Porcelain Museum

FLORENCE

Since 1973, the Porcelain Museum has been housed in the 18th century Palazzina del Cavaliere at the top of the Boboli Gardens, at the center of the Rose Garden which overlooks the Forte del Belvedere with a beautiful panoramic view on the hills of Florence.

The museum mainly assembles collections of porcelain table services from the ruling houses which have followed one another at Pitti Palace, from the Medicis to the Lorraines, including the Parma Bourbon dynasty – with Mary Louise, Grand Duchess of Tuscany and Napoleon’s sister, Elisa Baciocchi, who was donated the famous Sèvres table service by her august brother in 1810.

The first room displays porcelains from the Real Fabbrica of Naples including a series of biscuit busts, depicting personages from classical antiquity, reproductions from the excavations in Herculaneum, eighteen figurines reproducing ‘garments’ from the Kingdom of Naples, two “dejeuner” services, one decorated with Egyptian motifs, the other with Etruscan motifs.

The Doccia Manifacture founded by the Ginori family in 1737 constantly supplied the Grand Dukes of Lorraine with table services for daily use, of which typical examples of the flowered porcelain with bouquet or tulip motifs are displayed. These motifs were taken from the so-called “famille rose” Chinese porcelain. Also some pieces from the 1800’s, such as the lovely coffee cups with view of Florentine piazzas, made in Doccia using lithographies by the Frenchman Benoit as models, are displayed here.

French porcelain is represented by examples from the factory in Vincennes founded in 1740 and transferred to Sèvres in 1756 under the direct ownership of King Louis XV. It is characterized by various pastel-colored shades. Some flower vases with scenes taken from Boucher are some typical examples , as well as four oysters stands made up of 18 shell-shaped bowls, singular and unique of their kind, coming from Parma and belonging to Louise Elisabeth of Bourbon, daughter of Louis XV, king of France.

In the two central display cases, the table service of Elisa Baciocchi for the light first course and dessert stands out. It was made in Sèvres between 1809 and 1810, and given to her by Napoleon after her investiture of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.

The second room displays a rich assembly of porcelains from Vienna, brought to Pitti by the two Lorraine grand dukes Peter Leopold, who maintained a constant rapport with the Viennese capital and Ferdinand III of Lorraine, an impassioned collector of porcelains and, particularly, of ‘solitaire’ services. Two services stand out: one with cups and trays decorated with views of Vienna and a coffee service with a trompe l’oeil feigned wood decoration.

In the third room porcelains from Meissen and from other German manufactures are displayed. In the display case towards the window, the following pieces stand out: two turtle-shaped butter dishes, a teapot in the shape of a rooster and a broth cup with scene inspired by a play by Molière probably belonging to the collection of Gian Gastone dei Medici, who married Maria Amalia, the daughter of August II the Strong, the Great Elector of Saxony and founder of the first porcelain factory in Europe.

There are also early pieces from the Meissen factory, which are decorated with Chinese motifs such as the splendid vase with gilded grape leaves and vines in relief. The series of small porcelain statues representing people in costume are really worth seeing: ladies, musicians, putti, gardeners and others, such as Harlequin, taken from the Commedia dell’Arte which was a source of inspiration for the Capodimonte manufacture in Naples.

Short Bibliography

Le porcellane di Vienna a Palazzo Pitti
Tabakoff S.K., Firenze, Editore: CentroDi, 2002

Curiosità di una Reggia. Vicende della guardaroba di Palazzo Pitti
Piacenti K.A., Pinto S. (a cura di), Firenze, Editore: CentroDi, 1979, note: catalogo della mostra (Firenze, Palazzo Pitti, gennaio-settembre 1979)

Il museo delle Porcellane in “Palazzo Pitti. Il Palazzo e le sue opere”
Mosco M., Londra, Editore: non disponibile, articolo di giornale n. 1997

Le porcellane tedesche di Palazzo Pitti
Clarke T., d’Agliano A., Ferrara, Editore: Belriguardo, 1999

Il Museo delle Porcellane in “Palazzo Pitti. Guida alle collezioni e catalogo completo della Galleria Palatina”
Piacenti K.A., Firenze, Editore: Becocci, articolo di giornale n. 1988

Porcellane dell’Ottocento a Palazzo Pitti
d’Agliano A., Clarke T. – Tabakoff S.K., Firenze, Editore: non disponibile, 1983

L’immagine riflessa. Dalla stampa alla Porcellana
Mosco M., Revai E., Livorno, Editore: Sillabe, 1997, note: catalogo della mostra Firenze, Museo degli Argenti ,18 aprile – 18 luglio 1997

