Coach of the Patriarchs

Unknown author17th century, 2nd half

National Coach Museum

National Coach Museum
Lisbon, Portugal

17th century ceremonial vehicle (French). Constructed for the Portuguese Royal House, it was used towards the end of the 18th century by the Cardinals of Lisbon.

On the central side panels are the figures of Fame, Charity, Truth, Justice, Hope and Wisdom. The four continents are on the sides. Despite the use of the vehicle having passed from the Royal House to the Patriarchate, the paintings on the body were not changed. It displays the original iconographic composition, which is perfectly appropriate to the public display of an image of power shared by the state and the Church. Only the door panels were repainted with the coat of arms of the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, Manuel Bento Rodrigues (1800-1869). The inside is lined with red and gold velvet brocade. The most ancient example in the Museum’s collection with all the technical advancements that characterise coaches: connection of the front axle to the beam using two steel arcs ("swan’s neck") and connection of the body using suspension springs covered by a bronze plate with reclining female figures (Espagnolettes)


  • Title: Coach of the Patriarchs
  • Creator: Unknown author
  • Date Created: 17th century, 2nd half
  • Location: Lisbon. Portugal. National Coach Museum
  • Location Created: France
  • Physical Dimensions: 275 cm x 207 cm x 675 cm Wheels: 82 /172 cm (diameter); 6.5 cm (thickness); Rodas: 82 /172 cm (diâmetro); 6.5 cm (espessura)
  • Provenance: Portugal /Lisbon; Royal House Fund / Ancient Museum Fund; Casa Real Portuguesa / Fundo Antigo do Museu
  • Rights: DGPC/MNC - Pedro Beltrão
  • Medium: Wood, iron; bronze, leather, velvet brocade, silk taffeta, silk velvet, cotton cloth, wire and gold galloon

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