Mexican Artists of Taxco, Mexico
Artist Hector Aguilar
Before establishing himself as a well respected artisan and silversmith in his own right and starting Taller Borda where hundreds of silversmiths and artists were trained, Aguilar managed William Spratling’s Taller Las Delicias.
The store, owned by former Taller de las Delicias manager, Pedro Perez, which became one of the largest retail outlets for Mexican Silver in the 1950s and 60s. Because of the store’s fame and large following, even silver designers outside of Taxco, unusually, chose to place their jewels and hollowware for purchase, in Rancho Alegre. Some of the known platerias that sold to Rancho Alegre were the Plateria de la Cerna, Plateria del Recreo, Plateria mantilla, and Plateria Milton.
Artist Manuel Altamirano
Altamirano worked for Valentin Vidaurreta, and was given permission from him to produce certain pieces with his own hallmark. Altamirano worked with Hector Aguilar and Ana Brilanti,(taller Victoria) having a reputation among his peers as a very fine designer and silversmith
Taller Los Ballesteros
Los Ballesteros, Famed Taller founded by Jalil Majul Ballesteros in Iguala in 1937. The family business moved to Taxco and set up shop in 1941 thus growing into a successful retail shop and manufacturer. Interesting to note that most of the jewelry was made off site, in various Taxco family homes around the kitchen table.
Los Castillo is the legendary, first family of Taxco. Don Antonio Castillo, the founding father, originally had a brief stint with William Spratling and then managed his own Taller, Los Castillo.
Artist Antonio Castillo
Don Antonio Castillo leading his brothers Justo “Coco”, Jorge “Chato” and Miguel, opened their own Taller, in conjunction with Antonio’s wife, Margot de Taxco and his cousin Salvador Teran. Although like most Tasconians they all began the study of their craft under the guidance of William Spratling around 1939. They later left Spratling’s guidance amiably making a pact with Spratling that they would not reproduce his designs. They were thus forced to find another way.. They proved, through ambitious experimentation, to find their own unique style succeedingly well. They created pieces embodied with energy and depth carrying this fundamental design philosophy throughout all their works, including their “married metals”
Artist Carlos Castillo
Artist Damasco Chato Castillo
Artist Eduardo Castillo
Artist Emilla Castillo
Daughter of Don Antonio Castillo and Margot de Taxco, whom carries on the tradition of great skill and craftsmanship, just like her famous father and mother.
Artist Fulgencio Castillo
Fulgencio Castillo was a member of the family who created Los Castillo, Fulgencio started his career at Hector Aguilar’s Taller Borda and then starting in 1955 was employed by Antonio Pineda.
Artist Jorge Castillo
Brother of Antonio
Artist Justo Coco Castillo
Brother of Antonio
Artist Lilly Castillo
Don Antonio’s Daughter whom now runs Los Castillo
Artist Pedro Castillo Gallegos
Artist Reveriano Castillo
Reveriano started at William Spratling’s Las Delicias, then worked at the Taller Borda with Hector Aguilar before opening his own shop, named Reveri in 1952, with his wife Maria. The taller was sold in 1989.
Artist TONO- Tono Castillo
Artist Wolmar- Tito Castillo
Son of Don Antonio Castillo
Conquistador Largest Silver Factory in Mexico
Artist Frederick- Fred Davis
Fred Davis was one of the key leaders in the Taxco Silver movement, beginning in the 1930’s. Davis started with a shop in Mexico City and then managed the fine art and folk art for Sanborns. This love of Mexican folk art helped him amass a large and diverse collection, which of course inspired many ideas for his beautiful jewelry designs; some of which he created and many other commissioned to the greats such as Spratling, Vidaurreta and others.
Artist Raphael Dominguez
Raphael opened his own shop in the early 1940’s, but first gained his apprenticeship from his father a “pre-Spratling,” early Taxco silversmith himself. Rafael also learned from the Maestros Mondragon and Navarrete as well as Spratling.
Artist Gabriel Flores
Artist Pancho Galindo
Artist Damaso Gallegos
Artist Bernice Godspeed
Artist Hubert Harmon
Harmon’s timeless sense of humor transcends thru his whimsical designs. Harmon’s design period was only from 1943 until 1948, a fact that accounts for the scarcity of his pieces.
Artist Enrique Ledesma
Artist Geraldo Lopez
Geraldo Lopez, used the mark Lopez on most of his designs and in the 1950’s was recommended in the guide books as one of the best silver shops in Taxco. It is noted that lopez inspired many other artists such as the famed Taxcquenian designer Villasana.
Artist Margot de Taxco
Margot Van Voorhies Carr
Artist Felipe Martinez
Artist Miguel Garcia Martinez
Artist Emma Melendez
Artist Miguel Melendez
Miguel Melendez started his career working at Taller de las Delicias for William Spratling, then joined Los Castillo and in 1940 began working for Margot of Margot de Taxco.
