VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Door hanging
PNA inv. 165
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

These hangings are a testimony of an important historical incident in Portugal known as “The case of the Távoras”, referring to a political scandal in the middle of the 18th Century. A chain of events began with the attempted assassination of King Jose I in 1758, and culminated in the public execution of the entire Távora family and their close relatives in 1759; including the seizure of all their properties. Some historians interpret these events as an attempt by the Prime Minister, Marquis de Pombal, to limit the growing powers of the noble families.

History of the Object
This piece belongs to a set of nine door hangings with a coat of arms, which were ordered from China by the Távora Family. Known as “the Távora hangings”, because they originally belonged to this family, they were confiscated by the Portuguese Royal House when the Marquis of Távora was accused of attempting to kill the King José the First of Portugal. Belonging to this set is one hanging in the Corps Diplomatique Room in Ajuda Palace, which still has the coat of arms of the Távoras intact, with their motto “QUASCUNQUE FINDIT”.

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Type
Textile 
Materials
Silk velvet. Embroidered application in silk and gold laminated paper thread. The Arms of the House of Bragança are shown in polychrome silk and metallic thread. 
Measurements
Width 316 cm. Height 346 cm.  
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
China 
Geography
China 
Time period
AD 17th century ~ AD 17th century 
Creation date
17th Century 
Function
Decorative; to protect from draughts. 
Acquisition
Part of the Portuguese Royal House Collections. The Royal Family lived in the Palace until 1910 when the monarchy fell. The Palace was turned into a museum in 1968. 
Copyright
The images shall not be published or reproduced without written permission of the Institute of Museums and Conservation/Ajuda National Palace 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
Ajuda National Palace 
Museum
Ajuda National Palace 
Credit line
Institute of Museums and Conservation/Ajuda National Palace 

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