A ride, Your Majesty?

Royal cars in the collection of National Coach Museum

As befits a royal family, its members usually had several vehicles in the "garage" (carriage house). They were used in everyday life, but also for special occasions like weddings, coronations and important ceremonies in general. In this exhibition the National Coach Museum is presenting selected vehicles from the collection. Join us for a ride!

King João V (18th century) by Carlos Antonio LeoniNational Coach Museum

King João V (1689-1750)

Son of King Pedro II, married to Queen Maria Ana, sister of Emperor Joseph I of Austria. The king had one of the longest reigns in the history of Portugal and included significant events in all areas of national life.

‏‏‎ Coach of King João V (18th century) by Unknown authorNational Coach Museum

This 18th century (1st half) Portuguese ceremonial vehicle belonged to King João V. The King had it built for the Portuguese Royal House. During the 19th century this coach was used for the visits of foreign Chiefs of State to Portugal.
The closed body has flowing, undulating lines, a sign of the Rocaille style. The gilt, carved woodwork has been attributed to the sculptor José de Almeida (1700-1769), in collaboration with his brother Félix Vicente de Almeida, wood carver for the Royal House.

‏‏‎ Coach of King João V (18th century) by Unknown authorNational Coach Museum

The side panels and doors have wood in a form known as bombé ("blown out"). There are heads of young women known as Espagnolettes distributed in numerous places in the woodwork and engraved bronze of the coach structure. The suspension springs are decorated with female figures ( Espagnolettes) and the rear wheels display the 12 signs of Zodiac.

‏‏‎ Coach of King João V, Unknown author, 18th century, From the collection of: National Coach Museum
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The paintings on the panels of the body are attributed to José da Costa Negreiros, student of André Gonçalves or the French painter Pierre Antioine Quillard.

King Jose I (18th century) by Attrib. Francisco Jose AparícioNational Coach Museum

King José I (1714-1777)

Son of King João V, married to Queen Mariana Vitória, daughter of Philip V of Spain. His activity as ruler can be defined by the consolidation of central power and by the antagonism relative to the prior reign, which earned him some internal opposition and an assassination attempt.

King José I coach (18th century, 3rd quarter) by Cyrilo Volkmar Machado and othersNational Coach Museum

18th century (2nd half) Portuguese ceremonial vehicle built for King José I, exalting the strength of Royal Power, portrayed by an eagle.

The lively symbiosis of the styles of Kings Louis XIV and Louis XV highlight the decoration in an interpretation of Portuguese characteristics. The gilt and red carved woodwork is very rich in decoration and movement. Below this is a mixture of masks, volutes, Atlases, chains of flowers and fruit, winged spirits and human heads with features notably like American Indians, clearly recalling Portuguese contact with Brazil.

On the upper rear panel is a painting by Cirilo Volkmar Machado (1748-1823), a Portuguese painter who studied in Rome and was appointed as painter by the Royal Prince.
The interior is in red velvet and the Portuguese royal coat of arms is on the ceiling.

Queen Maria Francisca of Savoy (17th century) by Unknown authorNational Coach Museum

Queen Maria Francisca of Savoy-Nemours

Mademoiselle d'Aumale (1646-1683), cousin of King Louis XIV of France, married to King Afonso VI and later to his brother King Pedro II. 

This 17th century (2nd half) French ceremonial vehicle belonged to Queen Maria Francisca of Savoy.
It has a closed body with glass windows and painted floral motif decoration.

On the front and back are allegorical figures of War, Wisdom, Fame, Justice and Mercy, along with shields displaying the double coats of arms of Portugal and Savoy-Nemours. On the doors are medallions containing the initials of the queen and with a female figure on each side.

Queen Maria Francisca of Savoy coach (18th century) by Unknown authorNational Coach Museum

The new suspension system, called the "swan's neck", allows the wheels, whose diameter is less than that of earlier models, to make larger turning movements, thereby changing direction in shorter spaces. Does not have yet suspension springs.

Queen Maria Ana of Aústria (18th century) by Jean de Ranc (attrib.)National Coach Museum

Queen Maria Ana of Austria (1683-1754)

Daughter of Emperor Leopold I and sister of Emperor Joseph I of Austria, married to King João V and was mother of King José I. She was received in Lisbon with great splendour, followed by three days of public festivities.

‏‏‎ Coach of Queen Maria Ana of AustriaNational Coach Museum

Emperor Joseph I of Austria built this 18th century (1708) ceremonial vehicle (Austrian or Dutch) for the marriage of his sister, Maria Ana, to the King João V of Portugal. It arrived in Lisbon by sea in a fleet of 11 ships.

‏‏‎ Coach of Queen Maria Ana of AustriaNational Coach Museum

The coach was decorated in the French style of Louis XIV. Focal points in the carved woodwork are the royal coat of arms of Portugal and the monograms of the Queen with crowned lions, symbol of royal power, on each side.

On the upper part of the front angles are Europe and America and, on the back, Africa and Asia. The exterior is completely covered with magnificent work in gild carved wood that has an extensive iconographic grouping that refers to the virtues of the Queen.

‏‏‎ Coach of Queen Maria Ana of AustriaNational Coach Museum

On the angles below the body are female figures symbolizing Dignity, Affection, Sincerity and Strength.

The upper panel on the rear part is decorated with a painting showing Minerva being crowned by a spirit and surrounded by female figures that symbolize the virtues of Truth, Fortitude and Fidelity.

‏‏‎ Coach of Queen Maria Ana of AustriaNational Coach Museum

The set of wheels is decorated in the same manner as the body with carved woodwork. The springs are covered by a gilt bronze plate engraved with statues of Abundance. The harness straps are covered with velvet and have engraved bronze buckles. The wheel spokes recall the shape of scepters.

Coach of Queen Maria Ana of Austria - Conservation and Restoration of the RoofNational Coach Museum

Coach of Queen Maria Ana of Austria - the textiles conservation and restoration focused on stabilization of the roof covering elements, the belts and locking straps of the box.

Now, discover the collection yourself!

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