A rare and remarkable textbook example by William Spratling (1900-1967)- a tortoise shell and sterling silver pin/pendant. William Spratling was an American artist who is best known for his influence in Mexican silver jewelry. Spratling was born in Sonyea, New York in 1900. After working as an instructor in the architecture department in Auburn university and Tulane university in New Orleans, he decided to establish the silver industry in Taxco in 1931. By the 1940s he was employing 300 artisans to produce silver jewelry, flatware and hollowware, frequently working with locally found materials. He is eminent for his designs that are based on pre-Columbian Mexican art objects and jewelry.
This fabulous piece was designed by Spratling in the early 1940s in a form of four-petaled flower with 15 honey color accented tortoise shell discs. The pin on the back lifts up, and it can also accommodate a chain to be worn as a pendant. The chain shown here is available separately. The pin/pendant measures 3.75" N-S. It is significantly large, and offers a striking presence. It has two proper marks on the back: A circular one with 'WS' at the center, around which read 'Spratling Made in Mexico' & an oval imprinted with 'Spratling Silver'. These marks were used up until 1945, and proves that this pin was made before 1945. Overall this piece is in very good condition.