A Bohemian's Mexican Silver Legacy

William Spratling moved to Mexico in the late 1920s to write travel books and raise hell, just like his old roommate in New Orleans in 1926, William Faulkner. He did both--and even claimed to have invented the margarita. His real legacy, however, was the rebirth of silver-jewelry manufacture in Taxco, south of Mexico City. Spratling wasn't a silversmith, but, inspired by Art Deco and ancient Mexican works, he designed hundreds of sterling silver pieces, some with ebony, pearls, and semiprecious stones. The designs were executed by as many as 400 artisans at Taller Spratling, his Taxco studio. Buyers included the movie stars Bette Davis and Errol Flynn.

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