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Antiques and Works of Art, Silver and Jewelry

Auction 24 | 09 Oct, 21H00  10 Oct, 21H00  
Lot 268    |   Session 2 - 10 Oct

Pilgrim’s bottle bearing the arms of the Franciscan Order


€ 20.000 - 30.000

Hammer Price:

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Glazed porcelain with “blue and white” decoration
Qing dynasty, Kangshi period (1677-1722)
Hight: 32 cm

White porcelain with blue under glaze decoration, pear shaped body and cylindrical high neck, on short base.
Body decorated with three scroll-framed cartouches. The first depicting the Franciscan insignia: two crossed hands nailed to a cross bearing the INRI motto; the second representing the five Christ wounds known for being used by the Franciscans and a third undecorated cartouche.
At the base and hip decorated with frieze depicting lotus that extends to the hip as leaves separated by trefoils. Silver cover of later date with engraved decoration representing similar floral motifs.

The Franciscan Order was founded in 1210 by Saint Francis of Assisi and the first monastery in Portugal was founded in 1224.
The missionary mission of the order started in the 16th century and by 1579 the order settles down in Macau where the Saint Francis monastery and the Church of Nossa Senhora dos Anjos were founded in 1580.
The rare bottle now offered for sale dates from the late 17th, early 18th century and was a commission by a Franciscan monastery, probably for one of its Oriental possessions.
The Franciscan insignia depicts, in blue, two crossed arms with one wound at the hand once it’s nailed to the Cross.The naked arm belongs to Jesus Christ and the covered one to a Saint patron of the poor.The cross bears the INRI motto: Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews.
Saint Francis of Assisi at the end of his life called his brothers in order to bless them using the traditional gesture of crossing arms; the gesture was adopted as symbol of the order.

Similar examples:
Abel Lacerda Collection
National Museum of Ancient Art




A. Varela Santos - Portugal na Porcelana da China , 500 Anos de Comercio, pág 572 a 575
Michel Beurdeley – Porcelaine de la Compagnie des Indes, pag. 144 Nuno de Castro - A Porcelana Chinesa no tempo do Império – Portugal / Brasil, p 360
NunodeCastro –APorcelanaChinesaeosBrasõesdoImpério,pag.45 Reflexos – Símbolos e Imagens do Cristianismo na Porcelana Chinesa, pág 111 e 112
A. M. Moreira – Dicionário da História Religiosa de Portugal de Carlos Azevedo, pág 273 a 280