The long journey of a souvenir of the Brazilian Empire

The only 18th century royal carriage to be preserved in a French collection, the Musée Louis-Philippe’s Berlin is also the oldest French-made carriage preserved in France.

This carriage is one of the 24 ceremonial carriages made in Paris in 1727 for King John V of Portugal which he ordered for the “Caia meeting” - a diplomatic event during which the Princesses of Portugal and Spain were “exchanged” to marry the Crown Princes of both the Iberian Crowns in 1729.

Less than a century later, in 1807, the arrival of Napoleon’s troops in Portugal forced the Prince Regent to Brazil. The Berlin crossed the ocean with the royal family and returned to Europe after the fall of the Brazilian Empire on 17th November 1889. It returned to Normandy in 1905 with other objets d’art and paintings from the imperial Brazilian collections, following the purchase of the Château d’Eu by the Comte d’Eu, grandson of Louis-Philippe and his wife Isabel, the daughter of Emperor Pedro II.