer named William Spratling -- artist, silversmith, and great visionary -- did Mexican silver receive its long due artistic recognition and respect, as well as cater to the wealthy tastes of the upwardly mobile and socially important trend setters of the period.

Spratling’s simple shop or Taller, opened in the once sleepy Mexican town of Taxco back in 1931, helped develop the many popular Silver Masters and techniques so highly prized today, surviving well into the wartime years and into the ever popular Mid-Century exploration of geo, abstract, and tribal designs.

Here are some of my favorite Mexican jewelry pieces from the Metro Retro Vintage shop, which exhibit excellence, and at times whimsy, in both craftsmanship and design.

Margot de Taxco Sterling & Enamel Dove Brooch

Chunky Sterling Silver & Amethyst Taxco Bracelet

Jose Federico Sterling & Guilloche Enameled Frog Brooch

Antonio Pineda 970 Silver & Pearls Modernist Cuff Bracelet

Mexican Sterling Love Bird Brooch 

Margot de Taxco Champleve Enameled Bracelet