Categoria de Coleção: Furniture

The groups of religious and civil furniture together form a temporal arc which extends from the 16th to the 20th century. The collection includes examples illustrating artistic cycles that have made Portuguese furniture famous. It also includes pieces of European and oriental origin.

Among Portuguese furniture, the ‘national’ style stands out, a period of artistic individualisation between 1675 and 1725; as well as the Baroque examples from the second half of the 18th century, using materials and techniques that also particularise it. From the passage of the 18th to the 19th century, the neoclassical period, a set of pieces created for the reception spaces of the old palace is preserved, which allow for a rare reading of furniture and architecture, painting and decorative stuccoes.

The pieces of European origin are part of artistic movements indicative of significant tastes and influences for the Portuguese examples.

The set of oriental pieces, an artistic legacy of Portuguese Expansion and its colonial empire, provides the reading of a crossroads of cultures through luxurious objects made in a plurality of rare and exotic materials.

Library table

England (?)


Mahogany; gilt brass; 273 lithotypes

Inventory sheet


In 1838, this table belonged to the João Allen Museum in Porto, where it was classified. Probably made in England, the top has 273 rare and ancient lithotypes from Italy, from emblematic archaeological sites, such as Herculaneum, Pompeii and the outskirts of Rome. At the time, the table had a catalogue classifying its different types of marble, which was lost, but which recent classifying studies have recovered. It followed precursor examples of mid-18th century models, which fulfilled a cultural and scientific programme that defined the Grand Tour, revealing a fascination both for the emblematic sites of antiquity and the study of the natural sciences.

Pair of pier-glass and console tables

Luigi Chiari (attributed)


Carved and gilded Nordic Spruce, mahogany and chestnut; oil painting on canvas on the mirror medallion; black marble

Tremó 47 Mob MNSR inventory sheet

Tremó 48 Mob MNSR inventory sheet


Attributed to the Italian artist Luigi Chiari, these trumeau mirrors would have been created for the Carrancas Palace Music Room.

Luigi Chiari would have worked on the palace interiors, designing a set in neoclassical style for the Music Room. There is a principle of decorative harmony followed between the furniture – namely the carving of the pier-glass and console tables and the delicate oil figures on the mirrors – and the stuccoes and paintings depicting the Bacchae in the corners of the ceiling.

Cutlery case



Carved Brazilian rosewood; red velvet lining; gilded fittings; chiselled and drawn silver escutcheon

Inventory sheet

The progressive sophistication of domestic habits, essentially in the second half of the 18th century, can be seen in this piece. Displayed on sideboards in the dining room, these objects had silver handles on their interior, exposed on the inclined surface. This example brings together the best technical and artistic qualities of 18th century Baroque furniture: the undulating surface, the ornamental carving with palmettes and detailed floral species, and a mascaron added to the lock.

Pier-glass and console tables



Gilded Nordic Spruce; oil painting on canvas in the mirror decoration; white marble

Inventory sheet

The use of a large mirror between two shutters, to which a console could be added, was a decorative solution widely used in France from the early years of the 18th century. It was widespread throughout Europe for the decoration of ceremonial or reception rooms, where the trumeau mirrors reflected and magnified the light, conferring luxury and grandeur on the rooms.
This example is highlights gilded woodcarving with Baroque vegetal and marine motifs.

Trousseau chest



Wood, carved leather; fabric (damask) and chiselled metals (iron, brass and bronze)

Inventory sheet

On the top of this chest, inserted in a cartouche, we can find the scene that determines the specific function of this chest, that of containing the bridal trousseau: a kneeling gentleman offers his heart to a lady.
A major tradition in the Iberian Peninsula, carved leather was a prestigious material among the elite, as would be the case with this bride belonging to the Vieira e Vasconcelos family, whose coat of arms is represented on the front.
Dense ornamentation fills the whole piece with Baroque naturalistic features, such as shellac, feather bands and other rarer elements. There are, for example, winged hybrid figures in foliage petticoats and fantastic dragon-headed animals.




