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Ceramics and Tiles
Ornamental tiles panel, c. 1670. Portugal. Polychrome majolica.(detail).

Resulting from a considerable number of offers displayed by some eminent natives of Lamego, this collection, that counts up to three hundred and seventy objects, is rather expressive in what concerns the quality of some of its specimens. Formed in its majority by common use objects, where Portuguese faience, essentially utilitary, stands out, and some oriental originated porcelain, with a more decorative character, it shows as its main production period, the 18th and the 19th centuries, and has some pieces deserving a special attention. In the national faience, among common specimens for pharmaceutical use, such as jars, flasks and pharmacy small tubes, generally known as “white china from Talaveira” and some others for domestic and decorative use, such as inkstands, sandboxes, pots, vases, cruet stands, candlesticks, plates, tea and coffee sets, stands out an interesting PLATE with a naive baroque decoration, probably the museums most ancient ceramic piece. It displays, in a white bottom without decoration all around and in a central medallion encircled by foliage, the image of the “Agnus dei” and the inscription “ABREV”. The medallion, with irregular oval shape, has a blue and yellow decoration, very close to the colours used in the decorative tiles of the 18th century. Among the innumerable inkstands and SANDBOXES , be it cylindrical or hexagonal, of shining black painted clay, or blue and white decoration, only one possesses the manufacture seal - a white specimen, decorated with brown flowers and tendrils and a golden fillet, made in the “Rocha Soares” manufacture, by the end of the century. A defective tea-set from the Vista Alegre Factory, made in white porcelain with a golden fillet and displaying a Lamego Voluntary Firemen’s black monogram, topped by the royal crown of D. Luis, constitutes an interesting detail with local flavour - the set has been ordered when the Prince visited Lamego, in 1882 and was offered to the Museum in 1965, by the Soldiers of Peace. Predominant in the oriental ceramic nucleus, are the Chinese porcelains, with a “blue and white” decoration whose decorative grammar is based on flowers, fruits, trees, fishes swimming through aquatic plants, landscapes, human figures, rivers with fishermen’s boats, birds flying across the clouds, bridges across a river and buildings, composing a panoply of motives well identified with oriental taste. In the encircling panels, luxuriously decorated, we can see lots of foliage, lotus panels, curled plants, dragons, phoenixes, herons, hares, emblems and flowers, the lot freely displayed or composing separate groups. In this group we can detach an assemblage of pieces whit thinner line drawings, very lively blue tonality and better manufactured quality, contrasting width another, majority, in which the blue has a more grayish tone and the white is rather bluish, and the decorative pattern is more stylish and poor hi detail. This nucleus can be included in a group of pieces generally called “CANTÃO DA CHINA”, dating from the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th centuries, of inferior quality and whose glazed surface tends to split. The remaining pieces have polychromatic decoration, being some specimens close to the so-called "rose family" and "green family", the first ones to have encircling panels of the same kind of those of the Qianlong (1736-1795), during the Qing Dinasty. A PLATTER , encircled with a golden and blue fillet, is decorated in the style of the Jiaqing period (1796-1820). The "green family" specimens have many affinities with some pieces from the Guangxu reign (1874-1908). Among the several cups and sauces included in the collection, stands out the SET FROM THE-QING DINASTY, during the Emperor Guangxu reign (ca. 1880), belonging to the tableware ordered for the Portuguese Government Palace in Timor, during the ruling periods of Governors Hugo de Lacerda Castelo-Branco (1878-1880) and Augusto César de Carvalho (1880-1882), who were submitted to the Macau Goverrunent. Each piece has the legend “Govemo de Timor”( Timor Government), flanking the royal coat of arms of D. Luis I: “five blue escutcheons featuring a cross; red enclosure, carrying seven golden rectangles, for castles. Red lined royal crown. Blooming shots, with strings.”(Castro, 1987). There are yet two pairs of JAPANESE BIG VASES that deserve our attention, not only for their impressive size, but also for the abundance and wealth of their decoration. one of these pairs, from the manufacture center of Satsuma, is dominated by golden enamels that define slightly relegated surfaces. In each specimen is depicted an imposing martial scene, crowded by warriors on horse-back, in the middle of leafy plants that carry all the oriental symbolism. on the top of the composition stands a golden phoenix, symbol of good-luck and longevity, and at each side under the vase’s handles, figures a butterfly, common element in the oriental iconography, to augur happiness and joy. The other pair represents what is commonly called a "customs scene", occurring outdoors, with human figures and luxurious vegetation. The predominant tones of this pair’s decoration are the bright blue, the rusty-red and the white. The few SPECIMENS OF ENGLISH MANUFACTURE, about forty porcelain plates - soup, sidewards and dessert plates - with the label "Davenport", have blue and white decoration featuring a landscape with oriental constructions surrounded by many plants, and a river where is floating a boat with some