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Elephant Milagro Man

Oct 27, 2020

“There’s a meaning in these objects. They are much more than metal and design. They represent love and time and history.”

—Alejandro Sifuentes

On his first visit to a jewelry store, a teen-aged Alejandro Sifuentes was intrigued by the small scale and level of detail in the pieces. Some 40 years later, that fascination continued when the San Antonio metalsmith miniaturized our Elephant Cellar sign to create the little silver elephant charm we bestow on our guests.

Why an elephant? Because guests have been enchanted and intrigued by the sculpted sign that identifies our ballroom, the Elephant Cellar. It portrays an adventurous pachyderm swathed in silk and prepared for travel. Why Elephant Cellar? Because decades ago the Cellar’s big gray beer tanks with upraised pipe “trunks” reminded brewery workers of elephants. The three-dimensional sign was conceived by the designer of Hotel Emma’s logo and hotel-wide branding program, then crafted by Robert Diaz De Leon.

Our guests’ (and staff’s) fondness for the elephant inspired the idea of making elephant milagros (traditional Mexican religious charms) as good luck symbols and tokens of appreciation and remembrance. That’s where Alejandro and his decades of jewelry-making skill came into the picture.

After studying the sign, he made a large version of the milagro to work out the detail. Tiny iterations of that original prototype now go home with guests and can also be found at Curio, our gift shop.

Alejandro says, “In nature, elephants are powerful and protective. Ganesha, the Hindu elephant god, is prominent in stories as the remover of obstacles. The background spiritual aspect of the elephant milagro was already there.”

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