Symbol of the Banco de Portugal
In 1846, the Banco de Portugal adopted, after slight changes, the official seal that Domingos António Sequeira, an engraving artist, born in 1768, had created for the Banco de Lisboa. Sequeira’s design is representative of the great allegorical themes prevailing during one of the artist's phases.
Oval in shape and baroque in style, the seal depicts a slightly stylised goddess, with an austere look, clad in long clothes and Greek sandals, and wearing a caravel-shaped diadem. Her left arm rests upon a shield. The words of the royal charter that established the Banco de Portugal are inscribed on it. Near the shield, there is a cornucopia of coins symbolising fiduciary wealth, all reflecting the influence of the braided Manueline style. At her feet an anchor is seen, certainly alluding to the maritime Portuguese Discoveries.
On her left arm, the allegorical figure holds a caduceus entwined with two serpents, representing financial wealth and cure, and an eagle on the top that symbolises royal power. Her right arm, in a progressive gesture, stretches toward the horizon, pointing to the future.
At her left side is visible a vast maritime expanse, where a 16th-century ship sails, once again symbolising the Discoveries and trade. In the middle, the Sun with its stylised rays reflected on the sea and on the earth can be seen, with the words "Banco de Portugal" inscribed at the top.