Given the location next to another Historic Shop, the Ulisses glove shop, it’s unlikely that you will not notice this line of façades. Two shop entrances of rare beauty. The goldsmith’s store that existed here before was one of the first houses to take up residence in this section of the Carmo wall, which received shop spaces much later than the rest of the street. Alfredo Pinto da Cunha, a goldsmith from Porto, purchased Joalharia do Carmo from its founder Raúl Pereira in the late 1920s. It has remained in the same family ever since. In 1925 the architect Norte Júnior produced the design for the iconic Art Nouveau façade, which remains unchanged. It features prominently the jewellery’s store’s trademark Portuguese coat of arms without the bordure, but featuring the seven castles, on a Cross of Christ and set in a heart. In its early days the business centred around decorative silver pieces and fine jewellery – necklaces, earrings, rings and brooches featuring diamonds, rubies and sapphires. Today, traditional Portuguese filigree work in gold and silver is the mainstay. Alfredo Sampaio, the current manager, makes a point of stocking exclusively Portuguese articles.
Despite a number of renovation projects, the interior has not lost its original design features, and the furniture remains the same as when it opened. The display cabinets and doors in dark mahogany are still there, as are the large central table with the marble top, the credenzas with mounted mirrors, the Baccarat crystal chandeliers and the winding staircase. The jewellery pieces on display in the shop are made by artisans (those in gold and platinum in Lisbon; those in silver in the north of Portugal) and designed by the owner. The artist responsible for the drawings on show has also designed some of the pieces. As they are all unique and different from each other, one cannot speak of an identitary product. Nevertheless, the Joalharia do Carmo Lda. trademark is registered and applied to all the original creations.
Jewellery and gold/silversmith work