On my recent visit to the Antinori Winery, I was pleasantly surprised to find a small but well-curated museum at the winery which included some antique heirloom jewelry and objects. From the Antinori website, “The museum is where the Antinori family recounts its own past in an entirely unusual way, fusing, just as in the cellars themselves, the old the new. A space suspended in time where the avant-garde converses with tradition, contemporary works with those of the historic family collection, continuing the centuries-old tradition of patronage of the Florentine nobility.”
〈Source: museum text〉 Small elegant and valuable personal effects, the expression of a collection cherished by Marchese Niccolò, give us insight into the private lives of the family: a rosary given by Lucrezia Azzolino in 1908 to Niccolò Antinori that she received from her Confirmation from her grandmother Teresa Antinori Rinuccini; a small jade hare, a memento of Niccolò’s first prey when he was just eleven years old, an extremely rare set of miniature pistols; a medallion with a miniature portrait of Cora Antinori (1895-1974).
Other objects are connected to social activities: an ivory dance card, used by women to record the names of the gentlemen they intended to dance with or to write addresses or notes; a silver dance purse, enameled perfume bottles; two exceptional hat pins and valuable seals with the family coat of arms.
Florence, 4th of March 1908, Lucrezia Azzolino gave to Niccolò Antinori (known as the Knight) this rosary that she received from her grandmother, Teresa Antinori Marchesa Rinuccini when she was first confirmed in 1847. Teresa Antinori made her First Communion in Florence together with her two cousins, Riccardi and Vernaccia, under Pope Pius VII probably in 1805 when he travelled through Florence on his way back from Paris following the coronation of Napoleon the 1st and not in 1800 when he returned to Tuscany.
The museum also includes some beautiful ephemera such as this “Privileged title of the class of “gentlemen” attributed to Antonio Antinori, with seal and signature (10th March, 1710).”
The exhibit area displays several other items and paintings. My favorites were the Antinori family tree and a painting for Bastiano Antinori, Avversita seconda gratugiato, painted on wood of the XVII century by an unknown Florentine, about grating bread and related to the Accademia della Crusca where the official Italian language was established beginning in the mid-1500s and where Bastiano was an accademic.