Published: October 2011
Nestled in the hills between the holiday paradise of Acapulco and to the northeast of historical Mexico City is a picturesque town called Taxco del Alarcon, Mexico. The city of Taxco has a long heritage of silver artisanship born from the production of nearby silver ore mines. The town achieved the distinction of being one of the most important mining centers in the Americas between the 15th and 16th centuries. Jewelry Television is pleased to bring the Artisan Collection of Taxco, a unique line of handmade sterling silver jewelry that incorporates old world style with the modern woman's style in mind. The Artisan Collection of Taxco gives you the finest in cultural designs that are the perfect addition to your jewelry wardrobe. Only on Jewelry Television® and JTV.com.
During the 17th century, the production of silver in Mexico steadily slowed down as other mines were discovered in other uncharted lands. Then the French/Spaniard prospector Don Jose de la Borda discovered one of the richest silver deposits in history which spurred a resurgence in silver mining again. To express his gratitude for his new-found wealth, he built schools, roads, and houses in the area. His most monumental building accomplishment is the famous Santa Prisca Cathedral that reflects the beautiful Mexican Baroque style and glitters in the sun from the gold trim used in its construction. Because of his many contributions, De la Borda is considered the “father” of Taxco. Unfortunately, when he became financially over-extended, he was forced to leave the area that he so cherished.
During the 19th century Mexican War for Independence, the Spanish barons decided to destroy the silver mines rather than lose them to revolutionaries. The silver mining industry soon died out in Taxco for a long period of time. Much later (in the 1920’s), William Spratling, a professor of architecture, traveled to Taxco. After several visits to this amazing area, he decided to move there permanently. He befriended many artists in the area and began promoting the arts as well as being a participant himself. Based on a comment from Dwight Morrow, then U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, William decided to open a shop. Named La Aduana, the store offered everything from copper and tin ware to furniture. Soon silver became the primary focus with designs from Spratling that he created that were inspired from pre-Columbian and Aztec motifs. William hired local craftsmen to create his designs and then soon founded the Taller de las Delicias, an apprentice program that trained young silversmiths to develop their artisanal heritage. Considered the “Father of Mexican Silver”, Spratling was well known for being supportive to his trainees and helped them to start their own workshops. Some of these workshops included some of the most important contributors to the distinctive look people associate with Mexican jewelry. Today, Taxco still attracts artists, writers, and tourists alike. Taxco, Mexico is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Mexico.