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Felipe Martinez


Felipe Martinez (???? – ????) An expert sculptor before he opened his shop, Piedra y Plata (“Stone and Silver”), in Taxco, Mexico in 1950, Felipe Martinez produced jewelry for just a few years. Consequently, his work is rare and collectible.

To attract customers into his shop, Martinez placed his sculpted small heads and figures in an exhibition room. Lighted niches in the walls displayed his carvings, many executed in native stones. Some of the smaller carvings were set in jewelry.

The shop produced distinctive pieces known for geometric patterns and indigenous Mexican stones bezel set or inlaid. 

Penny Morrill and Carole Berk in “Mexican Silver 20th Century Handwrought Jewelry & Metalwork,” write, “Because of [Martinez’s] interest in sculpture, each piece of jewelry is a unified composition. (He) integrated the materials he used in order to emphasize the totality of the piece.”

Experts in Mexican jewelry, Mary Davis and Greta Pack have described Martinez’s creations  as, “… jewelry … simple in design [with] the stones … set in unexpected ways: long flat stones set between bands of silver, diagonal rope effects of alternating bands of silver and malachite, stones cut in unusual shapes in settings obviously designed by a sculptor.”

By 1955, William Spratling, (the ‘father’ of Mexican silver) described Martinez’s shop as having “original work recognized not only in Mexico but abroad.” Martinez’s workshop was also recognized by his peers as one of the best silver shops in Taxco. His bracelets are especially noteworthy.

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