black men in it. The encircling panel is decorated with floral motives and ornamental foliage. Labelled “Louvre” and of French manufacture there are six cut-rimmed plates with incised decoration, reproducing a landscape with an oriental feminine figure. The motives are in blue and white and also brown and white, with encircling panels with flowers, leaves, branches and baskets with flowers. A little, but important ornamental-tile nucleus, with beautiful patterns from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, completes this collection. A certain number of samples of HISPANIC-ARABIAN OR SEVILLIAN TILES, proceeding from the Old See of Coimbra and offered to the Museum by Prof. Vergílio Correia, illustrates the 16th century period. They are good specimens of ornate carving tiles, produced by the edge technique and mixing geometrical mud6jar motives with phytomorphic ones, inspired in the Renaissance. Their colours, green, black and yellow were obtained with red lead, coloured with copper oxide, manganese and iron; the white colour, with simple stannic glaze and the blue was coloured with cobalt oxide. These specimens belonged to some compositions intended to mural coating and display the muslim decorative pattern known as tracery - narrow strips, either broken or curved, which criss-cross and cover all the composition - proceeding probably from the pottery-of Fernan Martinez Quijarro and his son Pedro Herrera. However, the focal point must be the magnificent TILE PANELS FROM 17TH CENTURY, PROCEEDING FROM THE VALMOR PALACE, in Lisbon, and whose motives reflect, in an expressive way, the oriental influence in the Portuguese tile work at the time. The whole includes six panels (two of them with double scenes, and the other two, with singular ones) of unique polychromatic beauty, although its pattern betrays a certainnaivety. Surrounded by a frame of green foliage and floral motives, we can see five HUNTING SCENES , three about PASTORAL THEMES and two about WILDLIFE . In every panel the greatest attention must be paid to the background of the several scenes, which are completely covered with branches, leaves, flowers and fruits, as well as a great variety of birds (parrots, peacocks, magpies, etc.) perched on the trees, resulting in thrilling polychromatic pictures of happy composing structure, ”certainly inspired (... ) in the oriental decoration of the Indian cloths” (Reinaldo dos Santos, 1957). Finally, an assemblage of a few and rather shattered samples of TILE PATTERNS, FROM THE 17TH AND THE 18TH centuries, offers the visitor the opportunity of learning about the mural coating so largely used in the temples and wealthy houses at the time, as a structurant element of interior decoration and which adjusted exceptionally well, in what concerns the temples, to the golden woodcarving of the baroque altars. Agostinho Ribeiro Resulting from a considerable number of offers displayed by some eminent natives of Lamego, this collection, that counts up to three hundred and seventy objects, is rather expressive in what concerns the quality of some of its specimens. Formed in its majority by common use objects, where Portuguese faience, essentially utilitary, stands out, and some oriental originated porcelain, with a more decorative character, it shows as its main production period, the 18th and the 19th centuries, and has some pieces deserving a special attention. In the national faience, among common specimens for pharmaceutical use, such as jars, flasks and pharmacy small tubes, generally known as “white china from Talaveira” and some others for domestic and decorative use, such as inkstands, sandboxes, pots, vases, cruet stands, candlesticks, plates, tea and coffee sets, stands out an interesting PLATE with a naive baroque decoration, probably the museums most ancient ceramic piece. It displays, in a white bottom without decoration all around and in a central medallion encircled by foliage, the image of the “Agnus dei” and the inscription “ABREV”. The medallion, with irregular oval shape, has a blue and yellow decoration, very close to the colours used in the decorative tiles of the 18th century. Among the innumerable inkstands and SANDBOXES , be it cylindrical or hexagonal, of shining black painted clay, or blue and white decoration, only one possesses the manufacture seal - a white specimen, decorated with brown flowers and tendrils and a golden fillet, made in the “Rocha Soares” manufacture, by the end of the century. A defective tea-set from the Vista Alegre Factory, made in white porcelain with a golden fillet and displaying a Lamego Voluntary Firemen’s black monogram, topped by the royal crown of D. Luis, constitutes an interesting detail with local flavour - the set has been ordered when the Prince visited Lamego, in 1882 and was offered to the Museum in 1965, by the Soldiers of Peace. Predominant in the oriental ceramic nucleus, are the Chinese porcelains, with a “blue and white” decoration whose decorative grammar is based on flowers, fruits, trees, fishes swimming through aquatic plants, landscapes, human figures, rivers with fishermen’s boats, birds flying across the clouds, bridges across a river and buildings, composing a panoply of motives well identified with oriental taste. In the encircling panels, luxuriously decorated, we can see lots of foliage, lotus panels, curled plants, dragons, phoenixes, herons, hares, emblems and flowers, the lot freely displayed or composing separate groups. In this group we can detach an assemblage of pieces whit thinner line drawings, very lively blue tonality and better manufactured quality, contrasting width another, majority, in