William Spratling. Carved Tortoise Shell Jaguar Pin Jaguar. Taxco, Guerrero. Mexico.
William Spratling. Carved Tortoise Shell Jaguar Pin Jaguar. Taxco, Guerrero. Mexico. Vintage Piece.
Sterling Silver and Tortoise Shell. Size: 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches.
In 1926, a young associate professor of architecture, William Spratling, went to Taxco, a pretty colonial town in the mountains of Guerrero state between Mexico City and Acapulco, to study its Baroque architecture. In the wake of a bloody revolution that had raged for a decade between 1910 and 1920, Mexico was ready to embrace renewal: the artists and artisans of the newly democratized nation were inspired to reexamine their national identity and cultural traditions. As an architecture professor and artist, Spratling was fascinated by pre-Colombian and Aztec art, and used it as inspiration for his silver jewelry designs. As Spratling and his jewelry became more and more successful, he started teaching local aspiring silver designers how to produce his designs. He even created an apprenticeship program for local aspiring jewelry makers. His influence on the community and his love for traditional Mexican designs earned him the nickname El Padre de la Plata de México “The Father of Mexican Silver”.