Cambridge 2008




Marinha Grande glass – a contribution to its history

Filipa Lopes, António Pires de Matos

Coina factory was an important manufacture established near Lisbon by the King D. João V of Portugal and worked from 1719 to 1747. Then it was transferred to Marinha Grande under the administration of John Beare. Some years later it was named Real Fábrica de Vidros da Marinha Grande (Royal Glass Factory of Marinha Grande) under the administration of William Stephens.
Marinha Grande continued to produce the same type of glass objects made in Coina as indicated by one catalog from Coina used in Marinha Grande [1]. So, objects from Marinha Grande factory are very similar in shape and decoration to those that were produced in Coina. Marinha Grande continued their production until 1992 under the name Fábrica-Escola Irmãos Stephens when it finished its production.
The type of objects produced in Marinha Grande includes drinking glasses (beakers, cups and goblets) jugs and decorated dishes. A large variety of bottles were produced, with round, globular or squared body, and some types had a stopper; other typologies such as olive oil and vinegar containers (double cruet), vessels for flowers, and beakers, bottles and flasks with special shapes, engraved and enameled decorations and also window glass were also manufactured. Some comparisons with the production of Coina manufacture will be presented.
The glass compositions of both glass manufactures are under study and comparisons with values found in several Arcana will be made.

António Pires de Matos is a senior researcher at the Nuclear and Technological Institute and invited full professor at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa where he is teaching instrumental analysis in the Department of Conservation and Restoration. He graduated in chemical engineering at the Technical University of Lisbon and received his PhD from the University of Cambridge. Only recently have his interests become focused on glass research. Since 2002 he has been coordinating the research unit “Glass and Ceramics for the Arts” which is running an interdisciplinary program on glass science in contemporary art, conservation and archaeometry.

Filipa Lopes is a young researcher who got her degree in Conservation and Restoration at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa in 2006.  She has been working on provenance studies of Portuguese glasses using several analytical techniques.



Back to History & Heritage Programme




SGT Home page