The origins of the jewellery collection date from 1932 with the incorporation of a set of objects from the patrimony of the Bishop of Porto’s Palace, containing a small group of pectoral crosses and Episcopal rings.
Over the course of time the collection grew. Specimens were added from the estates of extinct convents and royal palaces that were at the disposal of the Public Treasury and were being distributed among the country’s museums. Donations, small legacies, timely acquisitions by the Museum, combined with an exchange of items deposited among various national museums, all contributed to extend and enrich the collection. Its value was greatly enhanced in 1936 with a significant deposit by Porto City Council of a diversified jewellery collection, previously belonging to the extinguished Municipal Museum.
The oldest pieces date from the Iron Age, Roman and Visigoth eras. The remainder is distributed unequally over the 18th and 19th centuries.