This tea service belongs to a rare set of pieces made of Chinese porcelain, consisting of a teapot, a tea cup and saucer, and two dishes, decorated in grisaille (chinese ink) and gold. All the pieces have the representation of Saint Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus and would have been made to commemorate the bicentenary of the foundation of the order in 1741 and were probably commissioned for a French, Portuguese or Spanish market. The iconographic source is certainly an engraving by Schelte A. Bolswert (1581- 1659) representing Saint Ignatius of Loyola, dated 1622, based on a painting by Peter Paul Rubens, dated 1616.


  • Title: Teapot
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: 1740
  • Physical Dimensions: h13 cm
  • Provenance: Museu de São Roque/Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa
  • Type: Porcelain
  • Rights: Museu de São Roque/Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa
  • External Link: Museu de São Roque/Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa
  • Medium: White porcelain, chinese ink and gold
  • Production: These pieces are part of a series, decorated in grisaille and “gold” of relatively limited production, which portray either representatives of the Protestant Church, such as Calvin and Luther - these being essentially produced for the English and Dutch markets - or of the Catholic Church, the latter based on models of the great masters of the Counter Reformation era. In this context, the representation of important religious figures, such as Theologian saints and particulary reformers, bear testimony to the long missionary process in the Far East. Porcelain with Christian scenes taken from the Bible was essentially adapted for tea services, large dishes and dinner services, and sold as curiosities to a secular market with the intention of honouring the missionary activities in the East, of which this set is a clear witness, as well as of the influence that the Jesuits had in China in the 17th and 18th Centuries.
  • Manufactured: China

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