Categoria de Coleção: Goldwork and Jewellery

The Goldwork and Jewellery sections were set up in 1932 with the incorporation of a group of objects from the Episcopal Palace collection, in Porto. The collection has grown with the incorporation of pieces from extinct convents, collections from royal palaces, donations and one-off acquisitions.

The Porto City Council collections deposited in the Soares dos Reis National Museum in 1937 significantly enhanced the Jewellery section; enriching it with a varied set of jewels belonging to the collection of the former Municipal Museum.

Bodice Ornament

Guarnição de Corpete


No manufacturing marks


Silver, yellow topazes, chrysoberyls, garnets, quartz, beryls and colourless topazes; green and blue doublets, quartz and red-lined topazes

Inventory sheet

This bodice ornament is linked to the devotion to the Virgin of Carmel in Lisbon. The discovery of an engraving by Froes Machado (1759-1796) enabled this jewel to be linked to her cult, since it represents an image of Our Lady of Mount Carmel of Lisbon, belonging to the Carmelite convent, in which she is wearing it on her bodice. The image, which supposedly occupied the high altar of the convent church, would have had a trousseau including garments, cloaks and jewellery offered by the royal house and nobility of the time.
The piece joined the Soares dos Reis National Museum’s collection in 1945, having been part of the royal treasure kept in the vault of the Palácio das Necessidades after the establishment of the Republic in 1910.

Devotional pendant

Pendente devocional


No manufacturer’s mark


Cast gold, chiselled; colourless quartz; engraving

Inventory sheet

The medallion has two polychrome engravings, placed in the centre and between glazes. On the face, the Divine Shepherdess is depicted, and on the reverse side, St Isidore. The devotion and iconography of the Virgin as the shepherdess of souls appeared, from 1703 onwards, associated with Saint Isidore of Seville. According to tradition, the Virgin appeared to the Capuchin friar dressed as a shepherdess. This new representation, which spread from Spain to the whole of South America and Europe, was taken on as a symbol of the Capuchin Order.
This pendant is in the form of a double-framed oval medallion, surrounded by a border of floral motifs, scrolls and other stylised ornamental features topped by a floret, in the Baroque style. The composition is enriched by the application of eight lapidated colourless quartz crystals.

Devotional Lantern Pendant

Pendente Lanterna

Mexico or Spain


Gold, enamels, natural pearls, glass, boxwood and hummingbird feathers

Inventory sheet

This devotional pendant, made of gold with applications of enamels and natural pearls, is in the shape of a small temple. Its sides feature a set of eight miniaturised scenes from Christ’s Passion, sculpted in boxwood. Behind these figures, one can glimpse a background covered with greenish feathers.
The origin of this type of devotional pendant has been the subject of debate among specialists. The use of a rock crystal receptacle enclosing figures, enamelled reliefs in gold mountings, decorated with geometrical motifs and cut-out cartouches, as well as pearl pendants characterised the production of Spanish jewellery in the second half of the 16th century. However, the miniature sculptures in boxwood with feather matting (an Aztec tradition in the art of feather work) suggest a production linked to the Franciscan missionary schools in Mexico.

Episcopal ring

Anel episcopal

No manufacturer’s mark


Gold, diamonds

Inventory sheet

Like the crosier and the mitre, the ring is another of the objects symbolising the dignity of a bishop in the Catholic Church. Representative of fidelity and union with the Church, the episcopal ring is the first of the insignias to be blessed and handed over to the new bishop during his consecration.
This ring belonged to Américo Ferreira dos Santos Silva, Bishop of Porto between 1871 and 1879.

Set of Reserve Ampullae

Portugal , Porto

Goldsmith: IOC, José de Oliveira Caetano

1810 – 1818

White and gilt silver, rolled, cast, chiselled and engraved

Inventory sheet

The ampullae were used as a reserve deposit for the Holy Oils, present in certain Catholic rituals.
These are fine examples of early 19th century Portuguese goldsmithery. Their geometrical structure and the smooth, polished treatment of the surfaces reflect the influence of Robert Adam’s British classicism. This movement was inspired by the classical arts and culture of Ancient Greece and Rome.


India, Gujarat

16th century

Tortoise shell; silver, chiselled, cut and cast

Inventory sheet

This coffer, datable to the second half of the 16th century, was executed in translucent tortoiseshell plates taken from the belly of the shell. The silver mountings are decorated with vegetal and animal motifs. On the lock is the characteristic lizard-shaped bolt which, in the light of Indian iconology, is interpreted as a symbol of fire and immortality.
Like some of the tortoiseshell coffers found in other Portuguese collections, this piece does not display any features that point to a specific function. It is known that some of these coffers were used in convents and churches to contain relics, which would not have excluded them from having other functions.


Italy, Rome

Goldsmith: Pietro Paulo Pieri

1685 – 1718

Engraved and chiselled rolled silver

Inventory Sheet Tray 38.1 Our MNSR

Inventory Sheet Tray 38.2 Our MNSR

A commissioned imported work, this tray features the Salgado, Araújo, Câmara and Tavares coat of arms of D. João da Cruz, 22nd Bishop of Miranda (1750-1756). The piece illustrates the formal and decorative austerity that characterised Portuguese taste throughout the 17th and early 18th century.
It is part of an original set of five square trays, which are to be found today in three public museums: the Museu do Abade de Baçal, o Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga and the Soares dos Reis National Museum.


Portugal, Porto

Goldsmith: BF, attributable to Baltazar Fernandes

18th century (1700-1758)

Drawn and chiselled silver

Inventory sheet

Made in Porto in the first half of the 18th century, this large salver is stylistically associated with the late 17th century due to its compositional type and decorative theme. In the dense bird, foliage and flower decoration, the tulip continues to predominate: the period’s favourite ornamental flower.


Portugal, Porto

Goldsmith: IRC, unidentified

1768- c. 1784

Inventory sheet

As a result of the maritime expansion in the Modern Age, contacts with the Orient and America created new consumption habits in Europe. Tea, coffee and chocolate became widespread as beverages, which led to the production of objects suitable to serve them to connoisseurs.
This silver teapot, on which we can find the influence of late 18th century French models, was part of the group of pieces from the Porto Episcopal Palace transferred to the State after the Republic was established. It was definitively incorporated into the Soares dos Reis National Museum collection in 1938.

Incense Boat


No manufacturer’s mark


Inventory file

Catholic ceremonies have included the burning of incense since the early days of Christianity. The incense boat, whose name comes from its boat like shape, was used to store the incense used in these rituals.
This baroque-style piece, from the Palácio das Necessidades, in Lisbon, arrived at the Soares dos Reis National Museum in the 1940s in order to be studied, classified and eventually exhibited.