Jewelry

Exceptional 18th Century Jewels to Return to Portugal for Exhibition

By Sotheby's

Visitors will have the opportunity to see one of the world’s finest collections of antique Portuguese jewellery in a dazzling exhibition presented by Sotheby’s and S.J.Phillips at the Casa-Museu Medeiros e Almeida in Lisbon from 26–28 May.

The S.J. Phillips Collection of Jewels of Portugal will showcase over 70 magnificent pieces which exemplify the exquisite style and charm of Portuguese jewellery.

LARGE PENDANT WITH CROWNED MONOGRAM, IBERIAN, LATE 17TH CENTURY. GOLD, SILVER EMERALD AND DIAMOND PENDANT CENTERED ON A MONOGRAM AOTL, THE INITIALS OF THE MOTTO OR NAME OF THE OWNER, WITHIN A DIAMOND BORDER AMIDST FOLIAGE SURMOUNTED BY A CROWN WITH SYMBOLIC ORB AND CROSS.

Assembled over a number of decades by world-renowned antique dealer firm S.J. Phillips, and curated specially for this exhibition, the collection on display in Lisbon will feature a mesmerising array of elaborate jewels typical of the distinctly national style of jewellery which developed in Portugal in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Crafted from precious metals and stones brought from Brazil, the pieces are adorned with diamonds, sapphires and emeralds, as well as colourful semi-precious stones such as topazes, amethysts and chrysoberyls, delicately woven with gold and silver-gilt. Floral as well as sacred motifs feature in the pieces reflecting the tastes of the time.

STOMACHER (DEVANT DE CORSAGE), LATE 18TH CENTURY. SILVER, GOLD, DIAMONDS, FOILED GOLDEN AND TAWNY COLOURED TOPAZES, CLOSE SET.

As a symbol of wealth and social status, jewellery was coveted and popularised by the European nobility of the 17th and 18th centuries and can often be seen featuring prominently in contemporary portraits of the Portuguese Royal family and noble houses.

Speaking ahead of the exhibition, Sotheby’s Senior Specialist and Sotheby’s representative in Portugal, João Magalhães, said: “The exhibition presents one of the most outstanding collections of Portuguese jewellery to exist outside the country and we are thrilled to be bringing it back to Lisbon, where much of it was made in the 18th century.

 

FLORAL SPRAY FOR THE HAIR, TIED WITH A RIBBON, 18TH CENTURY. CHRYSOBERYLS CLOSE SET IN SILVER.

Created during the apogee of Portuguese decorative arts, and particularly jewellery making, these beautifully crafted pieces tell the story of the country’s rich history and global reach of its empire”.

Francis Norton, Partner and Director of S.J. Phillips Ltd added:  “We are delighted to be working with Sotheby’s in presenting this exhibition of exceptional antique Portuguese jewellery in Lisbon. Assembled over a period of several years, the majority of the pieces date from the 18th century and collectively represent a comprehensive collection of some of the most original and distinctive jewels produced in Portugal during this historic time.”

The exhibition will be accompanied by the launch of a book by the world-renowned jewellery specialist Diana Scarisbrick.

The S.J. Phillips Collection of Jewels of Portugal is an exhibition of jewellery at the Casa-Museu Medeiros e Almeida in Lisbon from 26-28 May.

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