Le porcellane italiane a Palazzo Pitti
d’Agliano A., Firenze, Editore: CentroDi, 1986

Le porcellane Francesi a Palazzo Pitti
Eriksen S., Firenze, Editore: CentroDi, 1973

procellane1

Oyster stand from a group of four

Date: 1759
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Sèvres
Size: h. 35 cm.
Provenance: Duchy of Parma

procellane4

Butter dish in the shape of a turtle

Date: ca. 1720-1727
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Meissen
Size: l. 17 cm. h. 7.2 cm.
Provenance: Gian Gastone dei Medici

This unique butter dish is painted with gold patches on a white background.

procellane7

Fruit basket from the Grand Duchess Elisa’s service

Date: 1809-1810
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Sèvres
Size: h. 18.2 cm.; d. 28.4 cm.
Provenance: Elisa Baciocchi

procellane10

Dejeuner

Date: ca. 1790-1800
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Naples, Royal Factory
Provenance: Grand Duchy of Tuscany (Ferdinando III of Lorraine)

Breakfast service decorated with Etruscan friezes and figures of Hellenic antiquity.

procellane13

Woman from Ducenta

Date: ca. 1785
Technique and Materials: bisque
Factory: Naples, Royal Factory
Size: 30.5 cm.
Provenance: Grand Duchy of Tuscany (Maria Luisa of Bourbon, wife of Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo of Lorraine)

This porcelain is part of a series of 18 statues on the folk costumes of the Kingdom of Naples.

procellane16

Elrctor’s group

Date: 1792
Technique and Materials: bisque
Factory: FRANKENTHAL
Size: h. 59 cm.
Provenance: Ferdinando III of Tuscany

The group represents the glory of the Elector with the allegorical figures of Justice and the Palatinate.

procellane19

The School of Bears

Date: ca. 1785
Technique and Materials: bisque
Factory: Naples, Royal Factory
Size: 49 cm., diam. 51 cm.
Provenance: Grand Duchy of Tuscany (Maria Luisa of Bourbon, wife of Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo of Lorraine)

procellane22

Saucer

Date: ca. 1789-1794
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Vienna
Size: diam. 13.8 cm.
Provenance: Grand Duchy of Tuscany (Pietro Leopoldo and Ferdinando III)

The saucer is part of a coffee service decorated in an imitation of wood with rectangular panels containing imaginary landscapes.

procellane25

The Rape of Europa

Date: 1786
Technique and Materials: bisque
Factory: Vienna
Size: h. 35 cm., B. 27 cm. x 19 cm.
Provenance: Grand Duchy of Tuscany (Pietro Leopoldo)

The porcelain depicts the well-known mythological episode of Europa being abducted by Zeus in the guise of a bull.

procellane28

Portrait of Napoleon

Date: 1810
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Sèvres
Size: 80 cm. x 66 cm.
Provenance: Grand Duchy of Tuscany

procellane31

Cup

Date: 1865
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Doccia, C.L. Ginori Lisci
Size: cup: 11.5 cm .; saucer diam. 17.5 cm.
Provenance: Kingdom of Italy

The cup with a gold background depicts a view of the Piazza della Signoria in Florence.

procellane34

Cup and saucer

Date: 1810
Technique and Materials: bisque
Factory: Naples, Royal Factory
Size: cup: 6.7 cm., saucer: diam. 12.7 cm.
Provenance: Grand Duchy of Tuscany (probably belonged to Elisa Baciocchi Bonaparte, sister of Napoleon and Carolina)

The cup portrays Caroline Murat, Queen of Naples from 1808 to 1815.

procellane37

Coffee cup

Date: ca. 1745-1755
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Doccia, C.L. Ginori Lisci
Size: diam. 5 cm.
Provenance: Duchy of Parma

This coffee cup is part of a service decorated with oriental or Korean flowers in green, blue, red and gold on a white background.

procellane40

Ball-shaped teapot

Date: 1723-1728
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Meissen
Size: h. 12 cm.; b. 15.5 cm.
Provenance: Gian Gastone dei Medici

The teapot on a white background is decorated with two colored landscapes within quatrefoil tablets.

procellane43

Jar with lid

Date: ca. 1730
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Meissen
Size: h. 34 cm.
Provenance: Gian Gastone dei Medici

The vase is decorated with grape vines and leaves in relief, polychrome chinoiserie and birds on a white background.

