The rarest and strangest objects, collected by Frederick Stibbert (1838-1906) during the second half of the nineteenth century, are the centrepieces of a new exhibition, which can be visited until October 16.
The exhibition A nineteenth-century Wunderkammer, a journey through the rare collectibles of Frederick Stibbert, made possible thanks to the contribution of the Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze, documents an entire new type of work of arts and crafts collected by Stibbert, an English man with Tuscan mother, who traced the fashion for encyclopaedic 17th-century collections through trips to Germany, where he assiduously studied the ancient weapons and armour then preserved in the German dynastic collections.
The exhibition will be a unique voyage through the history of distant worlds relived through the eyes of a collector who knew how to recreate the environments and objects of Jules Verne novels. Living in an age when scientific discovery encouraged travel to continents hitherto little known, Stibbert wanted his Museum to document the customs and traditions of peoples not only from Europe and the Middle East, but also Africa, India, Russia, China and Japan. At his Montughi Villa is the largest collection of Japanesearmour so far existing outside of Japan.
The exhibition curated by Enrico Colle and Martina Becattini coincides with the presentation of the restoration of two important rooms in the house-museum: the Sala Moresca and the Sala del Condottiere. The Stibbert Museum, one of the most fascinating and unexpected in Florence, has over fifty thousand objects including a large collection of weapons from the Middle Ages up to the nineteenth century, making it one of the most important in Europe.
A walk through the collections of Frederick Stibbert, including furnishings, collections, tapestries, Egyptian artefacts, mummies, armour and costumes of Italian, German, Ottoman and Samurai knights and warriors will be sure to revive a curiosity about the past. The same curiosity about the past, the same eclectic, exotic taste also characterizes the park surrounding the villa, bearing witness to a more romantic and mysterious Florence full of symbols. For further info please visit the Stibbert Museum’s website