Heaven for lovers of antiques, this collection of decorative furniture, rugs, paintings, ceramics, and silverware was the life's work of German immigrant Franz Mayer. Upon his death in 1975, he bequeathed the collection to his adopted country and we all are the richer for it. Some 10,000 pieces strong, it has important works from across the globe and the centuries (from the colonial era through the 20th century) but concentrates on pieces from Mexico. Among the masterworks are unique examples of Talavera pottery (a distinctive form of maiolica pottery, from the city of Puebla but with its roots in Spain); silver reliquaries; inlaid furniture; and nearly 1000 copies of the book Don Quixote, most of which have unique illustrations or typographical anomalies. Appropriately enough, these gems are housed in a lovely 18th-century mansion, located near the Plaza de la Santa Veracruz, but just far enough away from the chaos at the heart of the historic center to be wonderfully serene.