The Horn Museum in FlorenceA Florentine house of Renaissance
Herbert Percy Horne was an architect, scholar and art collector from London. When he founded the Horne Museum, his purpose was to make a prestigious exhibition site for his collections out of his residence, but also a vibrant cultural place to learn from history and art.
Besides the painting “Santo Stefano” by Giotto, standing out for its importance, the rooms of the Museum house the works of many other important artists, like Filippo Lippi, Bernardo Daddi, Simone Martini, Pietro Lorenzetti, Dosso Dossi, Antonio Rossellino, Jacopo Sansovino, Agnolo di Polo, Jacopo del Sellaio, Luca Signorelli, Pietro di Giovanni d’Ambrosio, Niccolò di Segna, Piero di Cosimo, Desiderio da Settignano, Bartolomeo Ammannati, Lorenzo di Credi, Carlo Dolci, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Domenico Beccafumi, Giambologna and a precious panel by Masaccio: more than six thousand pieces of art are displayed.
These extraordinary works of painting, sculpture, pottery, goldsmithing, furnishing, plating and weaving have been coexisting with elegance and harmony in the Corsi Palace since the end of the XIX century, in the area of Santa Croce in Florence.
Dated back to a period in history between the XIII and the XVIII century, the cutlery collection reveals Horne’s interest in recording typical aspects of the domestic daily life. The tools feature several functions. Some of them have a plain paw-shaped or leaf-shaped knob, some other show a more complicated structure, like all-round fantastic beasts’ heads or human bodies. Some items, dated back to the late XV century, stand out for quality and rarity, with their silver handles decorated in niello and carved ivory. Particularly curious is the “dismountable” cutlery: folding forks containing dental sticks or travel cutlery sets including forks, spoons and toothpicks.
Among them, the collection of 98 pieces of cutlery (28 knives, 22 spoons, 47 forks), hunting knives and daggers is particularly appreciated for the variety of materials these tools are made of.
The Horn Museum and the Horn Foundation are partners of OmA Association (Observatory for Artistic Craftsmanship). Together with the Didactic Service of the Museum, they issue scientific and specific contents to encourage a sensitive, interested and attentive audience of children and families to approach artistic and artisanal techniques.