HENRIQUE TEXEIRA DE SAMPAIO, BARAO DE TEXEIRA AND 1ST CONDE DE POVOA (1774-1833)
Sampaio was born in the town of Angra on the island of Terceira in the Portuguese administered Azores. He was the son of Francisco José Teixeira de Sampaio (1738-1810) and his second wife Eulália Floriana Gualberta de Melo Carvão (1753-1824). His father was a successful businessman who had already established trade links with England, supplying the Portuguese army with food, and the young Sampaio was sent there to study. Whilst in London he quickly followed in his father's political and business footsteps. In 1807 he was appointed as Commissioner of Army Supplies for the Anglo-Portuguese forces who were seeking to prevent Napoleon's invasion of Portugal.
This position, as well as the exclusive contract for the supply of tobacco, allowed him to establish a huge fortune in a very short period of time, making him one of the richest men in Portugal, worth some 21,000,000 cruzados on his death in 1833. His position and importance in Portuguese society was recognised on 22 May 1816 when he received the title 1st Lord de Sampaio from King João VI in Rio de Janeiro. Soon after, on 6 March 1819, he was made 1st Barao de Teixeira by Royal Charter, and was granted the right to bear arms.
Whilst his business interests continued to thrive during the 1820s, making Sampaio's trading house the largest in Portugal and a rival to other firms in London and Hamburg, the finances of the Portuguese state were in a perilous condition. Sampaio provided loans to the state making him one of the biggest creditor to the Treasury, and so when the Bank of Lisbon was founded in 1822, he became the biggest shareholder with some 400 shares, compared to only 100 shares owned by the next largest shareholder. In honour of this he was created 1st Conde de Póvoa on 3 July 1823, named after his estate in Póvoa de Santo Adrião, near Lisbon.
Sampaio married twice, first in February 1802 to Marianne Slack, the daughter of an ex-patriot Irish merchant who was living in Lisbon. She died, along with her child, in childbirth in October 1804 and it was not until March 1824 that Sampaio married his second wife, Louisa Maria José Rita Baltazar de Noronha, who was aged only 21 and already expecting a child at the time of the marriage. In order to protect his assets for his child he arranged for a trust to be set up by Royal decree. Unfortunately, the first child died soon after birth. It was not until 1826 that the couple had a son, João Maria de Noronha Sampaio, and a daughter, Marie Louise de Noronha Sampaio, the following year.
Henrique Teixeira de Sampaio died at his home on Rua da Escola Politécnica, in Lisbon, on 27 March 1833, aged 59 years. His son João Maria de Noronha became 2nd Conde de Póvoa and inherited the family fortune, aged only 6 but died soon after in 1837. The titles thus became extinct and the fortune passed to his sister Marie Louise de Noronha Sampaio who went on to marry, against the wishes of her mother, Domingos António Pedro de Sousa Holstein (1818-1864), the future 2nd Duke of Palmela.
THE SAMPAIO SERVICE AND PAUL STORR
The service is one of the greatest services produced by Paul Storr following his departure from Rundell, Bridge and Rundell in 1819 and after he established a shop in New Bond Street with John Mortimer. The Conde de Póvoa was a significant patron of Paul Storr in the 1820s, reflecting not only his fondness for England, but also the strong political and trade ties between England and Portugal in the 19th century, reflected in the choice of nautical motifs.
The service remained at Casa Palmela, the family home of the Dukes of Palmela in Lisbon, until April 1976, when a significant portion of the major pieces were sold by Christie's at auction in Geneva. The group was offered in 8 lots weighing just under 6,000 ounces and the pair of candelabrum centrepieces were part of lot 192 which also included a plateau and an eight-light candelabra now in the collection of the Preservation Society of Newport County. The other lots included lot 193, a pair of four-light candelabra, subsequently sold at Christie's, New York, 19 April 2002, lot 348 with lot 194, a set of four three-light candelabra; lot 195, a pair of Warwick vases; lot 196, a pair of soup-tureens and stands, subsequently sold from the collection of Mr and Mrs Claus von Bulow; Sotheby's, New York, 28 October 1988, lot 219; lot 197, a further pair of soup-tureens, subsequently sold from The Collection of Alan and Simone Hartman; Christie's, New York, 20 October 1999, lot 206, lot 198, a set of four wine-coolers, lot 199, a further pair of wine-coolers, and lot 200, a set of eight salt-cellars, subsequently exhibited Christie's, London, The Glory of the Goldsmith, Magnificent Gold and Silver from the Al-Tajir Collection, no. 151.
A matching candelabrum centrepiece on square-shaped base and weighing over 700 ozs also by Paul Storr, 1822 was in the collection of Lillian and Morrie Moss, see Morrie A. Moss, the Lillian and Morrie Moss Collection of Paul Storr Silver, Miami, 1992, p. 98-99, pl. 39; The Alan & Simone Hartman Collection of Regency Silver, Christie's New York, 20 October 1999, lot 206.