The Ambassador's Coach

Unknown author18th century, 1st half

National Coach Museum

National Coach Museum
Lisbon, Portugal

Triumphal car, part of a set of five thematic coaches and ten accompaniment coaches included in the Embassy procession to Pope Clemente XI, sent to Rome by King João V in 1716. This was the coach used by Rodrigo Anes de Sá Menezes, Marquis of Fontes, to make his solemn entrance before the Holy See.

The open body in "Roman" style is covered in a gold canvas. The interior is also upholstered in gold canvas and the flooring is inlaid with ivory.

The front set od wheels displays the image of Silenus with Minerva and Hope on either side. Thetis, the goddness of "Navigation", appears in the rear panel drawing routes on a globe while a triton emerges from the water holding a mariner's compass.

On the other side, there is the image of Bellona, goddness of War, holding a shield with the Coat of Arms of the Ambassador's family, wich portrays Conquest commanding a lion, symbol of royality attacking the infidel. In the centre, the image of a sea monster, the Adamastor, recalls the dangers through which the Portuguese had been through.


  • Title: The Ambassador's Coach
  • Creator: Unknown author
  • Date Created: 18th century, 1st half
  • Location: Lisbon. Portugal. National Coach Museum
  • Location Created: Rome, Italy
  • Physical Dimensions: 358 cm x 245 cm x 677 cm
  • Provenance: Portugal /Lisbon; Royal House Fund / Ancient Museum Fund; Casa Real Portuguesa / Fundo Antigo do Museu
  • Rights: DGPC/MNC - Pedro Beltrão e Nuno Augusto
  • Medium: Wood, ivory, leather, iron, silk brocade, lamé with gold thread , felt, cotton twill, linen, corn straw, rye straw

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