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EMPEROR MAXIMILIAN'S SILVER PLATE



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The silversmith

The artist in charge of producing the table service of the Emperor was a man named Cayetano Buitrón.  In the book "Platería Mexicana", edited by the National Museum of the Viceroyaume in Tepotzotlán, one can read that Buitrón had been named Teniente Ensayador in Madrid.  Buitrón left the carge in 1843, but continued to work privately.  When Maximilian took the government the ancient Teniente Ensayador was probably already an old man and a reknowned master.

 

The Teniente Ensayador was the oficial marksman of the Royal House.  In the pieces produced by a Teniente Ensayador - as well as in the pieces that they reviewed - one could read their seals with the abbreviations of their names.  The presence of the letters BTRON and the fact that we know that BTRON worked privately for the Emperor assure us of its provenance.


This plate was, among with other pieces of silver of the Emperor's personal table service, given as a thank you gift for loyalty to doctor José Pablo Martínez del Río, a notable intelectual, imperialist and entrepreneur of the 19th century.  The piece has remained in the family ever since. 


Technical characteristics

  • Mexico City, Mexico, between 1863 and 1865.
  • Full silver, engraved with the Emperor's personal monogram and the imperial crown.
  • Diam: 21 cm.
  • Weight: 400 g.
  • Marked BUITRON, Master silversmith; two marks that talk about the origin of the piece are also visible.


Provenance

  • The personal service of Maximilian I, Emperor of Mexico
  • Private collection, Patoni palace, Mexico City (Martínez del Río y Pedemonte family)
  • Private collection, Mexico City (The collection of the Marchioness of Cilleruelo)
  • Private collection, France (Corcuera y Martínez del Río family)