Artist Haracio de la Parra
Parra was a part of the Taxco Silver movement, thus contemporaries of Margot, Matl, Spratling, Aguilar and Los Castillo. Parra’s work is always elegant and of high quality, sought after by many collectors.
Artist Antonio Pineda
Antonio Pineda who trained as an artist and painter before beginning his career as a silversmith with William Spratling’s Taller de Las Delicias is known for his high quality construction, fine materials and his distinctive, timeless designs. Antonio’s work has won praise and awards worldwide and his designs have always been copied or interpreted by other silver artists, something he never allowed or approved of (especially by the workers in this taller). All of the great silver artists including William Spratling, Los Castillo, Margot de Taxco, Hector Aguilar had this problem. This can cause confusion for the collector. If a piece is not signed with Antonio’s hallmarks, it cannot be considered one of his pieces and does not have the same value. He never allowed others to sign his work or leave a piece unsigned. In other words, without his mark it is considered a “knock-off” or “inspired by” even if it is an old piece. These can be beautiful, well made pieces but they are not considered genuine Antonio. Pineda established the Taxco silver museum in 1988.
Artist Sigi Pineda
Sigi, one of the last great artists of his time still living and working, began his work around the age of ten and by 12 years of age was employed by Margot and her husband Antonio Castillo and then for a brief stint collaborated with Teran in a joint venture for Castillo, managing a store in Puebla. Sigi, through a grant, studied silversmithing in the United States, where he was influenced by machine manufactured silver. He returned to Taxco in 1954, during which time he was greatly influenced by the “modernist movement of clean and simple lines which he is noted for. He designed for a European company, doing well enough to open his own store which he eventually left and gave to his wife. Sigi currently resides in Taxco and works for Los Ballesteros.
Artist MATL- Matilde Eugenia Poulat
Matilde Eugenia Poulat, whom signed her work Matl, was one of the first and finest of the few women to create their own Taller and her work is considered on par with William Spratling, Antonio Pineda, Hector Aguilar, Los Castillo and Margot de Taxco.
Artist Juventino Lopez Rayez
Melicio did work with Margot off and on for over 24 years, responsible for many of her designs, but was respected as a traveling artisan, who worked for a multiplicity of Tallers, selling at various Silver outlets;Plateria Alameda, Rancho Alegre et. His pieces were recognized as being of superior quality, mass and weight.
Sanborns is a retail company which was originally founded in Mexico City on the 19th of June, 1903 by California immigrants Walter and Frank Sanborn, who also opened Mexico’s first soda fountain. The original location and its lunch counter, across from the main Mexico City post office (Palacio de Correos) is still in operation today. In the 1930’s it was a thriving department store, also containing an art gallery of indigenous crafts, Mexican paintings and antiquities. Frank Sanborn employed Fred Davis, one of the most noted of the Mexican silver artists to run this impressive gallery. Today Sanborns owns 125 Sanborns stores (a combo of restaurants, drugstores, and book and gift shops); 34 Sanborns Cafés. As well as other diverse product markets which may be viewed by visiting http://www.sanborns.com.mx/sanborns/
Artist Raphael Ruiz Saucedo
Artist William Spratling
Starting out his artistic career, Spratling was trained as an architect and made his living as a professor at Tulane University. His skills as a travel writer and photographer led him to Mexico, where he became a great promoter of Mexican archeological treasures, literature and art. The skills of visionary, businessman and a fearless artist all helped him to found the Taxco Silver movement and his world renowned Taller de las Delicias.
Artist Salvador Teran
Salvador captured the love and artistic respect of his uncle Don Antonio Castillo. Although his designs are sleek and modern for the time in which they were created, Salvador was greatly influenced by pre Columbian art.
Artist Alberto Ulrich
Alberto Ulrich a true “renaissance man” Italian, entrepreneur, art collector, and resident of Taxco, whom purchased and ran Spratling’s Taller after his sudden passing. Mark TS-24 (hallmark WS-EE)
Artist M Velazequez
Brilanti respected for her original designs and quality craftsmanship, she was one of the first Taxco Silver designers from the late 1930’s. Her original shop, Victoria, opened in 1940 and closed in 1975. From 1958 to 1975 she also issued her designs as Victoria/Cony, after her eldest daughter named Cony. In 1975 she began to issue her original designs simply under the mark of Cony. Now the new pieces are marked with Brilanti which, of course is the last name, of her Family still carrying on the tradition of mother Victoria.
Artist Valentin Vidaurreta
Vidaurreta was an outstanding artist and designer who worked with Fred Davis, Hector Aguilar, William Spratling and Antonio Pineda. He employed artists such as Manuel Altamirano and did give him permission to reproduce and stamp certain designs, of his own origin.
Alfredo Villasana, an extremely talented silver smith whom worked for both Spratling and Aguilar.
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