The arms are those of, quarterly, Teixeira, Sampaio, Amaral and Guedes, as borne by Henrique Teixeira de Sampaio, 1st Conde de Povoa and Barao de Teixeira (1774-1833). The Conde de Povoa had an illustrious career as a leading merchant and statesman. After studying in England, he began his lucrative business career in that country, increasing his fortune upon his return to Lisbon. He became an important Portuguese statesman with appointments as Minister of Finance and President of the Exchequer and was granted numerous orders.
As Sampaio's son predeceased him, his fortune passed to his daughter, Dona Maria Luisa de Sampaio Noronha. In 1836, she married the 2nd Duke de Palmella, Don Domingos de Sousa Holstein (1818-1864). The present lot descended in that family, and can be seen in a photograph of the dining room of Casa Palmella, Lisbon, depicted here, showing these tureens in situ.
The Conde de Povoa was a significant patron of Paul Storr during the 1820s, commissioning an important service with many pieces featuring marine motifs. The service, much of which sold at Christie's, Geneva, April 27, 1976, included the present lot, as well as a pair of larger tureens with mermaid and triton handles, eight salt cellars formed as mermen, six campana-shaped wine coolers, a pair of Warwick vases, a suite of four- and three-light candelabra, a table garniture consisting of two four-light centerpeice-candelabra, and an eight-light candelabrum on a plateau. The larger tureens and pair of four-light centerpiece-candelabra were subsequently sold from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Claus von Bulow, Sotheby's, New York, October 28, 1988, lots 218, 219. The large candelabrum, depicted here, was presented to the Preservation Society of Newport County, Rhode Island by Mr. and Mrs. Claus von Bulow. A pair of sauce boats from the service of 1824 sold at Christie's, New York, April 11, 1995, lot 264.
The form of these tureens had been used by Storr as early as 1820 for a pair made for the Duke of Devonshire, sold at Christie's, London, June 25, 1958, lot 24. The design was also used by Garrard's for a tureen for Lord Grantley in 1824, illustrated in The Campbell Museum Collection, 1972, no. 14.
The choice of nautical motifs on the service is not surprising given the great part played by maritime themes in the art and literature of Portugal. The Conde de Povoa's patronage of the English silversmith Paul Storr reflects not only his ties with England, where he studied and began his business, but also the strong political and trade ties between the two nations.