Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks & Makers' Marks
• • •
William Spratling Hallmarks, Biography & Silver Examples

    www . 925-1000 . com   ••    www . 925-1000 . com   ••    www . 925-1000 . com  

spratling hallmarks Print Brand (intaglio)
1931 - 1933

spratling hallmark Print Brand (raised)
1933 - 1938

spratling hallmarks Print
ca. 1939

Print Circle
with 980 or 925 stamp.

Print Circle - Spratling Silver
ca. 1940 - 1944

Inline Mark
ca.1940 - 1944
Used on very narrow items.

Silson Mark
ca.1940 - 1944
Used on base metal costume jewelry designed by Spratling and manufactured by Victor Silson of New York.

Print Circle - Sterling
ca. 1944 - 1946

Spratling de Mexico
ca. 1949 - 1951
Used with eagle 13 or 11 and sometimes with the Conquistador mark.

ca. 1951 - 1956
with eagle #1 in 1951, eagle #30 afterwards and with 925 or Sterling stamp.

Script Circle
ca. 1956 - 1964
Used with eagle #30.

Script Square
ca. 1964 - 1967
Used with eagle #30 until the beginning of 1966, eagle #63 afterwards.

view examples of
Spratling's work

• • •
Page 1             Page 2

• • •
William Spratling (September 22, 1900 - August 7, 1967) was an American-born silversmith and artist, best known for his influence on 20th Century Mexican silver design.

Spratling was born in 1900 in Livingston County, New York, after the deaths of Spratling's mother and sister, he moved to his father's boyhood home outside of Auburn, Alabama. Spratling graduated from Auburn University, where he majored in architecture. Upon graduation, he took a position as an instructor in the architecture department at Auburn, and in 1921 he was offered a similar position at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.

While teaching at Tulane, Spratling shared a house with writer William Faulkner, and they collaborated to produce Sherwood Anderson And Other Famous Creoles, a satire of the bohemian atmosphere of the French Quarter in the 1920s.

In 1929, Spratling, inspired by several summer visits, moved to Mexico, where he quickly integrated himself into the Mexican art scene. He became a friend and a strong proponent of the work of muralist Diego Rivera, for whom he organized an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Using money received from commissions he organized for Rivera, Spratling purchased a home in Taxco, southwest of Mexico City.

Taxco was a silver mining region, but had no native silverworking industry. Spratling began designing works in silver based primarily on pre-Columbian and traditional motifs, and hired local goldsmiths to produce those designs in Taxco. As the reputation for Spratling's silver designs grew, he expanded his operation, and began an apprenticeship program for others interested in working in silver, many of whom continued to work in the Taxco area, with Spratling's support, once their apprenticeship was over.

By the 1940s, Spratling was selling his designs throughout Mexico and the United States, and moved his design studio to a ranch south of Taxco at Taxco el Viejo. In 1949, the United States Department of the Interior started an exchange program between Spratling's design studio and seven Alaskan students in order to start a similar workshop in Alaska. While the Alaskan workshop never came to fruition, Alaskan design motifs began to influence Spratling's subsequent work.

Primarily, Spratling's silver designs drew upon aboriginal Mesoamerican motifs, with influence from other native and Western cultures. To many, his work served as an expression of Mexican nationalism, and gave Mexican artisans the freedom to create designs in non-European forms. Because of his influence on the silver design industry in Mexico, Spratling has been called the "Father of Mexican Silver". Spratling was killed in an automobile accident outside of Taxco on August 7, 1967 at the age 66.

biographical information drawn from Wikipedia
Related Pages at
Mexican Silver Marks
Hector Aguilar Hallmarks
Antonio Hallmarks
Los Castillo Hallmarks
Margot de Taxco Hallmarks
Matl Hallmarks
Salvador Hallmarks
Sigi Pineda Hallmarks
Victoria Hallmarks
American Jewelry
Modernist Silver Marks

Scandinavian Jewelry
Georg Jensen Marks
David-Andersen Marks
Danish Hallmarks
Finnish Hallmarks
Swedish Hallmarks
Norwegian Makers

• • •

Looking to do further research? Have a mark you can't identify? Join the forum.

© 2000 - 2018
all rights reserved