Movement Figurines
Bordallo Pinheiro
Bordallo Pinheiro Artistic Faiences: Timeless Genuineness

Bordallo Pinheiro has always been known for the genuine Portuguese satire that he expressed through his pieces. Fruit of this work are his authentic movement figurines – statues comprised of a base and a satirical body such as “Zé Povinho” and “Alcoviteira”, among others, that once touched repeat a movement that confers them an expression of vitality, transmitting their message vivaciously. Some figurines have two movements: the head and the body, others just the body.

Through these pieces, Bordallo Pinheiro produced popular figures from that time period and from different social quadrants.

The Portuguese company Bordallo Pinheiro Artistic Faiences was founded in the year 1884. At that time, the goal behind the company’s creation was to reanimate traditional ceramic and clay arts. Its mentor’s originality, Rafael Bordallo Pinheiro, permitted a cross between the art of that time period and the modern styles that began to emerge; to that he also added his own geniality and produced a series of pieces that are still present in our collective memory today.

While visiting the Bordallo Pinheiro Factory Museum and Shop in Caldas da Rainha, it is impossible to not travel back in time. Many of the pieces and sayings scattered all over the place could have very well been written today!

Founder: Rafael Bordallo Pinheiro

An unforgettable personality of Portuguese popular culture, Rafael Bordallo Pinheiro dominated, like no other, a selection of different arts, leaving in all of them an imprint of his unquestionable singularity and irreverence.

In ceramic art, Bordallo Pinheiro created numerous pieces - tiles, terrines, sculptures, vases, pitchers, tea sets, toothpick holders, flower pots and bottles - some of these objects continue to persist vividly in our imagination today. Some good examples are the charismatic figure of Zé Povinho, the utilitarian service «Couves» («Cabbages»), the «Andorinhas» («Swallows»), among so many other pieces that characterize Bordallo Pinheiro’s spirit and creativity so well.

The foundation of the Caldas da Rainha Artistic Faiences Factory in 1884 was decisive for the diffusion of Master Rafael Bordallo Pinheiro’s imagination and talent.

A man of the arts, Bordallo Pinheiro dedicated a large part of his life to his great project: the Caldas da Rainha Artistic Faiences Factory. He dedicated his total attention to it, starting with the choice of raw materials and ending with the creation of a school, right on the factory’s lawn, for his employees’ children.

Rafael Bordallo Pinheiro left us a noteworthy cultural, historic, artistic and social conscientious legacy. A commendable personality that should always be remembered.

Bordallo Pinheiro - 125 Years of History

The Bordallo Pinheiro Artistic Faiences Factory is the holder of an exceptional legacy: heir to the Caldas da Rainha Artistic Faiences Factory, founded in 1884 by Rafael Bordallo Pinheiro and of the posterior Bordallo Pinheiro or San Rafael Factory, founded in 1908 by Manuel Gustavo Bordallo Pinheiro. Recently acquired by Visabeira Indústria, the Bordallo Pinheiro Artistic Faiences represent a unique case of experience, history and know-how in Portugal.

Currently, the company is taking advantage of the knowledge that is a direct result of tried and true experience, acquired through the centennial techniques used in the reproduction of its models, and is giving continuity to the recuperation of an unparallel legacy. Besides the recreation of historical pieces created by Rafael and Manuel Gustavo Bordallo Pinheiro - father and son - Visabeira, impelled by its innovative spirit, also created contemporary pieces and thus conquered other markets.

Today, Bordallo Pinheiro is a historical company whose eyes are set on the future. It produces utilitarian and ornamental faiences, thus giving continuity to the work of the company’s founder, but also adding a touch of modernity and molding its pieces to the needs of today.

To celebrate its 125 years of existence, Bordallo Pinheiro Artistic Faiences invited seven well-known Portuguese artists and gave them a challenge: recreate an exclusive Bordallo Pinheiro piece. Each of the contemporary creators invited - Joana Vasconcelos; Henrique Cayatte; Fernando Brizio; Bela Silva; Suzanne Themlitz; Catarina Pestana and Elsa Rebelo - were or had already been linked to the Bordallo Pinheiro brand.

Bordallo Pinheiro: Tradition and Modernity

Currently, Bordallo Pinheiro Faiences is ready to face new challenges. It possesses a modern 9.400 m2 factory unit, 170 employees and has a daily production of 6.000 pieces that preserve tradition and prudence in the production process.

It exports to the four corners of the world: United States, Germany, France, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Holland and Japan.

It conserves the creative stimulation, innovation and primacy in the production of decorative and utilitarian faience, while resorting to the traditional Portuguese motifs and environments and adapting them to present day demands.

It plans to revitalize, in both the internal and external market, the Caldas da Rainha tableware, as well as the Bordallo Pinheiro artistic heritage, always with a modern and entrepreneurial attitude.

Maintaining the levels of quality and rigor in harmony with the past and the present, it demonstrates concern in strengthening its identity, offer and value.

Tradition and modernity are perfectly associated at the Bordallo Pinheiro Artistic Faiences Factory, eternalizing a man that, in the most persistent way, mixed humor and art in the production of artistic faiences in Portugal.

Technical Information

Company: Faianças Artí­sticas Bordallo Pinheiro Lda.
Address: Rua Bordallo Pinheiro, n.º 53 2500-246 Caldas da Rainha
Telephone: 262 839 830
Owners: Visabeira
Employees: 170
Founded in: 1884