WILLIAM SPRATLING
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HISTORY AND MARKS
William Spratling (1900-1967) was an architect, artist, author and instructor in the School of Architecture at Tulane University, New Orleans.
In 1929 he decided to stay in Mexico and purchased a house in the silver mining town of Taxco where he opened a small silver workshop to produce items of his own design.
Spratling based his designs on Pre-Columbian Mexican art objects and jewelry unearthed in archaeological excavations obtaining great commercial success.
By the 1940s he was employing 300 artisans to produce silver jewelry, flatware and holloware, frequently working with locally found materials. He began to decorate his production with azur-malachite, tortoiseshell, rosewood and ebony using a technique that required great cutting skill to render them flush with the object's surface.
Spratling's success in Taxco helped revive interest in Mesoamerican design motifs and launched in Mexico an industry that attracted a number of talented designer and craftsmen (Hector Aguilar was Sprating's workshop manager prior to leaving and establishing his own workshop).
In 1940 Spratling entered into partnership with Victor Silson of New York. Spratling supplied designs and original pieces from which dies could be made. Silson manufactured the jewelry out of pot metal and then silverplated it. The partnership continued until the late 1940s.
Spratling silver was sold through the Montgomery Ward catalog and at Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. With the cost of moving the workshop to an ancient silver hacienda, La Florida, Spratling incorporated to provide cash flow for his company. On June 30, 1945, a majority of the shares was sold to North American investor Russell Maguire, whose business practices ultimately took the company into bankruptcy.
In 1944 Spratling was sent to Alaska by the US Department of Interior where he trained Alaskan in the art of silversmithing.
In 1946 Spratling y Artesanos ceased operations.
From 1949 to early 1951 Conquistador factory of Mexico City was allowed to produce a special group of pieces designed by Spratling. The pieces were punched with Spratling mark in addition of Conquistador factory own symbol (a shield enclosing a horse and rider).
In 1952, after cancellation of contract with Conquistador factory, Spratling re-established the workshop at his ranch in Taxco el Viejo and began production of silver jewelry and decorative objects that clearly were influenced by his Alaskan experience.
William Spratling died in 1967 in an automobile accident but production continues under the auspices of William Spratling S.A. de C.V. (Sucesores de William Spratling). All items that have been produced since 1979 under the auspices of the Sucesores de William Spratling are marked with the current Mexican registry mark TS-24 along with a replica of an older Spratling hallmark.


STERLING SILVER MARKS
William Spratling, mark circa 1931/1933
circa 1931/1933
William Spratling, mark circa 1933/1938
William Spratling, TAXCO mark circa 1933/1940 William Spratling, TAXCO mark circa 1933/1940 William Spratling, fineness mark 925, circa 1933/1940 William Spratling, fineness mark 980, circa 1933/1940
circa 1933/1938
Neither TAXCO nor fineness marks 925 and 980 are exclusive of Spratling, being the marks used by most of Mexican makers. "980" fineness mark was used in jewelry and tea strainers.
William Spratling, mark circa 1939/1940 William Spratling, TAXCO mark circa 1933/1940 William Spratling, TAXCO mark circa 1933/1940 William Spratling, fineness mark 925, circa 1933/1940 William Spratling, fineness mark 980, circa 1933/1940
circa 1939/1940
Only the WS mark was slightly modified. Neither TAXCO nor fineness marks 925 and 980 are exclusive of Spratling, being the marks used by most of Mexican makers. "980" fineness mark was used in jewelry and tea strainers.
William Spratling, mark circa 1940/1946 William Spratling, MADE IN MEXICO  mark circa 1942 William Spratling, SPRATLING SILVER  mark circa 1940/1944 William Spratling, STERLING mark circa 1944/1946
circa 1940/1946
In the circular mark the letters surrounding the circle were raised while the WS in the center was incised into the silver.
MADE IN MEXICO mark was used circa 1942.
The SPRATLING SILVER mark was used circa 1940/1944. The letters were raised in the oval cartouche.
STERLING mark was used circa 1944/1946 as a substitute of SPRATLING SILVER mark.

William Spratling, SPRATLING DE MEXICO mark circa 1949/1951 William Spratling, Eagle 13 mark circa 1949/1952 William Spratling, Conquistador shield mark circa 1949/19512 William Spratling, Conquistador shield mark circa 1949/1951
circa 1949/1951
SPRATLING DE MEXICO mark used on items produced both by Spratling at his ranch and by the Conquistador factory in Mexico City.
Eagle 13, assigned to Spratling by Mexican Government, was used both by Spratling at his ranch and by the Conquistador factory in Mexico City.
The CONQUISTADOR SHIELD mark was used in addition to SPRATLING and EAGLE 13 by Conquistador Factory in a special group of up to 300 Spratling designs of which, under a contract signed on 1 February 1949, was responsible for all production and marketing.

William Spratling, WS mark circa 1951/1956 William Spratling, Eagle 30 mark circa 1951/1956 William Spratling, 925 mark circa 1951/1956
circa 1951/1956
The new WS mark was that Spratling had used for his Alaskan models.
Eagle 30 was the new official mark assigned by Mexican Government after cancellation of Eagle 13.
925 mark for silver fineness.

