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Anais do Museu Paulista: História e Cultura Material

versão impressa ISSN 0101-4714versão On-line ISSN 1982-0267


SA, Isabel dos Guimarães. Entre consumos suntuários e comuns: a posse de objetos exóticos entre alguns habitantes do Porto (séculos XVI - XVII). An. mus. paul. [online]. 2017, vol.25, n.1, pp.35-57. ISSN 0101-4714.

The study of the sources referring to the donors of the Misericórdia of the city of Porto during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries has revealed the presence of numerous exotic objects in their last wills and inventories. A survey has traced 257 donors until 1699, some of them having died in an area that extends from Macao to Brazil. Only a small number of cases shall be presented here, pertaining to benefactors who, in spite of owning objects of transoceanic origin, seem to have remained in mainland Portugal. It shall be argued that the circulation of objects has not been exclusive either to the elites of the nobility or to the large urban centres, their diffusion having been on a larger scale than what has been admitted until now. The city under scrutiny in this study - Porto during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries - was not one of the bigger cities in this period, either in what respects to size or population, although it was located in an area of flourishing demography, that channelled its surplus population early on to internal and external emigration. Fidalgos and noblemen owned exotic goods, but these were to be found among merchants and even well-to-do artisans. On the other hand, not all objects originating from the areas of transoceanic expansion should be considered as luxury goods.

Palavras-chave : Material culture; Consumption of exotica; Confraternities of Misericórdia; Donors.

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