On a daily stroll down the Ancha you will often see Miguel Cabrera proudly standing outside greeting passersby while setting up his intimate antique shop La Reliquia at Ancha de San Antonio #17. Miquel, 40, is not only a welcoming and genial soul, but he is well-versed in the stories of each of the items in his collection.
While there is no visible sign, the interior and exterior walls draw you in as the well as the colorful streetscape of La Reliquia which resembles a gallery. Painted bovine heads, some with gold leafing, authentic metates and the most recent acquisition of a handcrafted Mexican rifle are among his many finds.
Born and raised in SMA, Miguel and his wife live above the storefront on the bustling Ancha across from the Instituto Allende. Miguel began collecting when he was 30 years and has the eye of someone who sees the beauty in the ordinary. On a recent tour through La Reliquia, I found a pair of Mexican cannonballs that had reached a silvery metallic patina and livestock branding irons turned into candle holders.
Known for his discerning collection of authentic wooden doors and eccentric oddities, Miquel is not only a salvager but a collector of Mexican history. There are many gems in his inventory, some unusual and some statement making. Bits and pieces of his collection include hard to find gilded wooden frames, antique wool rugs and hand forged knives.
He scours and sources items from nearby towns and states, including Yucatan, Zacatecas and Oaxaca. Although he does little advertising and virtually no social media, Miquel has a small following of collectors, architects and customers from all over Mexico. “Customers usually find me through word of mouth and referrals from other collectors.”
You can reach Señor Cabrera @ 415-114-4208 or at stop by his storefront at Ancha de San Antonio #17 in Colonia San Antonio.
Margaux Bolin is a recent Chicago transplant. She is inspired daily by the SMA community and enjoys sharing the stories of local artisans and vendors who may not engage in social media. Most days you can find her on the tennis court or with her head buried in an interior design book.