Georges Jacob, maître in 1765.
The Espirito Santo family has been synonymous with both banking and collecting in Portugal since José Maria Espirito Santo Silva founded a financial establishment bearing his name in 1884. Succeeded by his two brothers, Ricardo and Manuel, the Espirito Santo empire grew to be prominent in both banking and insurance, as well as plantations, carrying important coffee, sugar and palm-oil interests in the Portuguese colonies. Celebrated for their hospitality in Lisbon, Cascais or at their hunting lodge in the Alentejo, the Espirito Santo family assembled one of the greatest collections of French furniture during the 20th Century. Although the collection of Riccardo Espirito Santo was largely given to the Portuguese State in 1953 and is displayed in the eponymous museum in Lisbon, many works of art were sold following the Revolution, in Paris in 1977 and, subsequently, at Christie's London in 1996.