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Assorted Tin Figures

The Radiance of Tin Art

Tinwork is one of Mexico's oldest crafts. Rooted in Spanish colonial times, tinplate workers manufactured it by dipping thin sheets of iron into molten tin. This coats the iron with a bright, durable surface that is resistant to rusting. Our tin figures are entirely handmade (cutout, punched, embossed and soldered) by craftsmen using great precision and artistic flair. Painted with bright, durable lacquer and enamel colors, tin figures are inexpensive, lightweight and long lasting. In modern Mexico, the two centers of tin smithing are Oaxaca and San Miguel de Allende, and we carry products from both cities. For more details, download our promotional flyer at this link.

On this page of Mexican tin are, we offer miscellaneous figures such as covered, tin boxes, fish and bird wall decor, milagro crosses, Khamsa hands, embossed tissue box covers and colorful Frida Kahlo nicho frames.

VIEW OTHER CATEGORIES, including including romantic hearts, birds, Day of Dead, Christmas ornaments and tin stars, and fridge magnet art by following the drop down menu links under the white navigation tab, "TIN ART," above.

The age of tinwork in Mexico goes back at least to the 1700s. Tin was originally manufactured by dipping thin sheets of iron into molten tin to coat them with a bright surface that was durable and highly resistant to rusting. (However, if the surface is scratched, revealing the iron underneath, it will begin to rust if exposed to rain or high humidity.) For an artisan, the appeal of working with tin is its lightness, strength and low cost. It is easily bent, cut and soldered to form intricate shapes.

In eras gone by, Mexicans decorated their homes with tin photo frames, candelabras, lanterns, tin and glass frames (nichos) holding pictures of saints. In humble churches, tin crowns were set on the heads of statues, lit tin lanterns were carried during processions, tin candlesticks adorn the altars.

Tinwork is often referred as the poor man's silver. In Mexico, every religious and festive object handcrafted in silver has a counterpart in humbler forms made from tinplate. Yet the same degree of skill and passion the silversmiths put into their work could be found in the less opulent pieces made by tinsmiths. Their pieces, too had an alluring shine, that charming brilliance.

These days, tinsmiths in Oaxaca and San Miguel de Allende are carrying on the traditions, making Christmas decorations, tin soldiers, heart-shaped wall plaques and a variety of clever toys. Most of their work is for export to the southern United States, where tinwork is one of the most visible manifestations of Mexican Culture. Most popular with American collectors are the cheerful, flat ornaments, of which we have many here at Viva Oaxaca Folk Art. Please a look through our collection!


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Mexican Tin Nicho, El Baile lottery, 6-inch tall
Mexican tin nicho holds printed image of two skeleton dancers

Handcrafted, yellow tin nicho measures 6 inches tall. Hinged, glass door opens to inner compartment
SKU: D-3_08
Sold Out
Mexican Tin Nicho, Saint Anthony with Jesus, sepia print in hand-painted frame, 6-inch
Tin nicho holding print of Saint Anthony, handmade by Taller Rocio Pindter. Sits upright on table or hangs on wall.

SIZE: 6 inches tall by 3 3/4 inch wide. Hinged glass door is hand-painted and opens to allow access to interior
SKU: RA-2_27
Star of David, tin ornament, red in red, 4-inch
Star of David Ornament by Artesanias Garcia tinsmiths in Oaxaca, Mexico
Flat ornament is painted on both sides and measures 4 inches tall.
Star of David, tin ornament, blue in blue, 4-inch
Round, Star of David ornament handmade in Oaxaca, Mexico
Tin ornament measures 4 inches in diameter and is painted on both sides.
Star of David, tin ornament, blue in yellow, 4-inch
Star of David handcrafted tin ornament from Oaxaca, Mexico
Round, flat ornament measures 4 inches in diameter. It is painted on both sides.
Star of David, tin ornament, red in blue, 4-inch
Star of David handcrafted tin ornament from Oaxaca, Mexico
Round, flat ornament measures 4 inches in diameter. It is painted on both sides.
Tin Mermaid Angel, wall art, 6.5 inch
Tin sculpture, cut, soldered and painted by hand, by Taos Artesanias

6 1/2 inches tall by 7" wide. Each is hand-painted in different colors. Note some variations in the images.
SKU: TN-1_001
Tin Mermaid with angel wings, wall art, 9-inch tall
Tinwork by Paulo Cortes Higuera. Wall decor.
Tim mermaid with orange tail measures 9 inches tall.
SKU: TN-1_002
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FISH, tin wall decor
Handcrafted tin fish by Aquino Family Artisans in Oaxaca

Gleaming fish wall art measures 12 inches long by 7" tall.
SKU: TN-1_003
Hamsa, Mano de Fatima, with birds, by Conrado
Mexican punched tin Hamsa wall plaque, handcrafted by Conrado Villegas.
SIZE: 5 1/4 inches tall
SKU: TN-1_010
Light Switch Plate w/Milagros, Mexican tin art
Mexican punched tin art, handmade in Oaxaca by Conrado Villegas
SIZE: 7 inches tall
SKU: TN-1_014
Tin Mermaid-Angel, with harp
Tin mermaid with angel wings handcrafted in San Miguel de Allende.
Mermaid comes in a variety of painted colors; each is unique. Measures 7 inches tall by 6" wide.
SKU: TN-1_015
Hamsa, Mano De Fatima Tin Plaque, with heart
Mexican open-handed Hamsa tin plaque, handmade in Oaxaca by Conrado Villegas Alcázar
SIZE: 5 inches tall by 4 inches wide
SKU: TN-1_017
Mexican Tin Nicho, Frida Kahlo, "Viva La Vida", 6-inch
Tin nicho frame holds sepia print of Frida Kahlo, handcrafted by Taller Rocio Pindter in San Miguel de Allende

Frame measures 6 inches tall by 3 3/4" wide. Hand-painted frame stands upright on flat surface, or hangs on wall
SKU: TN-1_018
Frida Kahlo, Tin Nicho, wall art, 6-inch
Handmade nicho with image of Frida Kahlo, by Jaime Hdz. Cruz

SIZE: 6 inches tall, with hinged glass door, hangs on a wall.
SKU: TN-1_022
Original price: $28.50
Save 21%
Frida Kahlo, Mexican Tin Nicho Heart, yellow, 6-inch
Heart-shaped tin nicho with print image of Frida is handmade in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Frida Kahlo nicho measures 6 inches wide by 6 inches tall.
SKU: TN-1_024
Frida Kahlo, Tin Nicho Heart, blue, 6 inch
Tin Nicho wall decor with printed image of Frida Kahlo is handmade by Jaime Hdz. Cruz

SIZE: Tin nicho frame measures 6 inches in diameter, by 1" deep. Features hinged, glass door that opens to inner compartment. Hangs on a wall.
SKU: TN-1_029
Facial Tissue Box, Tin Cover
Hand-embossed tin tissue box cover by Aquino Family in Oaxaca
10 inches long x 5" wide by 2 3/4" deep.
SKU: TN-1_030
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Nativity Display, Fold-Up, Mexican Tin Art
Tin nativity scene is handmade in Oaxaca, Mexico by Aquino Family

Fold-up Nativity scene measures 10 inches long x 6" wide by 1/4" thick
SKU: TN-1_033
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Mexican Tin Nicho, Frida Kahlo, pink frame, 8-inch
Handmade tin nicho by Jaime Hdz. Cruz

SIZE: 8 inches tall x 5 wide x 1 thick. Not freestanding; hangs on a wall.
SKU: TN-1_034
Sold Out
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