Silver, together with Talavera type ceramics, is one of the most abundant collections in the collection. Even more than 95 percent of the silver pieces are of Mexican origin, since the country has been a great producer of this metal, in addition to Franz Mayer “ repatriated “many copies found in Europe.
Silver is one of the strongest parts of the Franz Mayer collection , consisting of more than 10,000 pieces of art and a similar number of books. This financier born in Mannheim, Germany, and Mexican nationalized had an addiction for treasuring ceramic objects, New Spain furniture, textiles, sculptures, paintings, fountain art, lacquers, hawksbill, ivory, engravings, glass and enamels. Everything that had to do with decorative arts.
His silver collection is considered one of the most important in Latin America. It is mostly made up of pieces made in Mexico and some of European origin. There are liturgical and civil works that allow us to observe the transformations of the ornamentation through four centuries, from the XVI to the XIX.
The room of the collector reopens a room with pieces never before exhibited to the public; the splendor of silver is the name of this space that after a restoration doubled its display size and tripled the number of works that were shown in the past
Such was the passion of the collector Franz Mayer for artistic objects made of silver, which commissioned his agents to notify him every time a Mexican piece went on sale in Europe to buy it immediately. Thus he managed to gather more than 1,300 works in silver, of which a selection of 330 will be exhibited as of today in a renovated room of the museum that bears his name
The room covers 10 themes, among which are The Indian spell; a section dedicated to the trade; Whims of the collector, of European silverware, where Mayer’s interests are addressed when acquiring pieces, especially Spanish and German, in auction houses and galleries; Glow of the divine, a visual glossary of objects at the service of the sacred; the recreations, Silver for the street, procession of the silver, The altar and its belongings, and From the table of the Lord to the table of the Lord, a visual parallel to the civil world, consisting of a pyramid-shaped counter, where They placed the large pieces of silver and crystal in the family.
The “star” piece of the room is a Eucharistic urn made at the end of the 17th century. This piece was bought by Mayer in New York in 1947.
By the brands, it is known that it was made by a silversmith from Galicia, called Juan Pose, neighbor of Santiago de Compostela.
It is an urn of rectangular structure as a box carved in solid silver. On the cover, the main motif of the piece is erected: the archangel Saint Michael defeating the demon. The inside of the ballot box is lined with pink silk and the coat of arms of Santo Domingo de Guzmán is embroidered.
Liturgical utensils such as candlesticks, miter, flakes, chalice, carved trays, corsages and lamps, among other objects, which in some cases are gold-plated and have precious stones embedded, are displayed in the room. There are also utensils of daily life such as spoons, plates, vases, mirrors, cups, knives and lamps.
The Franz Mayer Collection
It houses a permanent collection made up of objects that span 6 centuries of creation and innovation in the fields of art and design, beginning in the fifteenth century.
The collection was formed through several stages in Franz Mayer’s life, which were defined by the market situation, his travels and the historical moment he was living. His first acquisition was a batch of tiles belonging to other buildings, including the House of Tiles. These pieces were the beginning of a multifaceted and valuable collection where, in addition to ceramics, the collections of furniture, photography, silver or paint stand out, as well as the wide collection of watches, household goods, textiles and cartography.
With the passage of time the collection was refined with the help of experts in each subject and with the specialization that Franz Mayer himself acquired through the study of various topics related to his collection, until he was recognized for the unsurpassed quality of many works that the form. Acculturation, the diversity of techniques and materials, as well as the different contexts to which they belong make this collection an inexhaustible source of study.
It is the importance of the Franz Mayer Collection that has allowed pieces of singular value to have projection beyond the museum and be part of temporary exhibitions in Mexico and abroad.
Franz Mayer Museum
The Franz Mayer Museum, located in Mexico City, is one of Mexico’s most recognized museums on decorative arts. It was founded with the private collection of the businessman of the same name, of German origin. It houses the main collection of decorative arts in Mexico and presents temporary exhibitions of design and photography.
The collection allows us to appreciate pieces from different backgrounds, materials and styles from the 16th to the 19th centuries, mainly from Mexico, Europe and the East. The collection consists of pieces of silverware, ceramics, furniture, textiles, sculptures and paintings.
The building currently occupied by the museum is a place full of history. For four centuries it functioned as a hospital institution, standing out as the first hospital in America of the Order of San Juan de Dios.
The cloister, which due to its beauty is one of the attractions of the museum, serves as a framework for temporary exhibitions and through it you can access three rooms set from the viceroyalty: a dining room, a cabinet and a chapel.
In the high cloister is the Library open to the public and where there are also exhibits of the bibliographic collection. It protects more than 14,000 volumes, among which old and rare books, historical documents and 800 editions of El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de La Mancha stand out.
The museum offers guided tours, courses, conferences, concerts, shows, children’s workshops, as well as special activities for its members.