Bodo Sperlein

Craft Story: Silver

StudioBodo Sperlein

Perhaps it is the primal affinity we have with silver due to it being amongst the first five metals to be discovered, or maybe it’s the highly reflective qualities that have long made silver an opulent material for jewellery and to decorate our homes.

 
 

If a family moved or were displaced during social upheaval, they knew that if they took their silver with them, they could survive.

- Bodo Sperlein, Founder & Creative Director


First mined in Anatolia around 3000 B.C., throughout antiquity silver was a vital resource for the communities in Near East, Crete and Greece.  Between 1500 and 1800, Mexico, Bolivia and Peru accounted for over 85% of the world’s silver production and trade. Known for its antibacterial qualities, it is little surprise that historically silver has been a choice material for drinking and dining vessels. This incredibly versatile material remains to play a significant role in our daily lives, from electronic switches to water filtration and currencies, and even as bearing coatings for joint implants.

With soldering temperatures of 593° to 871°C, great skill and precision is required when working with silver. Turn any piece of silver over and the story of the object in your hand can be told. The hallmark will tell you its geographical origin, the manufacturer and in some cases the individual maker’s mark. 

For more than half a century the Mexican heritage silver brand TANE have designed and produced the highest quality of silver items. Founded in the 1940’s by Russian husband and wife, José and Rosa Vilner fled Paris during WWII and settled in Mexico City. It is here that they opened a leather goods and antiques store. Under the direction of their son, Pedro Leites Vilner, TANE began to acquire a cult destination status from the 1960s onwards. A luxury stop-off for the likes of Jackie Kennedy, Catherine Deneuve, Oscar de la Renta and international royalty, the TANE brand quickly expanded to silver production and established its own dedicated workshops. 


Traditionally an indicator of a household’s wealth and social status, today silver is notably more subtle in our homes. Despite silver experiencing somewhat of a lull in popularity in the last forty years, a growing interest in handcrafted pieces that tell an authentic story has resulted in an upsurge in sales and interest in historical brands like Tiffany and Faberge. Much like our ancestors, we require the silverware that we purchase to hold its value over time. With younger buyers being the most environmentally conscious of generations, the longevity of the materials utilised in the objects we buy are of great significance. 

TANE’s silversmiths train for five years before becoming qualified, a testament to the skill and precision required to work with silver. It is the extensive history and recognition of skill that appealed the most to Bodo when he was approached by TANE to design a silverware collection. Combining the highly reflective qualities of silver with recinto volcanic stone and Mexican dark walnut wood make for a vivid statement piece for any contemporary interior. 

 

 

With Bodo Sperlein’s passion for so-called old fashioned materials, an early project with Swarovski introduced Bodo to working with this historical medium. Our silverware collections for TANE have been designed to challenge the preconceived ideas of silver, bringing an injection of modernity and a ceremonial value to our daily dining.

Shop our TANE silverware 

 
These pieces are contemporary heirlooms, and I would hope that they will be treasured by a new generation interested in longevity and authenticity.
— Bodo Sperlein