António de Azevedo Fernandes, Porto


Brazilian rosewood; gilded brass fittings; gilded and polychrome wooden image

Inventory sheet

This lectern was commissioned by Mother Mariana de S. Paulo, abbess of the Royal Convent of Santa Clara of Vila do Conde, and was intended for the upper choir of the convent’s church.

The four-faced monumental lecterns are among the most prestigious pieces of furniture of the second half of the 17th century. Polygonal and faithful to the geometric patterns of the 16th century, they are supported on claw-shaped feet, and are made of rosewood with a great variety of gilded brass applications. The lectern is surmounted by a polychrome, gilded sculpture of St Paul.


Choir stand 3.5 meters high and with a pyramidal structure, with a four-sided support for placing song books. It has a hexagonal base from which voluminous volutes emerge that rest at one end, on a plinth with a polygonal structure equal to that of the base. The rosewood surfaces have abundant golden brass trimmings with different applications. The compositions of the metallic friezes vary between floral stylized motifs, topped with fleur-de-lis and buttons or discs appearing at the ends of the scroll friezes. The metal feet are in the shape of a bird’s claw. The top ends with the statue of St. Paul, a large sculpture in gilded and polychrome wood, with the attributes of the book and sword.



17th century (late)

Turned Brazilian rosewood, cut and cast gilded brass, straw

Inventory sheet


This bier was used for the burial of nuns, transporting the body to its grave in the Royal Convent of Santa Clara of Vila do Conde.
The assemblers of this type of piece integrated materials and techniques that define the first phase of the national Baroque in furniture. It is characterised by the use of rosewood imported from Brazil, which enhanced the use of turned features, and by the application of metallic fittings in gilded brass, made in highly creative compositions and revealing the influence of furniture produced in India.




Carved northern oak; pine, chestnut (?), tola, metals

Inventory sheet

It is very rare for wooden Renaissance pulpits to have survived to this day. In the long history of this remarkable piece, tradition has it that it was used by St. Francis Xavier when preaching in India, while another tradition suggests that it belonged to a church in Vila do Conde.
The characteristics of Portuguese furniture from the first half of the 16th century can be found here. There are Gothic ornaments, such as the fantastic animals with arched backs at the base and the pinnacles separating the panels; as well as Renaissance motifs, such symmetrical grotesques, vegetal motifs, cornucopias and imaginary birds.

Table cabinet

India, Gujarat


Teak; gold leaf; polychrome painting; tortoiseshell plates; ivory; gilt copper

Inventory sheet

This small, tortoiseshell plated box is polychrome painted, including on the reverse and inside its nine drawers.
It is a very rare piece that portrays the daily life of a Portuguese man and his wife in 16th century India. In different scenes, arranged over all the available surfaces of the box, the couple and their family are depicted in idyllic settings: in gardens, on outings or at leisure, in hunting activities or at meals, a moment described in detail on the top of the cabinet.

Namban Screens

Japan/ Kano School
Namban Art, Momoyama Period (c. 1600 – 1610)
Tempera painting on mulberry paper covered with gold leaf; lacquered wooden grid

Biombo 864 Mob MNSR inventory sheet

Biombo 864 Mob MNSR inventory sheet

These screens depict the presence of the Portuguese in southern Japanese ports and their meeting with a new culture in the late 16th century. The large-format composition presents a colourful panorama against a gold background.
There is a meticulous representation of the clothes and symbols of a lucrative trade in luxury goods, silks, porcelains, small pieces of furniture and a rarely depicted element, the silver chest.
The first screen depicts a large ship and the disembarkation of the travellers and their merchandise. The second screen maintains the narrative of commercial activity and also documents the presence of the missionaries of the Society of Jesus. In the background, the Christian mission is marked by a Cross and, exhibiting local practices, the Portuguese bear witness to a broad cultural encounter.