Nautilus Cup
Germany, 17th century (?)
Gold-lined silver and nautilus shell
MQC 1784
© Rui Camacho/DRC

The Goldsmithery cluster on display at the Quinta das Cruzes Museum is made up of a total of 447 pieces. It originated from donations by the collector César Gomes (in 1946 and 1962, respectively) to the Junta Geral do Distrito Autónomo do Funchal (General Council).

But the greatest contribution to this collection was that of João Wetzler, an antique dealer of Czech origin residing on the Island who, in 1966, bequeathed a vast estate of 333 pieces.

This collection reflects, with some diversification, the evolution of the predominant trends in the production of European goldsmithery in a chronological route stretching between the 16th century and the end of the 19th century, with pieces of Portuguese and English manufacture prevailing, though German, Dutch, Spanish, Irish and some Indo-Portuguese pieces are also represented.

In the Goldsmithery/Silversmithery cluster of the Museum, silver for civil and religious use predominates, with particular emphasis on a small cluster of pieces assigned to Jewish worship.