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Escritorio de viaje de D. Pedro, Duque de Bragança (abierto)

Alphonse Giroux et Cie.1826/1831

Palacio Nacional de Queluz

Palacio Nacional de Queluz

Alphonse Giroux et Cie.
Paris, France, 1826-1831
Leather, silver-gilt, gold, mother-of-pearl, bristle (?) dyed, glass, rosewood, steel, metal-gilt, silk velvet, paper
35 (height) x 43.4 (length) x 9 (depth) cm

The travel desk contains 20 writing utensils: sand-box, inkwell, pen cleaner, ruler, marker, eraser (2), pen, scraper (2), box (2), scissor, compass, perforator, seal, paper knife, brush, sealing wax (2).

Inscriptions:
“A PARIS / CHEZ ALPH. GIROUX / RUE DU COQ St. HONORÉ”, engraved inside the lid; “Paris chez Alph. Giroux et Cie. 7 rue du Coq St. Honoré”, on the clasp; (crown) “J. BRAMAH”, on the clasp; Imperial monogram “P”, on the front panel of the briefcase; Monogram “P”, on the writing utensils; Monogram “PI” / FOUNDER OF THE EMPIRE OF BRAZIL”, on the matrix engraved into the seal; “Poudre”, on the lid of the sand-box.
“LUNDI (MONDAY) – Payment of the manifests for / legations; MARDI (TUESDAY) – Hichofer […] / 17th September 1832 & Ma V. [idem?] / Monsignor 3 idem Dana 6 idem; / MERCREDI (WEDNESDAY) – Officials that wish to do so stay - / 100 french go, at least 60 – Inspection to evaluate who’s in a state of resisting; / JEUDI (THURSDAY) – Vasconcellos take possession / to take Azeredo – Tarimbas (soldiers bunk beds) [?]; / VENDREDI (FRIDAY) – Accurate budjet for both hypothesis / of staying or not [?] the officials / Academics already around Sam Miguel; / SAMEDI (SATURDAY) – Jose Maria 17-7ber / D Marianno 6 idem / Monsignor 3 idem; / DIMANCHE (SUNDAY) – Account of 16th March [?] or [?] or 20:600 [?] in 2 / pay 10:000 at once and 10000 with 15 or 20 day interval between”, Pedro’s hand written on the calendar integrated inside.

Marks: warrant for works on silver, Paris, 1819-1838.

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  • Título: Escritorio de viaje de D. Pedro, Duque de Bragança (abierto)
  • Descripción larga: A portable briefcase shaped travel desk containing twenty writing utensils and marked with the imperial monogram “P” (Pedro I, Emperor of Brazil). On the 7th April 1831, Pedro abdicated the Brazilian throne and set off for Europe. In March 1832, in the Azores standing as Duke of Bragança, he took on the regency of the kingdom on behalf of his daughter, Maria da Glória, still a minor. He openly backed a liberal regime in opposition to his brother Miguel, an absolutist. Considering the manufacturer's inscription “Alph. Giroux et Cie” and the mark of ownership, the “P” over an imperial crown, we may infer that the desk was made and acquired between 1826, the time when the sons of François-Simon-Alphonse Giroux entered into the family business and the early months of 1831, when Pedro abdicated. By means of a secret mechanism three drawers are hidden underneath one of the wood panels providing the storage of secret items or documents. The lock, signed by “J. Bramah”, an important manufacturer of high security mechanisms, also demonstrates the level of concern that went into providing the desk with an additional level of security. The security characteristics of this piece may have justified the option for Pedro to continue using an object bearing an imperial monogram subsequent to his abdication. The date noted by Pedro on the calendar integrated into desk, “17th September 1832”, falls within the period of the armed conflict between liberals and absolutists. The matrix engraved into the seal features characteristics referring to Pedro I, Duke of Bragança and Pedro I, Emperor of Brazil. The seal contains, on the one side, the colonel of a duke and the winged serpent, the stamp of the royal house of Portugal and, on the other, the inscription in Portuguese “Founder of the Empire of Brazil” and the monogram “PI”, which provides the grounds for proposing that the matrix was engraved at a subsequent date to the rest of the desk and nevertheless evoking the reign of Pedro as emperor. This certainly does constitute a representation inspired on the Order of Pedro I, Founder of the Empire of Brazil, enacted by the monarch on the 16th April 1826 in order to commemorate the recognition of independence. The stamp's handle, carved into the form of a sleeve and right fist securing a role of paper furthermore provides an allusion to the bestowal of the first Brazilian constitution. According to the account of the high rank servant Pedro Dias on the Arrolamento (i.e., judicial listing) of the items existing in the Palace of Ajuda (1911-1913), Pedro's travel desk made its way into the chambers of king Luís which serves to prove that the monarch held in special esteem this piece that had once belonged to his grandfather. ON ALPHONSE GIROUX ET CIE. Maison Giroux was founded in 1799 at 7, rue du Coq Saint-Honoré, in Paris. The establishment manufactured and sold every type of box and container, toys, games, engravings, porcelain, fantasy articles, bound albums and books, fans, coffers, small luxury artistic objects (tableterie) and refined pieces of furniture (ébénisterie). Through to its closure in 1885, the house supplied its wealthy clients whether members of the aristocracy, the Russian imperial court, the French royal and imperial households as well as the Portuguese royal family.
  • Creador: Alphonse Giroux et Cie.
  • Fecha: 1826-1831 (atrib.)
  • Fecha de creación: 1826/1831
  • Lugar: Paris, France, Paris, France
  • Rights Information: Teresa Maranhas
  • Image Rights: © DGPC/ADF | Foto: Luisa Oliveira, 2014
  • Derechos: OBRA CONVIDADA - Palácio Nacional da Ajuda

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