To be held at Bonhams Los Angeles on June 15, the collection includes beautiful examples of Aztec artistry
June 8, 2022: Aztec art is a lesser known art in the world, yet immensely creative and meaningful. Jill Crawford gave this art form due credit by investing in some magnificent pieces made with Mexican silver (or sterling silver).
On June 15, Bonhams Los Angeles will present Mexican Silver: Jewels and Objects from The Crawford Collection featuring more than 250 pieces of objects, tableware, and wearable sculpture. Standout pieces include the “Jaguar” tea and coffee service by William Spratling (estimate: $15,000 - 20,000), a fish necklace and cuff by Los Castillo (estimate: $5,000 - 7,000), and an amethyst collar by Antonio Pineda that cascades down the neck (estimate: $1,800 - 2,000). This is the second sale in a series from the Crawford Collection.
The collection contains more than 150 examples of work by William Spratling (1900 – 1967), considered the father of Taxco jewelry at the center of the Modernist Mexican silver movement. When the young, creative American professor of architecture, arrived in Taxco in 1926, he joined a milieu of notable writers and artists including William Faulkner and Diego Rivera, who became a lifelong friend. Mr. Spratling established Taxco as a center for bold, high quality silver designs by hiring skilled silversmiths to make his designs with motifs inspired by Pre-Columbian and Aztec art and design incorporating native stones (typically amethyst, turquoise, coral, rosewood, and abalone). The examples in this collection are some of the finest examples that remain from Mr. Spratling’s oeuvre.
Also included in the sale are works from other notable artists such as Los Castillo, Antonio Pineda, Hector Aguilar, and Margot de Taxco.
Mexican silver jewelry of the 1920s–1970s remains some of the most desirable modernist jewelry for collectors and is increasing sought after by museums. The inspiration for these works spans centuries and incorporates stories of conquest and oppression, cultural cross pollination, and profound individual ingenuity and artistry.
Ms. Crawford said, “I have spent a lifetime searching for the greatest examples by artists I admire. When I am wearing a great piece of jewelry, I feel connected to the artist, and I become part of the story a piece is telling. Jewelry is meant to be worn, and in the hands of a passionate collector it becomes transcendent.”