WILLIAM SPRATLING, an innovative and talented designer of Mexican jewelry, silver hollowware, tin, copper, and furniture, demonstrated his appreciation for, and sensitivity to the early cultures of Mexico. He established a model for the artistic development and growth of the silver industry in Taxco and well deserved the title “Father of Contemporary Mexican Silver!”

an American-born silver designer and artist, best known for his influence on 20th century Mexican silver design. Spratling was born in 1900 in Sonyea, Livingston County, New York, the son of epileptologist William P. Spratling.


Print Brand (intaglio)
1931 – 1933

Print Brand (raised)
1933 – 1938

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.

Further reading

  • Goddard, Phyllis M., Spratling Silver: A Field Guide, Keenan Tyler Paine, Altadena CA 2003
  • Littleton, Taylor D. The Color of Silver: William Spratling, His Life and Art, Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge 2000
  • Morrill, Penny C., William Spratling and the Mexican Silver Renaissance: Maestros de Plata, Harry N. Abrams, New York; San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio 2002
  • Morrill, Penny Chittim, and Berk, Carole A., Mexican Silver: 20th Century Handwrought Jewelry & Metalwork, Schiffer Publishing, Atglen, PA 1994
  • Reed, John Shelton, “The Man from New Orleans,” Oxford American, November/December 2000: 102–107
  • Spratling, William, File on Spratling: An Autobiography, Little, Brown and Company, Boston 1967

Spratling Silver Website