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“Priceless” piece of the Portuguese crown, which the state considered very expensive, is for sale – Observer



"Priceless" piece of the Portuguese crown, which the state considered very expensive, is for sale - Observer

For a week in Lisbon, an item was sold that was considered “very valuable”, which belonged to the Portuguese royal family after the earthquake of 1755 and which, according to the antiques seller who now sells, was used in the baptism of the future Queen D. Maria II (1819-1853 ).

This water vessel consists of a gilded silver plate used in royal ceremonies and ordered around 1500 by an unknown Portuguese noble family, according to an antiques dealer. It is part of the Royal Treasury of the Portuguese state, but it is separated, and in order to return to the original collection it will need to be purchased through the Ministry of Culture, which considers the price to be overpriced.

Sage was one of the most coveted objects of those who appear at the 25th edition of the famous antiques fair LAAF (Lisbon Art and Antiques Fair), which opened on the 10th at the Cordoaria Nacional and will end on Monday 19th. sold by an antique shop in Lisbon Galeria de São Roque.

The price was not disclosed to the Observer responsible for this, Mario Roque, but he explained that “a salvo of this quality and importance is priceless.” “It definitely has a lower price than the D. Maria II tiara,” he added, referring to a piece bought four months ago at an auction in Geneva for € 1.3 million and which the Portuguese government had tried unsuccessfully to challenge.


The Tiara de D. Maria II sold for $ 1.3 million at an auction in Geneva, but it did not make it to Portugal.

“It was only logical that the piece belonged to the state, not least because it is part of a set of 23 items, 22 of which will appear in the Royal Treasury Museum,” said Mario Roque. “At the beginning of last year, I sent a letter to the Minister of Culture, but so far there is no interest. I don’t know what the state’s intentions are, ”he assured.

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To the observer, the Directorate General for Cultural Heritage (DGPC) has confirmed that it has received an offer from the Galeria de São Roque in 2020. However, he reported a different version of the price and the expressed reaction. “It was unanimous that the proposed acquisition cost was excessive,” which amounted to € 1.5 million, said the DGPC, a body controlled by the Ministry of Culture and responsible for the management of Portuguese heritage and state museums, palaces and monuments.

“The aforementioned acquisition offer has been the subject of a thorough evaluation by a jewelery conservative Palácio Nacional da Ajuda and complemented by two external opinions requested by the DGPC from independent consultants. All experts emphasized the uniqueness and rarity of the work in question, recognizing its high heritage and historical value, ”explained the DGPC Observer. “Based on the views received, which indicated a much lower cost than the gallery’s request, in May 2020, the DGPC, through the director of the Palácio Nacional da Ajuda, informed the Art Gallery of San Roque of the decision not to purchase.”

This body does not reject a new weighting of a possible new price offer if it “approaches values ​​that the evaluators consider adequate”.

The basin of water is described by the seller as “a device with three concentric circles, with a richly carved central medallion and decorative rim.” On the outer strip, in addition to plant motifs, human figures, fantastic creatures and animals appear. Next to the central ring are images of soldiers and knights. It was used at banquets, weddings or christenings and served to guests to wash their hands before eating.

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The history of the product, and in this case its real origin, largely determines the market value and symbolism of antiquity. This is why Mario Roque researched in detail the route of the silver tray he is now selling. “This salvo has always been crowned after 1755,” he began with a message from the Observer.

“She travels to Brazil with D. João VI, returns to Portugal and is used by D. Pedro I. She was even used in the baptism of the future Queen D. Maria II. It is then provided as security for a loan from the Bank of England. When D. Maria II has already become queen, she ultimately makes a bet and buys sage, which thus returns to Portugal, ”said Mario Roque, according to whom the entire trip is documented.

“The assets of the crown are inalienable, but for some reason this one ended up in the house of the Marquis da Foch. When it goes bankrupt, in 1892 the assets will be auctioned at Christie’s in England, and the sage will be bought by Mr. Cooper. It is unknown who Mr. Cooper was. Finally, in the 1960s, the work will appear in the hands of Kugel, the most famous French antiquarian. The Portuguese collector bought it in the 1980s and kept it at home until I bought it two years ago, ”said the antique dealer.

The shell is part of a set of 23 pieces called Prata do Lava-Pés or Batizados, which the Portuguese crown bought from Portuguese noble families after 1755, following the earthquake destruction of the Ribeira Palace (in Terreiro do Paz). according to antiques dealer Mario Roque. “All silverware was also destroyed, and since there were no more items on the crown for the grand ceremonies and parties, which were moments of pomp, the royal family decided to buy the items from the nobility,” he explained. “Some of them are made in Portugal, others abroad. This one we’re talking about dates back to around 1500 and is Portuguese. “

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Galeria de São Roque, founded in Lisbon 30 years ago by the mother of the current owner, is one of 24 exhibitors at LAAF, which is organized by Associação Portuguesa dos Antiquários (APA). In addition to the sage Manueline, a painting attributed to Delacroix by the Portuguese-French antiquarian Philippe Mendes was seen at the event. This small oil “Christ in the Garden”, created in 1827 by the master of French romanticism Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863).

The painting served as a sketch for another large-scale painting, which was later signed by Delacroix and which is now in the Church of Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis in Paris, Philippe Mendes told the Observer. This is the second time a dealer has sold Delacroix since the “Femmes d’Alger” in 2019. According to him, the work should be purchased by an American private collector, but it will still be present at the Fine Arts Paris exhibition. which will start on November 6.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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