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History of


Margot de Taxco was one of five grand studios of silver smiths in Taxco founded by famous silver designer Margo Van Voorhies in 1948.

Margot was one of the premier jewelry designers in the Mexican city of Taxco, which has a tradition of silver making dating back to pre-Columbian times.

She originally hailed from San Francisco where she was born in 1896. She had rather troubled life in the US where her father passed away in 1903, her mother was brutally murdered in 1931 and her first marriage failed in 1936.


In 1937 Margot Van Voorhies went on vacation to Mexico where she met a Mexican silver smith named Don Antonio Castillo. She married Castillo and ended up in Taxco Mexico where her new husband smithed for William Spratling the founder of the first major silver studio in the city. Margot discovered her artistic talents in the late 1930s when she started to create designs for Spratlings studio.

Soon after Margot co-founded a silver studio with her husband and that lasted until just after WW2 when her business relationship and marriage to Castillo dissolved.

In 1948 she founded her own studio which became one of the five great silver studios in Taxco.

Her designs were imaginative and her creativity fueled by globe spanning trips during which she immersed herself in the culture, crafts and arts of other nations. It was these travels and inspirations that insured the Margot’s designs transcended the other offerings of the region.

In a few years, her silver design took on an even fresher appearance when she began to use enamel overlays in a process called Champlevé on her fabulously complex pieces of jewelry. These in my opinion became superlative masterpieces of Mexican Silver design.

Her studio fell on hard times In the 1970s when new government labour regulations forced payments that made it almost impossible to keep up, made worse by dishonest employees who stole large sums from the business.

In 1977 she declared bankruptcy and the Mexican government who had largely caused her collapse stepped in and seized all her assets. Two of her employees ended up with thousands of dollars and another got her car. In the end she was left destitute and if not for good friends she would have been homeless.

Sadly, she passed away in 1985 just before her 90th birthday.

Margot Van Voorhies’ designs transcended the simple silver of the region and gained for her an international reputation and acclaim that still survives to this day.


David Charles Grainger

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