This second book in the series dedicated to the study of the insignia of the former Portuguese Military and Honorific Orders is entitled “A Conceição de Portugal and Brazil. Moeda, Medalhas e Insígnia Honorífica” (Our Lady of the Conception of Portugal and Brazil. Coins, Medallions and Honorary Insignia), and it was written with the idea of transmitting to present and future generations the work done by past generations, in the emblematic figurations of the Patron Saint of Portugal, Our Lady of the Conception of Vila Viçosa.
In the first 70 pages this book studies the famous coin of the conception, engraved in Paris in 1648 by Jean Warin, the famous chief engraver of the Paris Mint, and minted in Lisbon in the name of king João IV (1640-1656), from a screw-press (balancer) purchased at the Paris Mint. Being a revolutionary coin at the time, with engravings full of Marian symbology and a beauty never surpassed in Portuguese numismatics, it would be much later restrike as a medal and worn as an insignia around the neck of officers of the Royal Confraternity of Vila Viçosa.
The history of the military order of our lady of conception of Vila Viçosa and its insignia, the people who were bestowed upon and the goldsmiths who made it, occupies 300 pages of this book, revealing unprecedented data from contemporary Portuguese-Brazilian documentary sources, allowing the knowledge of the complete list of the 939 awarded in different degrees of the Order from its institution in 1818 to 1834, never before published; narrates the journey through time of the gold insignia that belonged to king João VI (1816-1826) and to the infant D. Miguel (future king in 1828) until they entered the collection of the Crown Jewels of Portugal, housed at the Lisbon National Palace; illustrates and describes the different types and variants of the insignia of the Order manufactured in Rio de Janeiro by the silversmiths of the Court, and in Lisbon by ten different manufacturers until the Order’s extinction in 1910; and also those manufactured throughout Europe by twelve goldsmiths in France, Italy, Austria, Germany and Belgium, identified and illustrated on the pages of an emblematic catalogue of the Order’s insignia.
A book that will remain as a reference to the emblematic memory of the Patron Saint of Portugal, in this Jubilee Year of the 375 years of her Proclamation.
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Read more about the Global Power Portugal in Ursula Kampman’s Travel Diary.