William Spratling, SPRATLING DE MEXICO mark circa 1951 William Spratling, Eagle 30 mark circa 1951 William Spratling, 925 mark circa 1951
circa 1951
SPRATLING OF MEXICO mark was used for less than a year because Spratling was unable to register that mark in Mexico.
Eagle 30 was the new official mark assigned by Mexican Government after cancellation of Eagle 13.
925 mark for silver fineness.

William Spratling, WILLIAM SPRATLING TAXCO MEXICO mark circa 1956/1962 William Spratling, Eagle 30 mark circa 1956/1962
circa 1956/1962
WILLIAM SPRATLING TAXCO MEXICO mark was used together Eagle 30 official mark.
William Spratling, WILLIAM SPRATLING TAXCO MEXICO mark circa 1962/1964 William Spratling, Eagle 30 mark circa 1962/1964
circa 1962/1964
WILLIAM SPRATLING TAXCO MEXICO (a variation of 1956/1962 mark) was used together Eagle 30 official mark.
William Spratling, WILLIAM SPRATLING TAXCO MEXICO mark circa 1962/1964 William Spratling, Eagle 30 mark circa 1962/1964
circa 1964/1965
WILLIAM SPRATLING TAXCO MEXICO (a variation of 1962/1964 mark) was used together Eagle 30 official mark.
William Spratling, WILLIAM SPRATLING TAXCO MEXICO mark circa 1962/1964 William Spratling, Eagle 63 mark circa 1965/1967
circa 1965/1967
WILLIAM SPRATLING TAXCO MEXICO (a variation of 1962/1964 mark) was used together Eagle 63 official mark.
William Spratling, WILLIAM SPRATLING TAXCO MEXICO mark circa 1962/1964
after 2000
RANCHO WSR TAXCO MEXICO STERLING used by Sucesores de William Spratling in a line of jewelry recently designed by Giulia Modena and inspired to ancient Mexican motifs with Art Deco designs.

SILVERPLATE MARKS
Victor Silson Company of New York for William Spratling, mark circa 1940/1944 Victor Silson Company of New York for William Spratling, mark circa 1940/1944
circa 1940/1944
Mark used from Victor Silson Company of New York in silver plated pot metal jewelry (necklaces, bracelets and pins) produced under Spratling design.
During the period that Silson was producing in New York the silver plated designs, Spratling was concurrently producing these designs in 980 silver in Mexico.
Victor Silson Company of New York for William Spratling, pin owl circa 1940/1944 Victor Silson Company of New York for William Spratling, pin owl circa 1940/1944 William Spratling workshop, pin owl circa 1940/1944 William Spratling workshop, pin owl circa 1940/1944



The first two images refer to a Silson silverplate owl pin. The third and the fourth to a 980/1000 silver pin made in Spratling workshop.

William Spratling silver William Spratling silver William Spratling silver William Spratling silver William Spratling silver

SILVERPLATE AND ELECTROPLATED SILVER OF USA AND CANADA
AMERICAN SILVERPLATE MARKS
Aa / Al      Am / Az      Ba / Bh      Bi / Bz      C      D      E      F      G      H      I      J      K      L      Ma / Mh      Mi / Mz      N      O      P      Q      Ra / Rn      Ro / Rz      Sa / Sl      Sm / Sz      T      U      V      Wa / Wd      We / Wz      X      Y      Z     
FLATWARE PATTERNS         GORHAM      HOLMES & EDWARDS     INTERNATIONAL SILVER CO      KIRK STIEFF CORPORATION      REED & BARTON      1847 ROGERS BROS      TOWLE MFG CO      WALLACE SILVERSMITHS INC.     

STERLING SILVER OF USA AND CANADA
AMERICAN STERLING SILVER MARKS
Aa / Am      An / Az      Ba / Bh      Bi / Bz      Ca / Cn      Co / Cz      Da / Dt      Du / Dz      E      Fa / Fn      Fo / Fz      Ga / Gh      Gi / Gz      Ha / Hh      Hi / Hz      I-J      K      La / Lh      Li / Lz      M      N      O      P - Q      Ra / Rn      Ro / Rz      Sa / Sh      Si / Sz      T - U - V      Wa / WG      Wh / Wz      X - Y - Z     

SILVER MANUFACTURERS: MARKS, HISTORY AND INFORMATION
Peter Charles Faberge mark    Gorham Athenic hallmark    International Silver Company mark    Georg Jensen hallmark 1945-1951    Kirk & Son mark    Meriden Britannia Company mark    Reed & Barton mark    Rogers Bros mark    Tiffany hallmarks    Towle Silversmiths mark    Wallace Silversmiths mark    Wiener Werkstatte monogram    WMF hallmarks   
Fabergé    Gorham    International Silver Co    Georg Jensen    Kirk Stieff    Meriden Britannia    Reed & Barton    Rogers    Tiffany & Co    Towle    Wallace    Wiener Werkstatte    WMF   

English home page
This is a page of 'The What is? Silver Dictionary' of A Small Collection of Antique Silver and Objects of vertu, a 1500 pages richly illustrated website offering all you need to know about antique silver, sterling silver, silverplate, Sheffield plate, electroplate silver, silverware, flatware, tea services and tea complements, marks and hallmarks, articles, books, auction catalogs, famous silversmiths (Tiffany, Gorham, Jensen, Elkington), history, oddities ...
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