Vintage Coffee Serving Set, c. 1940
by Ana Nuñez de Brilanti (1910-1999)
Plateria Victoria, Taxco, Mexico
mixed metals of copper and sterling silver
coffee pot: 8.5” x 8” x 6”
creamer: 4.5” x 5.5” x 3”
sugar: 4.5” x 3.25” diameter
Ana Núñez de Bilanti was born on December 21th, 1907. The eldest daughter of a Revolution-era colonel, she lived in downtown Mexico City during her youth. She learned languages, piano and worked as general assistant to Diego Rivera during the latest's muralist work in Palacio Nacional.
In 1931 she married Rafael Brilanti, a public servant; in 1939, the family moved to Taxco, where her husband was sent to work. She later met renowned designer William Spratling, who cheered her to work as a silversmith. By 1948, she founded her Victoria workshop along side of Antonio Castillo of Los Castillos and Margot van Voorhies of Margot De Taxco.
As with most metal workers of her generation, her jewelry and utilitarian pieces explored the prehispanic iconography and motiffs. She mentored many young metalsmiths including her daughter who founded the Cony workshop in 1958. If you were lucky in the 80's and 90's you might find Ana in the Cony workshop selling her daughter's beautiful works.
Ana died peacefully at home in Taxco in 1999.