In addition to his professional life, António de Medeiros e Almeida (1895-1986) passionately gathered an important decorative arts collection that reflects his eclectic and cosmopolitan tastes.
The collection is displayed within his house, which is divided into two distinct areas. In the Old Wing, where the Medeiros e Almeida couple resided, visitors can still sense their way of living, as everything has been left untouched. The New Wing, constructed in the early 1970’s by the collector, features sophisticated museum-like ambiances.
The Museum comprises 27 galleries that provide an insight into the personal and social experiences of Medeiros e Almeida and his wife. His preferences as a collector are unveiled in the two specific galleries that he created to house his watches and clocks, as well as Chinese ceramics collections.
Numerous other collections are also on display, including Portuguese and French furniture, 16th and 17th-century Dutch and Flemish paintings, 19th-century English portraits, English silverware, jewellery, French and Flemish tapestries, and more.
Among the 2,000 objects on display, several stand out for their sophistication and technical refinement, including:
- A set of eight 17th-century paintings by the master of Flemish landscapes, Jan van Goyen.
- A 17th-century night clock by Edward East, illuminated by an oil lamp in its interior, which once belonged to Queen Catarina of Bragança, the Portuguese wife of King Charles II of England.
- An early 16th-century Chinese Ming porcelain ewer displaying the arms of the Portuguese king D. Manuel, from the Zhende period (1506-1521).
- A 17th-century Flemish cabinet adorned with floral still-life paintings.
- A pair of 17th-century Imperial Chinese jade sonorous stones.
- A late 16th-century gilded silver Renaissance cup – the Aldobrandini cup (part of a set of 12).
- A mid-17th-century hourglass made of amber and ivory, signed by Michael Schödelock from Dantzig.
- A collection of about twenty-four pocket watches made by the Breguet family, one of the world’s most famous clockmaker companies.
- A collection of about 70 European handfans, and much more.
These remarkable objects collectively offer a glimpse into the rich and diverse world of decorative arts collected by António de Medeiros e Almeida.