1786 – José Teixeira da Trindade
José Teixeira da Trindade was born in the city of Oporto. He became a prominent citizen associated with Brazilian trade and the gold business. He kept close ties to the jewellery industry. Maria Delfina, his only daughter, married José Pinto Leitão.
1822 – Popular Jewelry
José Pinto Leitão registered the hallmark (manufacturer’s brand) “JPL” and opened his business at Rua das Flores, Oporto’s classic street for goldsmiths. “…The type of establishment at that time was the workshop store, where the smith worked in front of customers next to the “caixão”, or nearby sales counter. Typical items produced included the “heart”, traditional “arrecada” earrings, Portuguese cordon, items taken in Northern Portugal to the fair, to Missa Cantata, to the popular “arraial” festival…”
1837 – Marriage
Marriage of José Pinto Leitão and Maria Delfina, daughter of José Teixeira da Trindade. This marriage played a key role in the Leitão house’s future.
1866 – Europe
The Leitão house gains national recognition. The founder’s sons Narciso and Olindo continue to run the family business under the new name Leitão & Irmão. They bring production up-to-date with new materials and investments in machinery. The business expands internationally with branches in Paris and London, developing an important network of contacts.
1872 – Brazil
Brazilian Emperor Dom Pedro II gives Leitão & Irmão the title of “Goldsmiths of the Imperial House of Brazil”. The connection between the crown and the Leitão house dates back to the siege of Oporto (1832/1833), where José Teixeira da Trindade established private relationships with Dom Pedro IV of Portugal and I of Brazil.
1887 – Jewellers of the Crown
On 1st December, Dom Luís gave the Leitão & Irmão house the title of “Jewellers of the Crown”. Leitão & Irmão continues to be the royal house’s choice for making presents for family, friends and famous personalities. Queen Dona Maria Pia was also an enthusiast and loyal customer. She played a key role in acquiring countless utilitarian and decorative items in silver and gold, mostly of refinement and sobriety, showing a preference for the aesthetics of Neo-Rocaille.
1888 – Vatican
Chalice given by Dom Luís to Pope Leo XIII, to celebrate his Sacerdotal Jubilee in 1888. In a special gesture of appreciation, Pope Leo XIII celebrated the Jubilee mass with the chalice given by the King of Portugal.
1942 – Crown in gold and precious stones
Crown of Our Lady of Fátima, one of the most publicized pieces of Portuguese jewellery. Gift from the Portuguese as a sign of gratitude for sparing their children from the tragedies of World War II. The crown, of gold and precious stones, stems from a nationwide donation campaign to the Leitão house. Twelve artisans worked on it for three months. It has 313 pearls and 2,679 precious stones embedded in gold. Nearly half a century later, in 1984, the piece became even more famous when Pope John Paul II gave Our Lady of Fátima the bullet that hit him in an assassination attempt at the Vatican on 13th May 1981. The bullet fit perfectly in the empty space left in 1942 where the crown of the queen’s eight half-arches come together.
1942 – Chiselled crown in gilded silver
Crown of Our Lady of Fátima chiselled in gilded silver. In addition to the Precious Crown, another one was made in gilded silver for everyday use. The Precious Crown is worn on anniversaries of the apparitions and other special events.
1958 – Christ the King
Ornaments in gold. Inauguration of the Christ the King monument in Almada.
2000 – Jubilee
Nativity scene by sculptor Graça Costa Cabral. Comprising 15 silver figurines standing across a base of five slate plates, the piece was given to Pope John Paul II, in Fátima, during the 2000 Jubilee, finishing the work started in 1981.
2003 – Rosary of Light
On the 25th anniversary of the pontificate of Pope John Paul II and end of the Year of the Rosary, the Leitão house was invited to create a rosary inspired by the Luminous Mysteries, a unique piece marking the new mysteries, delivered to His Holiness in commemoration of his connection to Portugal.
2014 – Rosary of the New Millennium
Launched on Fátima’s 100th anniversary and the canonization of Pope John Paul II, the rosary of the New Millennium, in silver or gold and rock crystal, represents the four sets of mysteries commemorating the rosary’s new composition.