Mazatlan: The price of history … antiques that are worth more than ‘gold’


More than a bazaar, the establishment of Javier Mestas is a museum where you can find relics of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries

Mazatlan, Sinaloa.- The world stops just when you enter the Gran Bazar of Javier Mestas Torres, a place that brings us back to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, for all that is there.

And is that appreciating the hundreds of objects distributed around this old building in the Historic Center of Mazatlan, makes us imagine how it was lived in those times.

Pieces of cut glass, Chinese porcelain, and fine ceramics, is the first thing people perceive that approach the bazaar, and there are those who initially believe that it is a history museum. But no, all the objects are for sale, since most of them have been acquired by Javier outside of Mazatlan, and a minimum of them have been sold by Mazatlecos.

Of Spanish descent, he says he arrived at the port more than 20 years ago, where he was employed in various types of jobs, before he could open his antique business.

Having lived in an old house of the Motherland, he mentions, is the main reason why he has a great appreciation for old pieces, such as those he remembers in his home since he has reason.

Possibly from there bring the taste for all this, for being surrounded by antiques, that one day I have them and that another I have to sell them to those who also like

 Javier Mestas Torres

He assures that there will always be people who will buy such objects, even if they do not need them, since as it happens to him, whenever he sees something that catches his attention, he acquires it as it gives rise.

It’s been 15 years that the antiquarian has been with his shop, located on Calle 5 de Mayo, almost at the corner with Ángel Flores, just behind the Municipal Palace.

During this time he has acquired all kinds of items, mostly old ones, which are of great value for people who like to buy them in order to keep them.

Precisely, he said, the sale of objects made it reduce its acquisition range, which now focuses on pieces of glass, ceramics, porcelain, and bronze.

This selection of items can be seen inside showcases, which over the years, some leave their site when purchased and others arrive for their next sale.

Precisely, he says, he never knows what can come through the door of his business, since from 2005 to date he has seen countless objects pass through his hands.

Remember that among the most valuable items you have had is a printing press from the year 1810, which after more than a month of having it on the sideboard, had to say goodbye to it.

Another article sold, he says, was a family album, whose images from the 1870s or 1880s, showed the way of life of the people of the 19th century in the municipality.

Such objects prevail in their establishment, waiting for a buyer, as is the case of a vitrola, dating from the year 1899, or a phonograph from the beginning of the last century.

75% of the antiques offered were purchased in different parts of the Mexican Republic, while the rest arrive by themselves.

Some things I go out and buy them, others, the same people, who know the bazaar, come and offer them and they are acquired depending on how old 

Javier Mestas Torres

Guadalajara, Tepito, and Culiacán, he asserts, are some of the places in the country where he has found attractive pieces, which become favorites for antique lovers.

Having a great variety of 100% old objects, which he divides into 4 sections in his establishment, has made him not interested in items offered in other bazaars.

The attractiveness of having pieces that are considered collectible, he acknowledges, has brought customers to the store not only from the region but from across the country.

Here they come from all over the Republic, mainly from the north of the country, between states such as Durango, Coahuila, Chihuahua, and Sonora, which are the ones that visit us most frequently 

Javier Mestas Torres

American and Canadian tourism, he says, cannot be left behind, since during their stay in the city they take the opportunity to go and make a purchase.

The original paintings and portraits, he points out, are what foreigners like best, who arrive in the city via tourist cruises and acquire them to decorate their homes.

From mouth to mouth

For the merchant, the old seems to be fought with the modern, because although he recognizes the importance of advertising, he has never used it to sell his products.

Social networks, he says, are widely used in the antique sector, and that is reflected in their marketing, mainly through Facebook.

There is a lot of sales on the internet, but that does not attract my attention, because I think the best thing is the personal sale we make here, to where the buyers arrive 

Javier Mestas Torres

He clarifies that the best publicity for his articles is that of word of mouth, that his clients realize when recommending it to others, that do not lose the opportunity to visit it for a possible purchase.

The price of history

However, he acknowledges that television programs such as “The Price of History” made his place more known to people, who on a normal day make between 2 and 3 purchases.

The merchant acknowledges that at first, the sales were difficult, but as a result of said US broadcast, in which they talked about his bazaar, it became a kind of free advertising that made more customers come closer.

Most of the acquisitions, he said, are to be part of a collection, although they are usually used to decorate a home, whose owner likes antiques.

Javier is passionate about history, although he opens his Gran Bazar from 10:00 in the morning to 7:00 in the afternoon, he can spend much more time surrounded by antiques, through which he transports to other times and imagines the places they passed before they reached him.

Source: el sol de mazatlan

The Mazatlan Post