Tag Archives: antiques

Antiques in San Pablo Villa de Mitla, Tlacolula, Oaxaca

There is a tall, inconspicuous door on a San Pablo Villa de Mitla side street. Open it and discover a home gallery filled with antique treasures. The inventory is small and includes ancient stone metates, glass vases hand-painted with flowers and edged in gold, reliquaries and ex votos. Señor Epifanio knows his stuff.

Scott Roth-6

Scott Roth holding an old Mitla hand-woven textile

Upstairs via a narrow, concrete passageway painted in brilliant blue is a gallery filled with blown glass mezcal bottles, remnants of the time when this was how the agave liquor was stored. They are hard to find and very expensive.

Scott Roth-3

Dolls, old photos, books, chachkeh from Mitla, Oaxaca

Occasionally, there is a jewelry find, like the Mexican silver coin earrings from the early part of the 20th century. I returned a month later to buy them and they were gone. Rule for Shopping in Mexico: buy it when you see it. Usually, these things are one-of-a-kind.

Scott Roth-2

Hand-blown mezcal and water bottles, most from Oaxaca, 1950’s-1960’s

I’m reluctant to share the address and contact information. Only because I haven’t asked permission to cite the location, plus these things are getting scarce, and with scarcity comes higher prices. As demand rises, prices do, too. So, why am I publishing this?

So you can see the photos, of course.

Faces and Festivals Chiapas Photography Workshop

Scott Roth

Portrait of Scott Roth with old Zapotec textile from Teotitlan del Valle

 

Tour Puebla, Mexico: Cooking & Culture, From the Humble to the Divine

August 13-18, starting at $895 per person double occupancy–

  • Chiles en Nogada Cooking Class
  • Sumptuous Dinner Party in a Private Historic Home
  • Elegant Dining and Neighborhood Eating
  • Flea Market and Antique Shopping
  • Museums, Churches, Archeology, History

DSC_0480-8 DSC_0451-10  DSC_0453-10

Puebla, Mexico, is a short two hours from Mexico City by bus direct from the international airport. It is one of my favorite Mexican cities and I often stop here going to and from Oaxaca. It is the home of Talavera tile, Cinco de Mayo, Mole Poblano, chiles en nogada, and cemitas. It has a weekend antiques and flea market that draws crowds, gilded churches, Baroque architecture with pastel and tiled facades topped with white plaster meringue, great chefs, outstanding restaurants, and ancient archeological sites.  At 7,000 feet altitude, visitors enjoy moderate temperatures year ’round, even in summer!

Puebla_w_BSB-46 Puebla_w_BSB-24

Your five night, 6-day visit includes:

  • 5 nights lodging in a lovely, highly rated historic center hotel
  • guided visits to famed, certified Talavera ceramics studios
  • visits to extraordinary museums like Museo Amparo
  • chiles en nogada cooking class in a private home featured in Mexicocina with market tour, and lunch
  • sumptuous candlelit dinner that evening presented by our cooking teachers/hosts
  • gourmet dining and neighborhood/market fare experiences
  • time on your own to explore the incredible weekend antique/flea market
  • in-depth visits to archeological and religious sites of Cholula and Tonantzintla
  • Plus, lots more.

DSC_0549-5 DSC_0675-2 DSC_0667-2

Puebla is Mexico’s fourth largest city, cosmopolitan without being overwhelming.  It is relaxed, accessible, and easily experienced in several days. Known as the ‘City of the Angels’” or Angelopolis, Puebla, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was founded in 1531 as a purely colonial Spanish city built from the ground up—not on top of an existing indigenous temple — at the trading crossroads between the port of Veracruz and Mexico City.  More than 5,000 Baroque-designed buildings date mostly from the 16th century and are covered in handcrafted Talavera.

 Talavera Reyna

Puebla is also about shopping! The highlight is Talavera pottery. And, there are many other local crafts: Tree of Life clay figures, bark paper paintings, woven and embroidered textiles from the Sierra Norte, red clay cooking vessels and dinnerware, and unique onyx and marble sculptures. You can find these and much more at the traditional markets, the stalls that line Puebla’s beautiful plazas, and at the weekend flea and antique market.

 DSC_0567-7

Puebla is known throughout Mexico for its excellent cuisine, a blend of pre-Hispanic, Arabic, French and Spanish influences.  There are many outstanding Tesoros de Mexico-rated (Mexico’s highest) restaurants, and we’ll be dining at a few!

DSC_0343-8

We’ll also go to Cholula, an indigenous village just outside Puebla with the world’s widest ancient pyramid, Quetzalcoatl. The Spanish built the Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de los Remidios with its amazing 24-carat gold basilica atop the pyramid.  On a clear day you can see snow-capped Popocatepetl, an active volcano, showing off his powerful plume.

Puebla_w_BSB-45  DSC_0194-17

Preliminary Itinerary:

  • Day 1, August 13: Travel to Puebla, check-in to our historic center hotel
  • Day 2, August 14: Chiles en Nogada Cooking class with market tour & lunch, followed by sumptuous private dinner
  • Day 3, August 15: Cholula archeology site, Tonantzintla church, and Talavera de la Reyna ceramics
  • Day 4, August 16: Antiques and flea market, museums, market lunch
  • Day 5, August 17: Gallery hopping and shopping, fine dining
  • Day 6, August 18: Departure

DSC_0644-5 Puebla_w_BSB-14 DSC_0674-3

Our stops will include:

  • Antique market & Barrio del Artista
  • Museo Amparo
  • Talavera galleries and shops
  • Tonantzintla Templo de Santa Maria
  • La Purificadora Hotel, an architectural wonder, designed by Ricardo and Victor Legorreta
  • Uriarte and Talavera de la Reyna ceramics studios

We include private transportation on a day-trip to Cholula, Tonantzintla, and Talavera de la Reyna ceramics studios.

