The history of the Leitão & Irmão jeweller’s began in Porto in the 18th century. José Pinto Leitão registered a personal manufacture brand and opened a shop in Rua das Flores there. It focused on the popular goldsmith work of the day: filigree heart and folk-inspired arrecada pendants and earrings, and chain necklaces that were used on festive occasions in the North. The two sons of the founder and his wife Maria Delfina adapted the brand name “Leitão & Irmão” and internationalised the business. They opened up stores in London and Paris, and were granted the title of “Jewellers to the Imperial House of Brazil” by the Brazilian royal household. In 1877, the firm also became purveyors to the Portuguese royal family. This new title meant that the company moved to Lisbon, where the court was based, and opened the Leitão & Irmão shop in Chiado. The company’s marking stamp was registered at a time when hallmark regulations had been created for the whole country with a view to guaranteeing legitimacy for quality brands. L&I received the oldest stamp still in use in Portugal. It bears the number 33, and no stamp with a lower number has been found to be in use today.
The current shop was designed by the architect Ronald Gordon Hart and Pedro Leitão, a member of the founding family, based on the colour yellow associated with the brand. On the walls, old moulds for jewellery remind one of the know-how that has been passed down from generation to generation, which is preserved on a daily basis daily in the neighbouring workshop spaces. Since 1889 the patio of a palatial building in Bairro Alto has been serving as a studio for gold and silversmiths who once had to work in small workshops in the entrances to buildings around the city. All these invisible and masterly hands allow for the high level of quality of the pieces sold in the shop, and they also see to the many different services the house offers: from maintenance, custom-made pieces and unique designer pieces and personalised work to reproductions, restorations and all kinds of rings, earrings, bracelets, cufflinks, necklaces, as well as the other forms of jewellery, and cutlery services and tableware that the art of metalworking makes possible.
Gold and silversmith work and jewellery; personalised service, pieces made to order for private and corporate customers; engraving/personalisation; transformation, restoration, cleaning of jewellery pieces; wedding bands, engagement rings; gift lists for weddings, baptisms, births and birthdays