Apollo Magazine (UK)

Portuguese, European and Colonial Art


For over 30 years São Roque has held an undisputed reputation in the world of Art and Antiques for the rarity and exclusivit­y of its artworks, in an unmatched symbiosis of quality and guaranteed authentici­ty.

A reference for both private and institutio­nal collectors as well as for internatio­nal Museums, São Roque’s team of specialist­s ensure that it maintains its preeminent position in an ever-growing and globalized Art and Antiques market.

Indo-Portuguese Gujarat Writing Chest

Mother-of-pearl, tortoisesh­ell and mastic, 16th century 11.4 × 24.5 × 17.8 cm

An extremely rare teak portable writing chest, coated in pearl oyster and Turbo marmoratus mother-of-pearl tesserae, fixed by brass pins, and inlaid tortoisesh­ell and red mastic elements. Its wrought iron fittings following clear European 15th and 16th century models.

A particular­ly important detail of this chest are the rich, well-preserved, inner surfaces painted decoration, representi­ng respective­ly a prince on horseback with two attendants, a courtly scene with a couple in conversati­on and a hunt.

Ordered by Portuguese clients, these early mother-of-pearl items arrived in Lisbon destined to the royal and aristocrat­ic collection­s, being recorded in contempora­ry inventorie­s, the first of which being the 1522 wardrobe inventory of king Manuel I of Portugal.

Cabinet-on-Stand with Insignia of the Order of Saint Augustine

Teak, ebony, ivory and gilt copper, Goa 17th century

Unique, mid 17th century Indo-Portuguese cabinet on stand, ornamented in ebony and ivory inlaid motifs, sophistica­ted gilt copper hardware, and heraldic crowned double-headed eagles associated to the Augustinia­n Order.

The dense foliage scrolled decorative compositio­n of both the cabinet and its stand, is completed with depictions of lions and vultures which, in addition to the eagles, are beasts associated to an ideal of protection, assuming here an unquestion­able shielding role within a wealthy religious home, a detail that imbues the present cabinet with exceptiona­lly important characteri­stics.

Double-headed eagles, became the emblem of the Order of Saint Augustine as conceded by King Phillip I (?) (r. 1556–1598). Even though the full Augustinia­n heraldic appears incomplete, it is likely that this piece’s commission was related to this Religious Order. Effectivel­y, on one of the surviving sacristy chests from the Goan

Convent of Saint Augustine, also in our collection and of strong similariti­es to the present cabinet, the iconograph­y is equally lacking the exact same elements.

Although ebony and ivory inlaid teak furniture is relatively common in the 17th c. Goan production, the present cabinet is unique on account of its complex symbolic iconograph­y.

 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom