Oaxaca Antiques, Silver Jewelry, Museum and Shop

There are two parts to this story.  One is the Antiguedades (Mexican jewelry and antiques shop) operated by Juan Jimenez, and Two is the adjoining Museo Belber-Jimenez textile and antique jewelry collection on display that belongs to brother Federico Jimenez and his wife Ellen Belber.   Both are located in the same colonial casa at the corner of  Matamoros #307 at the corner of Tinoco y Palacios, Centro Historico, Oaxaca.


We went there to oggle the extraordinary jewelry collection which includes great representative samples from the most famous Mexican silversmiths, including Fred Davis, William Spratling, Mathilde Poulat and others.   If you love Mexican silver, amethyst, turquoise, coral and other gemstones, this is where you can see the originals all in one place.  Plus there’s lots of early colonial Oaxaca gold filigree, sand cast Yalalag silver crosses, and examples of the finest work that is no longer being made.


Of course, we couldn’t leave without going into the shop to look at the recreations in the style of Frida Kahlo — those big dangling, music-making earrings that jingle and jangle when you move.  Hollie models one of Juan’s designs.

Recently, Dave Emerson wrote about his visit to the museum on his blog Oaxaca Chapulines and gives a bit of history.

Today, store offerings included 1930’s Saltillo tapestries, wonderful old textiles, clay and wood sculpted figurines, masks, reliquaries, tissue paper collages by Rudolfo Morales, a Rufino Tamayo lithograph, colonial furniture, and other objects d’arte.


Proprietor Juan Jimenez is a patient host and offers lots of interesting tidbits about the history of the collection and what he has in the store.  You can feel comfortable looking to your heart’s content and not feel any obligation to make a purchase.

We also spent some time in the textile section of the museum.  Here are some photos of some exquisite older trajes (costumes) from villages throughout the state of Oaxaca.


These are woven on back-strap looms with the design integrated into the weft during the weaving process, or they may be intricately embroidered.  Many of the complex designs are no longer created, which makes this collection even more important.  Preservation of the textile tradition of Oaxaca is essential and it is nice to see this small permanent exhibition on display.

Email:  juanjimenezcaballero@hotmail.com 

or contact by telephone (951) 514-4996, cellular (044) 951-165-1517.  The museum closes daily between 2:00-4:00 p.m. for lunch.  Call ahead to be certain of hours.

8 responses to “Oaxaca Antiques, Silver Jewelry, Museum and Shop

  1. I am intersted in finding silver yalalag crosses, suggestions for where to look?

    • Hi, Lisa. Vintage are nearly impossible to find. You can check with Federico Jimenez He has a shop in Oaxaca on Matamoros at the corner of Tinaco y Palacios where he sells new and vintage jewelry and antiques. The gallery is called Museo Belber Jimenez. I recently saw a Yalalag cross in there. He would know where to find one. Also, there are new reproductions of varying quality around town in the jewelry shops.

  2. Antiguedades looks like a store full of wonderful treasures! The earrings look amazing on Hollie. Are the articles there all very pricey? What does a Rufino Tamayo lithograph cost?
    I could spend hours in a store like this, so thank you for the photographs!
    From (Hot)lanta, Robin

  3. Hi,

    Both the museum and the gift show are wonderful. Juan is indeed a treasure. I don’t know how many people know about the museum..it is off the “beaten path”.
    Warm regards from Seattle,
    Jo Ann

    • Jo Ann, yes, it very much is beyond the tourist path in the Centro Historico. Well worth the walk just a few blocks away from Macedonia Alcala. I hope this blog post will help people find Juan and the treasures he has there. Thanks for writing. My best, Norma

  4. Mucho Gracias for all you do.
    I want to learn more about Oaxaca. Some day I will visit you.
    Right now, on NPR (National Public Radio) I ‘m hearing about a man’s adventure to Oaxaca where he discovered an old musical instrument and an 80 yr old man to teach him a tradition that was almost lost. The old man said he was waiting for him. The visitor realized his responsibility to learn and to pass on the tradition.

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