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The collection of archaeology includes over 220 Etruscan and Roman items: arms, ceramics, sculptures and jewellery from grave goods dating between the 4th century BC and the 2nd century AD. In this collection, is evident Gian Giacomo’s passion for arms, but there are also Attic ceramics and small Roman sculptures. Recently, the Museum has acquired the Necchi Rizzi archaeological collection.
Arms and Armour
Arms and armour were the first passion of Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli, who commissioned the set-up of a Neo-Gothic style crowded armoury. In the collection, there are about one thousand Western and Oriental arms and armours. Among them, stand out the Renaissance parade armours made in Milan by Pompeo della Cesa and the 16th century firearms from Brescia and Germany.
Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli had gathered important Italian furniture: Renaissance cassoni, precious carved and inlaid cabinets, pieces decorated with semiprecious-stones, Lombard and Venetian wall mirrors. Notable are also the rich 19th century pieces of furniture designed by Giuseppe Bertini and made for Gian Giacomo’s apartment by Milanese artisans.
Prints and drawings
The collection of prints and darwings has been for the most part donated to the Museum by Riccardo Lampugnani (Milan, 1900-1996), nephew of a pupil of the painter Francesco Hayez. The collection includes over 600 drawings dating from the 15th to the 20th century.
Gathered in the Jewellery Room, there are sacred items, enamels, jewels, objects de vertu that create a collection heterogeneous and the same time unique for its rarity and high quality. Among the highlights, Medieval Limoges enamels, works by Renaissance Lombard goldsmiths, 16th century jewels, 19th century parures by Fortunato Pio Castellani.
Clocks and watches
About 500 items (sundials, clocks and watches) make up the most important collection of antique Horology in Italy, enriched in time thanks to the donations by Bruno Falck and Piero Portaluppi, and to the acquisition of the Luigi Delle Piane's collection. The Museum collection illustrates the European histiry of Horology, from the 16th to the 19th century, with Italian, German, French and Swiss timepieces, extrordinary for their mechanisms as well as for their decorations.
Not many items, but of the highest quality. Among them, a monumental bronze statue of the Redeemer made in Venice in the early 16th century and a bust-portrait by Alessandro Algardi. Notable are the 19th century sculptures by Lorenzo Bartolini, who worked for Rosa Trivulzio, Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli’s mother, as the Trust in God.
The heterogeneous textile collection includes important antique Persian carpets, Renaissance tapestries and 180 textiles dating from the 14th to the 18th century. Among them, rare Italian velvets and precious 15th century Lombard altar frontals. Antique Coptic textiles and Lombard and Flemish laces and embroideries, dating from the 18th and the 19th century, were acquired or received as donations.
The glass collection includes 200 items, most of them were acquired by Gian Giacomo, others were bought by the first Museum directors. They are mainly 16th and 17th century Murano glasses, showing the various Venetian glass techniques and decorations. There are also some archaeological as well as German and Bohemian pieces.
The Museum hosts over 300 paintings. Among them, many Italian works from the Renaissance: masterpieces from Tuscany (Botticelli, Piero della Francesca, Pollaiuolo), Lombardy (Luini, Boltraffio, Solario) and Veneto (Bellini, Mantegna). Important is also the group of 18th century Italian painting (Guardi, Canaletto, Tiepolo, Fra Galgario). In the collection, there are mainly portraits and small size paintings.