I had the
privilege to spend about two hours at Rainer Daenhardt's
17th. century house after having bought two
of his books. The entire place is a Museum, filled with swords,
armors, guns, canons, an incredible collection of pommels, Chinese
vases which the Portuguese used as gun powder containers, and so
forth. The entire house is dedicated to the Portuguese Discoveries
and its weapons and those which they fought against.
At any given time, his collections are on exhibition somewhere in
My visit to his house had the aim of asking if it would be possible
to hold an exhibition in Macau. We spent most of the time talking
and I did not want to force his hospitality by asking to take
pictures, lest take the weapons outside.
Anyway, this is a modest number of pictures that he allowed me to
take to report back to try to organize this exhibition. Out of lack
of time and not being greedy, here are some pictures I hope will be
for your enjoyment.
His collection is not only made of great pieces, but identified
pieces. Swords that belonged to this Vice-Roy or guns and armors
that belonged to some Kings of Portugal. Not just antique pieces.
picture shows one end of the dinning room with canons, armors,
and many items that will surely be identifiable.
Rainer's house is a real Museum in all senses, where armors of
different periods, hallberds coexist with a great collection of
guns, paintings, maps and everything that makes him the proud
owner of a collection of 500.000 pieces dedicated to the
arrived in Portugal in the 18th. century as Ambassadors of
Prussia, bought a Quinta in Queluz, near one of the
King's Palace, and remained in Portugal since then.
of the dinning room showing a wooden sculpture of a
Portuguese warrior. Notice the pots full of swords that are
placed at both sides of the arch.
The sitting room can be seen at the back with plenty of XVII century
guns of various origins, all with pedigree.
The dinning room is a large room full of
collectible items that can be accessed directly from the
main hall of the property.
Rainer Daenhardt is Portuguese by birth and nationality, but
speaks several languages and at any given time, part of his
collections are exhibited somewhere.
At a certain moment of our conversation,
Rainer decided to demonstrate, as an answer to my question
of how so few Portuguese could not only have kept alive in
India, but also exercise their power against much more
numerous enemies. He took a sail guard left
hander and a
in the picture at the left, with which the Portuguese fought during
the Discoveries. A very deadly duo, according to Rainer, who
demonstrated in slow motion the techniques employed
by the Portuguese against the Tulwar.
The curved Tulwar was no match for the reach of the cuphilt
that was extremely light and definitely not a rapier.
The set of swords were "carelessly" placed on top of a table
cover that was itself also an antique hand embroidered piece
of Castelo Branco, known for its precious embroideries.
On an antique
chest stood a Portuguese 16th. century helmet with the
armillary sphere, part of the Portuguese Coat of Arms,
celebrating the discoveries.
As if not satisfied with what was in view, Rainer took out
from somewhere a heavy and large book covered in old
It was a collection of maps. In those days these were
precious references for the navigators and they were guarded
as authentic treasures, quite often at gun or sword point.
He then led me
to the living room where we would sit and talk after he took
me to a detailed visit to his mannor house.
At the time I only had a film camera and was respectful
enough not to shoot everything I saw.
I could see rows of sword pommels of different shapes. I
could see rows of wonderful Pata swords of great
craftsmanship, black glove-like guards with embedded gold
decorations and long blades, also decorated in many cases.
There were also rows of China pots. I asked what they were.
Rainer explained to me they contained exact amounts of gun
powder to be placed in canon breeches. Along the way to the
sitting area I took a photo of a pot full of antique swords
of various kinds.
Just the view of the swords of this pot, displicently placed as
if they were umbrellas, one could judge that these were left
overs from his immense collection.
area is in a room divided by the sofas area where there is a
portrait of King Sebastian in the parade armour that is also
part of Rainer's collection, as well as an important 15th.
century sword that is displayed behind glass in the picture.
The other half of the room can be seen in the second picture
from the top, and is composed of numerous firearms from the
16th. and 17th. century that once belonged to kings, dukes
and counts of Portugal and are of Portuguese, German and
other countries manufacture.
many firearms that Rainer showed to me, he took two complete
sets made in Portugal. One was a set of flintlock guns
exquisitely carved and gold layered, that the Queen offered
her husband King Dom Josť I, as can be seen in the picture.
The King in return offered Queen Maria Victoria another set
that Rainer also has but that I refrained from taking
pictures out of not behaving too abusively.
In all, my visit to Rainer still originated another
article based on one of his
more than sixty books.