DSC_0445-10 Talavera Painter MS Best

Transportation to Puebla:  Puebla is easily accessed by Estrella Roja first class bus direct from the Benito Juarez International Airport (Terminal One and Terminal Two) and from Oaxaca on ADO.  If you are coming from the U.S. be sure to reserve your round trip air travel to/from Mexico City. When you register, we will give you complete “how to get there” information.

DSC_0429-7 DSC_0412-6

What is Not Included:

  • meals, snacks, alcoholic beverages
  • entrance fees to local museums/attractions
  • transportation to/from Mexico City
  • transportation to/from Puebla
  • mandatory international health/accident insurance
  • tips for hotels, meals and other services 

Cost:

  • $895 per person double occupancy, shared room and bath
  • $1,195 per person single occupancy, private room and bath

Reservations and Cancellations

A 50% deposit will guarantee your spot.  The final payment for the balance is due on or before July 1, 2014.  Payment shall be made by PayPal.  We will be happy to send you an itemized invoice.

Helene's Cemita Fish Market Puebla SK

Please understand that we make lodging and other arrangements months in advance of the program.  Deposits or payments in full are often required by our hosts.  If cancellation is necessary, please tell us in writing by email.   After July 1, no refunds are possible.  However, we will make every possible effort to fill your reserved space or you may send a substitute.  If you cancel on or before July 1, we will refund 50% of your deposit.  We ask that you take out trip cancellation, baggage, emergency evacuation and medical insurance before you begin your trip, since accidents happen.

Chiles for Cemitas Puebla_w_BSB-39

Required–Travel Health/Accident Insurance:  We require that you carry international accident/health/emergency evacuation insurance.  Proof of insurance must be sent at least two weeks before departure.  If you do not wish to do this, we ask you email a PDF of a notarized waiver of responsibility, holding harmless Norma Hawthorne and Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC.  Unforeseen circumstances happen!

To register, email us at  normahawthorne@mac.com.  If you have questions, send us an email. We accept payment with PayPal only. Thank you.

This workshop is produced by Norma Hawthorne, Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC.  We reserve the right to modify the itinerary.

 

 

 

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.

Antiques & Folk Art in Puebla, Mexico–La Quinta de San Antonio

Directly across from our Hotel Real Santander is treasure trove of collectibles, antiques, folk art, sculpture, chandeliers, textiles, and jewelry.  Everything inside La Quinta de San Antonio Antiguedades y Arte Popular is at least mid-century and much, much older.  I would measure the contents in cubic rather than square feet.  Look up across the 20-foot high colonial ceilings of this 16th century structure and scan the room so you are sure not to miss anything.  Here is a visual journey of this fabulous shop operated by Antonio and Alfonso.

  

 

 

 

 

 

Antonio Ramirez Priesca prowls the villages and towns throughout the Puebla valley to find the very best treasures.  Old Puebla families call him when they want to dispose of an heirloom estate.  Antonio’s family has been in Puebla for a long time.  He and Alfonso have extraordinary taste and an excellent eye for the unusual.

  

    

The colors and textures and shapes are assemblages that tell a story.  Hard and soft surfaces are combined.  Clay, metal, dried flowers create a still life that any great painter would appreciate.

    

Find La Quinta de San Antonio at Calle 7 Oriente #10, Centro Historico Puebla, (222) 232-1189.   You’ll recognize Antonio by the photo below!

   

 

 

On Sundays you might find Alfonso at the flea market on Calle 6 Sur between Calles 5 and 7 Oriente near the fountain.  Today,  he had the antique sterling silver earring box with him.  Who could resist?

Flea Market and Antiques Finds in Puebla, Mexico

Shopping in Puebla, Mexico during Saturday and Sunday Flea Market days is a treasure hunt.  Vendors begin to set up on the sidewalk around 11 a.m. each Saturday on Calle 6 Sur between Calle 7 Oriente and Calle 5 Oriente.  This is a pedestrian walkway lined with open-every-day, higher quality antique and folk art shops like Rene Nieto, where I found this great antique hand-painted angel figure that has a coin slot.  Could it be a bank or an offering vessel?

 

Most of the fleas are aged, rusted metal corroded for interest, old coins and out-of-circulation peso notes, a mish-mash of old and new jewelry, posters, pottery, books, and rusted tools.  A careful look can take an hour or more.  Enjoy.  Food vendors and musicians set up shop there, too.  And, you can even say a prayer at the outdoor altar.  Hollie bought old copper milagros for her mixed media art here.

              

The block between Calle 5 Oriente and Calle 3 Oriente is more upscale with antique and jewelry and clothing shops.  Flower pots spilling over with color adorn the street.

                    

Don’t miss the antique shops along both sides of 5 Oriente and 3 Oriente.  Many have unusual pieces of furniture, lamps, redware handpainted pottery and old Talavera tiles.

This exquisite old chest of drawers is 12,000 pesos.  That’s roughly $900 USD.  If you can buy it, then you would need to figure out how to ship it.  No small feat.

            

Old and new masks, table linens, embroidered blouses, shawls in various stages of use can all be found here, along with delicious fresh fried potato chip snacks drizzled with chile powder, limes, and salt.

 

When you plan your visit to Puebla, make sure you are here over the weekend!  You won’t be disappointed.  Hollie wasn’t and neither was I.

 Where to stay?  Hotel Real Santander, Calle 7 Oriente #13.  This is my home away from home in Puebla where they take really good care of us.  Ask for Carolina or Yolande if you want special service.  1,000 pesos per night double, 850 pesos per night single.   Two blocks from the Zocalo and from the Flea Market, one block from my favorite restaurant El Mural de los Poblanos.