procellane46

Egg-shaped vase assembled as a samovar

Date: ca. 1740
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Meissen
Size: h. 35 cm.
Provenance: Duchy of Parma

procellane49

Sugar bowl

Date: ca. 1790-1800
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Naples, Royal Factory
Size: 15 cm.
Provenance: Grand Duchy of Tuscany

The sugar bowl is part of a breakfast service decorated with Egyptian motifs.

procellane2

Harlequin

Date: 1742
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Meissen
Size: h. 13.5 cm.
Provenance: Duchy of Parma

procellane5

Coffeepot

Date: ca. 1810
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Parigi, Dagoty
Size: 21.3 cm.
Provenance: Grand Duchy of Tuscany (Grand Duchess Elisa Baciocchi)

In the oval is an image taken from drawings by J.B. Oudry, ca. 1730, illustrating fables of La Fontaine.

procellane8

Basket fruit and cheese dish

Date: ca. 1760
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Chantilly
Provenance: Duchy of Parma

procellane11

Déjeuner

Date: ca. 1790-1800
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Naples, Royal Factory
Provenance: Grand Duchy of Tuscany

Breakfast service decorated with Egyptian motifs.

procellane14

Turkish Woman (set of two)

Date: 1745-1750
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Doccia, C.L. Ginori Lisci
Size: 11.7 cm.
Provenance: Duchy of Parma

procellane17

Satirical group

Date: 1770
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: J. J. Kandler
Size: Sofa: h. 11.5 cm., b. 20 cm .; Male: 10 cm., h. 8 cm.
Provenance: Duchy of Parma

Very fashionable in the 1700s, this satirical group in porcelain depicts the discovery of the woman’s lover.

procellane20

Milk jug

Date:ca. 1789-1794
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Vienna
Size: 12 cm.
Provenance: Grand Duchy of Tuscany (Pietro Leopoldo and Ferdinando III)

This milk jug is part of a coffee service decorated in imitation of wood with rectangular panels depicting imaginary landscapes.

procellane23

Plate

Date:ca. 1780-1790
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Doccia, C.L. Ginori Lisci
Size: 26 cm.
Provenance: Grand Duchy of Tuscany and the Duchy of Parma

Along the rim are country scenes inspired by the prints of Venetian artist Marco Ricci 1676-1730: “The Killing of the Snake and The Harvest.”

procellane26

Bottle cooler

Date:ca. 1765-1785
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Vienna
Provenance: Grand Duchy of Tuscany (Pietro Leopoldo)

Along with a tray and a cup with saucer, this cooler comprises a table service in white decorated with polychrome nosegays of flowers and edged rims.

procellane29

Coffee Service

Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Vienna
Provenance: Grand Duchy of Tuscany (Ferdinando III)

Coffee service for one person with a pale yellow background and the bottom edges decorated with gold decoration. The small rectangular panels contain views of Vienna.

procellane32

Cup and saucer

Date: 1865
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Doccia, C.L. Ginori Lisci
Size: cup: 11.5 cm., saucer: diam. 17.5 cm.
Provenance: Kingdom of Italy

The coffee cup with a gold background incorporates a view of Piazza Pitti in Florence.

procellane35

Cup and saucer

Date: 1816
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Doccia, C.L. Ginori Lisci
Size: cup: 8.2 cm., saucer: diam. 9.5 cm.
Provenance: Ducato di Lucca

procellane38

Teapot

Date: ca. 1737-1742
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Doccia, C.L. Ginori Lisci
Size: h. 14.2 cm.
Provenance: Villoresi Collection

This ribbed white teapot dates to the first five years of Ginori’s production.

procellane41

Teapot and sugar bowl

Date: ca. 1753
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Vincennes
Provenance: Duchy of Parma

The set of teapot and sugar bowl is decorated with ornamental motifs on a lapis lazuli blue background.

procellane44

Jar with lid

Date: 1770-1775
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Sèvres
Size: h. 43 cm.
Provenance: Grand Duchy of Tuscany

The vessel has a turquoise blue (bleu céleste) background. A mythological scene of Venus playing with Cupid is depicted in the front oval.

procellane47

Platter

Date: 1790-1800
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Naples, Royal Factory
Size: 40.3 cm. x 33. cm.
Provenance: Grand Duchy of Tuscany

The platter is part of the breakfast service decorated with Egyptian motifs.

procellane50

Sugar bowl

Date: ca. 1790-1800
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Naples, Royal Factory
Sze: 11.5 cm.
Provenance: Grand Duchy of Tuscany (Ferdinando III of Lorraine)

The sugar bowl is part of a breakfast service decorated in an “Etruscan” style, i.e., with friezes and figures of ancient Greece.

