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Tin Animal 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. Many of our customers like to hang the shiny, flat ornaments on their Christmas trees, or slip the lightweight figures into their holiday cards. For more details, download our promotional flyer at this link.

In this section of our Mexican tin art collection we offer flat animal ornaments (except for birds), from several of Oaxaca's acclaimed tinsmiths. They tool these figures by hand, four flat pieces of tin at at time. They are not stamped out with a machine. The artists paint the tin in durable and shiny lacquer, enamel and sometimes automobile paints to give then a gleaming, enduring finish.

Please take the time to browse our other tin products, including animal figures, birds, Day of Dead, Christmas ornaments and tin stars, nicho frames and fridge magnets. Use the drop-down menu above, under TIN ART.

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. Take a look and enjoy.

Products

Sort by: Sort by: SKU Product Price Default
Alligator, tin ornament
Tin alligator is handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 3.5 inches long
SKU: TN-3_006
$3.75
Qty
Angel Cat, tin figure, yellow
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 6 inches tall
SKU: TN-6_032
$5.95
Qty
Animal Collection - 10 Tin Ornaments in Box
10 different hammered tin animal ornaments, as shown, in a box
SIZE: Ornaments measure 4 - 5 inches tall
SKU: TN-3_001
$32.50
Qty
Black Dog, tin figure
Dog tin figure is handmade in Oaxaca
Dog measures 5 inches tall and is painted on both sides.
SKU: TN-3_038
$3.75
Qty
Brighten-up your holiday greetings with a shiny ornament tucked into the card!
Cheerful tin ornaments are very lightweight; will not add to postage costs.
Most ornaments measure 4 inches tall
SKU: TN-3_004
Set your own price!
The price for this product is not set. You can decide how much you want to pay.
Out of stock
Brighten-up your holiday greetings with a shiny ornament tucked into the card!
Cheerful tin ornaments are very lightweight; will not add to postage costs.
Most ornaments measure 4 inches tall
SKU: TN-3_033
Set your own price!
The price for this product is not set. You can decide how much you want to pay.
Out of stock
Brighten-up your holiday greetings with a shiny ornament tucked into the card!
Cheerful tin ornaments are very lightweight; will not add to postage costs.
Ornaments are about 4 inches in height.
SKU: TN-3_034
Set your own price!
The price for this product is not set. You can decide how much you want to pay.
Out of stock
Bull, tin ornament
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
Red bull measures 4 inches long
SKU: TN-3_010
$3.75
Qty
Burro, blue, tin ornament
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
Burro measures 4.5 inches long
SKU: TN-3_015
$3.75
Qty
Butterfly, Pure Copper Figure
Copper butterfly figure handmade by Aquino Family in Oaxaca
Measures 5 inches wide, has loop on back for hanging on wall.
SKU: TN-5_024
$7.95
Qty
Butterfly, tin ornament
Butterfly punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
Butterfly measures 4 inches tall
SKU: TN-3_017
$3.75
Qty
Cat tin ornament, yellow
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
Cat measures 4 1/2 inches tall, is painted on both sides.
SKU: TN-3_018
$3.75
Qty
Cat with Angel Wings, tin ornament
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
Cat is 4 inches long and painted on both sides.
SKU: TN-3_030
$3.75
Qty
Chicken In Basket, tin figure
Tin figure handmade in Oaxaca, Mexico
SIZE: 4 inches long
SKU: TN-3_029
$3.75
Qty
Coyote, pure copper figure
Mexican copper ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
Measures 4 inches long by 4 inches tall.
SKU: TN-3_024
$7.95
Qty
Coyote, tin ornament
Tin coyote is handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 4 inches tall
SKU: TN-3_002
$3.75
Qty
Dog (yellow), tin ornament
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 5 inches long
SKU: TN-3_031
$3.75
Qty
Dog with Angel Wings, tin figure
White dog with angel wings, tin ornament is handmade in Oaxaca, Mexico
Dog measures 5 inches tall and is painted on both sides.
SKU: TN-3_037
$3.75
Qty
Elephant, tin ornament
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
Measures 4 inches long
SKU: TN-3_032
$3.75
Qty
Fish, Marlin, tin ornament
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 5 inches long
SKU: TN-3_025
$3.75
Qty
 
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