Taxco: more than two hundred years of silver tradition

 Taxco: more than two hundred years of silver tradition

Silver was fundamental in the course of the history of Taxco for more than two centuries. Taxco was one of the mining cities that flourished during the colonial era, since the extraction of the metal was basic for the conquerors. This population was founded in 1529 by Rodrigo de Castaneda, one of the captains of Hernan Cortes. But Taxco has not only been important for the extraction of the silver, but also for the development of silversmiths. Exquisite artists flourished in it, who have given a great international recognition to this beautiful city.

Taxco has several destinations to visit

The city of Taxco is located in the north of the Mexican state of Guerrero. It is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the country. It is admired for its eye-catching and breath-taking beauty impregnated with architectural treasures, such as the Casa Borda and the church of Santa Prisca. The church of Santa Prisca is a beautiful building. Its construction was made according to the design of the architect Juan Joseph de Alva. According to one of the best known legends that run through Taxco, during the construction of the church in 1751, a great storm broke out, accompanied by strong lightning and thunder. The terrified workers knelt down to pray. At that moment, Santa Prisca appeared from the heights. She held the rays in her hands to prevent them from causing harm to the people. Thus, this saint became the patron saint of Taxco and the temple.

Mining of silver represents Taxco’s history

Jose de la Borda Sanchez was one of the richest miners of the colonial era, who carried out countless social works as a token of thanks to God for the blessings received in the extraction of large amounts of silver from a vein called “San Ignacio”. Joseph de la Borda was an indefatigable builder and an exceptional character, pragmatic and mystical at the same time. The extraction of silver, the main activity of this “Magic Town”, led its inhabitants to undertake the task of working this metal, and there have appeared great artists and artisans that today characterize the oldest mining city in the American continent. Already in the nineteenth century, the silversmiths of Taxco specialized in the manufacture of service pieces, such as plates, jugs, plates and cutlery for use by families with the highest purchasing power in the country, as well as objects for the religious rites of the Church, such as ciboriums and monstrances.

William Spratling was the pioneer

William Spratling founded the first workshop-school dedicated to the artisan work of silver in Taxco, and created a program to teach the trade to the inhabitants. Thanks to William Spratling, Taxco is considered the city of silver par excellence. He carried out the suggestion of his friends to revive the great silver industry in Taxco. In 1931, he invited two Iguala goldsmiths to teach the art of silverwork to a small group of young men, and founded a school where private designs were created. Don Guillermo left his mark in history with his Las Delicias silverware school-workshop, from which great contemporary goldsmiths and jewelers emerged. They projected Taxco in the world as one of the populations with the most artistic sensitivity from Mexico. In the Spratling school you can see the maximum expression of artistic work in silver. The elaborate designs were mainly inspired by Mexican folklore and ancient art. The silversmiths of Las Delicias mastered techniques such as embossing, chiselling, cartoning and hammering. Its craftsmen gave new uses to metals and combined them with each other. William Spratling left behind a priceless artistic heritage. Based on his teachings, numerous silversmiths founded their own family workshops.

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