“Borromeo” tea and coffee set - inv. 1034
On all the pieces of the set we find some certain marks: the letter A, in italics, standing for King Augustus III of Poland (1696 -1763), and the coat of arms of the Borromeo family. The latter, set in the decoration, has the form of a shield, with the word “Humilitas” inscribed on it, a unicorn and a snake on the left, a dromedary on the right. Below it hangs a star-shaped emblem, identified as the Polish Order of the White Eagle. A document shows that on November 19, 1736, King Augustus III of Poland signed the investiture of Federico VI Borromeo (1703-1779) in this order. It is possible that Federico either commissioned the service or received it as a gift from the king. This work is very valuable for the refined decoration with its “harbour scenes” and its excellent state of preservation, which is due largely to its case: a fine wooden box lined with green velvet with tapes, silver hinges and locks.