Handmade ceramic sardines, custom made for the Stonington Historical Society by Avedouda in Coimbra, Portugal. The artist is Alexandra Faria de Almeida.
Sardines are a bit of a national icon in Portugal. It begins with Santo Antonio, Lisbon’s patron saint. The brief version of the story is that on one of his expeditions, Santo Antonio was having trouble converting the local people. He turned instead and began to preach to the fish, which gathered around. Santo Antonio took this as a sign from God to keep going.
Sardines are also part of the socio-economic traditions of Portugal, going back over two hundred years. These handcrafted fish are a beautiful reminder of Portuguese heritage.