The small and narrow ceramic shop was just as I had remembered although I must admit I did not remember having been there before until I stepped inside its threshold and had a sense of déjà vu. (I don’t recall much from my first trip to Madrid twenty-five years prior save for my horror at the three dollar cans of Coca-Cola so I was surprised by any additional recollection.) I gravitated to the same tile of the bullfighter hanging by the door and then realized I already purchased it.
The proprietor, the great-grandson of the founder, confirmed my sense of déjà vu: he had reviewed old photographs of the store and found that not much had changed since the store opened in 1904. Original posters from the 1929 World’s International Exposition adorn the shop’s ceiling and the once colorful tile floor has been transmuted into a brick-like ochre by the brush of the toe taps and heel caps once popular on shoes.
Talavera carries replica works from as far back as the sixteenth century, preserving in its endeavor the patterns and designs which permeated through Spanish ceramic design. It is like a museum with its vast and comprehensive collection; I took care not to knock over any of the pieces, much like, I suppose, my first visit. Talavera is a nice place to spend some time admiring Spain’s ceramic diversity all while finding something nice to take back to the folks at home.