which the blue has a more grayish tone and the white is rather bluish, and the decorative pattern is more stylish and poor hi detail. This nucleus can be included in a group of pieces generally called “CANTÃO DA CHINA”, dating from the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th centuries, of inferior quality and whose glazed surface tends to split. The remaining pieces have polychromatic decoration, being some specimens close to the so-called "rose family" and "green family", the first ones to have encircling panels of the same kind of those of the Qianlong (1736-1795), during the Qing Dinasty. A PLATTER , encircled with a golden and blue fillet, is decorated in the style of the Jiaqing period (1796-1820). The "green family" specimens have many affinities with some pieces from the Guangxu reign (1874-1908). Among the several cups and sauces included in the collection, stands out the SET FROM THE-QING DINASTY, during the Emperor Guangxu reign (ca. 1880), belonging to the tableware ordered for the Portuguese Government Palace in Timor, during the ruling periods of Governors Hugo de Lacerda Castelo-Branco (1878-1880) and Augusto César de Carvalho (1880-1882), who were submitted to the Macau Goverrunent. Each piece has the legend “Govemo de Timor”( Timor Government), flanking the royal coat of arms of D. Luis I: “five blue escutcheons featuring a cross; red enclosure, carrying seven golden rectangles, for castles. Red lined royal crown. Blooming shots, with strings.”(Castro, 1987). There are yet two pairs of JAPANESE BIG VASES that deserve our attention, not only for their impressive size, but also for the abundance and wealth of their decoration. one of these pairs, from the manufacture center of Satsuma, is dominated by golden enamels that define slightly relegated surfaces. In each specimen is depicted an imposing martial scene, crowded by warriors on horse-back, in the middle of leafy plants that carry all the oriental symbolism. on the top of the composition stands a golden phoenix, symbol of good-luck and longevity, and at each side under the vase’s handles, figures a butterfly, common element in the oriental iconography, to augur happiness and joy. The other pair represents what is commonly called a "customs scene", occurring outdoors, with human figures and luxurious vegetation. The predominant tones of this pair’s decoration are the bright blue, the rusty-red and the white. The few SPECIMENS OF ENGLISH MANUFACTURE, about forty porcelain plates - soup, sidewards and dessert plates - with the label "Davenport", have blue and white decoration featuring a landscape with oriental constructions surrounded by many plants, and a river where is floating a boat with some black men in it. The encircling panel is decorated with floral motives and ornamental foliage. Labelled “Louvre” and of French manufacture there are six cut-rimmed plates with incised decoration, reproducing a landscape with an oriental feminine figure. The motives are in blue and white and also brown and white, with encircling panels with flowers, leaves, branches and baskets with flowers. A little, but important ornamental-tile nucleus, with beautiful patterns from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, completes this collection. A certain number of samples of HISPANIC-ARABIAN OR SEVILLIAN TILES, proceeding from the Old See of Coimbra and offered to the Museum by Prof. Vergílio Correia, illustrates the 16th century period. They are good specimens of ornate carving tiles, produced by the edge technique and mixing geometrical mud6jar motives with phytomorphic ones, inspired in the Renaissance. Their colours, green, black and yellow were obtained with red lead, coloured with copper oxide, manganese and iron; the white colour, with simple stannic glaze and the blue was coloured with cobalt oxide. These specimens belonged to some compositions intended to mural coating and display the muslim decorative pattern known as tracery - narrow strips, either broken or curved, which criss-cross and cover all the composition - proceeding probably from the pottery-of Fernan Martinez Quijarro and his son Pedro Herrera. However, the focal point must be the magnificent TILE PANELS FROM 17TH CENTURY, PROCEEDING FROM THE VALMOR PALACE, in Lisbon, and whose motives reflect, in an expressive way, the oriental influence in the Portuguese tile work at the time. The whole includes six panels (two of them with double scenes, and the other two, with singular ones) of unique polychromatic beauty, although its pattern betrays a certainnaivety. Surrounded by a frame of green foliage and floral motives, we can see five HUNTING SCENES , three about PASTORAL THEMES and two about WILDLIFE . In every panel the greatest attention must be paid to the background of the several scenes, which are completely covered with branches, leaves, flowers and fruits, as well as a great variety of birds (parrots, peacocks, magpies, etc.) perched on the trees, resulting in thrilling polychromatic pictures of happy composing structure, ”certainly inspired (... ) in the oriental decoration of the Indian cloths” (Reinaldo dos Santos, 1957). Finally, an assemblage of a few and rather shattered samples of TILE PATTERNS, FROM THE 17TH AND THE 18TH centuries, offers the visitor the opportunity of learning about the mural coating so largely used in the temples and wealthy houses at the time, as a structurant element of interior decoration and which adjusted exceptionally well, in what concerns the temples, to the golden woodcarving of the baroque altars. Agostinho Ribeiro





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