About Us

This website, www.SpratlingSilver.com became a reality rather than merely a dream in late May, 1999. Its purpose then, as now, was to reach out to others who may have information on William Spratling…his life, his silver designs, his writings, his drawings, and more.  I believed that if I shared the information I had gathered perhaps others would share their stories, experiences, and knowledge with me.

I began to collect Spratling material in early 1971. (I am not, and have never been a dealer. I couldn’t bear to part with any of these treasures or the story that goes along with each!)  My parents had sent me a $50. check that January for my birthday, and as I browsed among some lovely silver items in a small local antique shop, I saw a tall silver cigarette box (Catalog ID CJ-3 in the website database) marked only with a WS Print Circle and a Spratling Silver hallmark. I asked the owner if it was sterling, and she replied "Of course!  It is Spratling Silver!  EVERYONE knows Spratling silver!" I thought the hand crafted design was truly handsome!  Even though there was no "sterling" designation on the box, I paid $35. for it and took it home - committed to learn about Spratling Silver since EVERYONE else knew all about it – and I didn’t!. (The following day, I went back for five individual ashtrays (Catalog ID CN-11 in the website database) – the only remaining Spratling items the shop owner had.)

In the subsequent thirty plus years, I have collected (and continue to collect) not only Spratling's silver designs, but also other Spratling materials - copper, tin, books, furniture, drawings, etc.  As well, I have amassed boxes of material from my research. Our entire family became immersed in learning about Spratling’s experiences. They even joined with me in the search for examples of his designs. Our older daughter, when she was a student at the University of Delaware, discovered what quickly became one of my very favorite Spratling pieces (Catalog ID SDMBox-1 in the website database). It is truly a wonderful – and special – part of our collection!

In 1989 I was asked to collaborate with Ed Forcum in creating a Spratling Hallmark research page for the Sandy Cederwall and Hal Riney book Spratling Silver, originally published by Chronicle Books in 1990 – and since updated and expanded in 2000..

During the mid 1990s I finally decided it was time to begin organizing my wealth of Spratling information. While I sorted through and tried to make sense out of my data, even more questions surfaced. None of us who had pooled our information and shared theories in the past had answers. It was obviously time to widen the search for more information, and so I decided to create a website: www.SpratlingSilver.com.

So many people have responded…people who knew Spratling well, people who visited his talleres and purchased silver there, Spratling’s relatives, collectors, the families of some of the silversmiths who worked in Spratling’s taller, dealers, people who lived in Mexico during Spratling’s time, retailers here in the U.S. who carried Spratling Silver, pre-Columbian collectors, some of Spratling’s colleagues and more!  Because this website can be updated so easily (at least once a week) I can share new information constantly.

On October 6,  2002, The San Antonio Museum of Art opened their exhibit entitled Maestros de Plata: William Spratling and the Mexican Silver Renaissance. This exhibit is now traveling from San Antonio, Texas to a number of other U.S. cities during 2003 and 2004. An expanded exhibit catalogue has been published by Harry C. Abrams, Inc. and that catalogue includes much new information in addition to data about the items on loan for the exhibit. It will certainly be an important reference source for anyone interested in 20th century Mexican silver. My research on Spratling’s hallmarks and the development of his style has been published as a part of that catalogue.  Read more about the Exhibit and the Catalogue in Current News and our Book Store.

My most recent project was to finally publishSpratling Silver: A Field Guide - Recognizing a William Spratling Treasure. I'm not sure what my next "Spratling project" will be. If there are ideas you have about how to make the learning about - and collecting of - Spratling materials more helpful, I welcome your thoughts.

Your comments and suggestions – as well as your stories, experiences, and observations are what help to make this website better!  Thank you for your support!

Phyllis Goddard

Phyllis passed away January 2, 2004 from a virulent pneumonia. Some friends recall her generosity and spirit on the following page.


© Copyright 1999-2003 - Phyllis Goddard - All Rights Reserved

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