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Picturesque Portuguese Porcelain Perfectly Complements a New Chinese Residence

Vista Alegre’s porcelain designs bear the hand-painted brushwork of one of the company’s 17 artists…

Portugal’s Vista Alegre has been crafting porcelain for nearly two centuries. 

Rosário Tello tries to bring a taste of her native Portugal to her interior-design projects, and for a nearly 9,000-square-foot residence in Chengdu, China (see “Ship Shape,” page 35), that meant giving Vista Alegre’s creations pride of place in the home’s dining room. Vista Alegre, a 192-year-old porcelain maker from the Portuguese coastal town of Ílhavo, has created exclusive pieces for Queen Elizabeth II and has been featured in international exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and at the Royal Palace of Milan. “Our goal was to take Portuguese designers, artists, and manufacturers abroad,” says Tello, who is a cofounder and the chief designer of the Lisbon-based studio Sá Aranha & Vasconcelos (SA&V). 

To dress the Chengdu home’s dining-room table, Tello, together with SA&V cofounder Carmo Aranha, chose Vista Alegre’s Sol y Sombra collection, which was introduced in 2013. Its design, by the French fashion luminary Christian Lacroix, features graphic black stripes that look as though they were applied by watercolor. Rims of gold and platinum grace the entire series, from the teapot and sugar bowl to the dinner plate and butter dish. The tableware, like every piece of Vista Alegre porcelain, bears the brushwork of one of the company’s 17 painters.

Vista Alegre, vistaalegre.com

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