procellane3

Jug and platter

Date: ca. 1753
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Vincennes
Size: Platter: 36.5 cm. x 25 cm .; Jug: h. 23 cm.
Provenance: Duchy of Parma

Jug and platter with a turquoise blue (bleu céleste) background.

procellane6

Coffeepot

Date: ca. 1785
Technique and Materials: bisque
Factory: Naples, Royal Factory
Size: 9 cm.
Provenance: Grand Duchy of Tuscany (Maria Luisa of Bourbon, wife of Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo of Lorraine)

A view of Naples is painted in the center of this porcelain piece.

procellane9

Folk costumes of the Kingdom of Naples

Date: ca. 1785
Technique and Materials: bisque
Factory: Naples, Royal Factory
Size: 30.5 cm. ca.
Provenance: Grand Duchy of Tuscany (Maria Luisa of Bourbon, wife of Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo of Lorraine)

The group consists of 18 statues representing folk costumes characteristic of the Kingdom of Naples.

procellane12

Woman from Cascano

Date: ca. 1785
Technique and Materials: bisque
Factory: Naples, Royal Factory
Size: 28.5 cm.
Provenance: Grand Duchy of Tuscany (Maria Luisa of Bourbon, wife of Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo of Lorraine)

This porcelain figure is from a series of 18 statues on the folk costumes of the Kingdom of Naples.

procellane15

Ice cream cooler

Date: 1800-1820
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Doccia, C.L. Ginori Lisci
Size: 25 cm.; diam. 21.5 cm.
Provenance: Grand Duchy of Tuscany

Ice cream cooler also known by the name of “tulip service”.

procellane18

The gallant and the girl

Date: ca. 1769
Technique and Materials: bisque
Factory: Sèvres
Size: 19.5 cm.
Provenance: Duchy of Parma

procellane21

The three nymphs

Date: ca. 1780-1785
Technique and Materials: bisque
Factory: Vienna
Size: 47.5 cm.
Provenance: Grand Duchy of Tuscany (Pietro Leopoldo)

This fine Viennese porcelain sculpture likely served as a centerpiece.

procellane24

Plate

Date: 1809-1810
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Sèvres
Size: h. 35 cm.
Provenance: Elisa Baciocchi

The dish is part of a 100-plate dessert service belonging to Grand Duchess Elisa.

procellane27

Ice cream cooler

Date: 1809-1810
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Sèvres
Size: h. 33.5 cm.
Provenance: Elisa Baciocchi

The ice cream cooler is part of the Grand Duchess Elisa’s service.

procellane30

The Grand Duchess Elisa’s porcelain service

Date: 1809-1810
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Sèvres
Size: 23.5 cm.
Provenance: Elisa Baciocchi

Display showing the entire porcelain service that belonged to Grand Duchess Elisa.

procellane33

Cup and saucer

Date: ca. 1810
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Parigi, Dagoty
Size: cup: 6 cm., saucer: diam. 14.5 cm.
Provenance: Grand Duchy of Tuscany (Grand Duchess Elisa Baciocchi)

This finely-crafted polished gold cup from Paris is shell-shaped and its handle resembles a branch of coral.

procellane36

Soup cup (?) and plate

Date: ca. 1795
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Vienna
Size: cup: h. 10 cm., plate: diam. 13.6 cm.
Provenance: Grand Duchy of Tuscany (Ferdinando III)

The Viennese-manufactured service is decorated with pink roses on a gold background.

procellane39

Teapot in the shape of a rooster

Date: 1727-1730
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Meissen
Size: h. 11 cm., b. 16 cm.
Provenance: Gian Gastone dei Medici

The teapot in the shape of a rooster is decorated with highlights in gold on a white background and is derived from a Chinese original in stoneware.

procellane42

Vase

Date: 1811
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Sèvres
Size: h. 69 cm. with bronze base
Provenance: Ferdinando III

This vase with a gold background is decorated in the center with an image of the ruins of the temple of Hermopilis, found south of Cairo.

procellane45

Flower vase

Date: 1811
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Sèvres
Size: h. 69 cm. with bronze base
Provenienza: Ferdinando III

The flower vase is characterized by a caillouté, or pebble pattern, and rocaille motifs and a scene inspired by F.Boucher’s “La pêche”.

procellane48

Melon platter

Date: 1809-1810
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Sèvres
Size: l. 29 cm.
Provenance: Elisa Baciocchi

This entrée platter is part of a series of four from the Grand Duchess Elisa’s service.

procellane51

Sugar bowl

Date: ca. 1760
Technique and Materials: porcelain
Factory: Nymphenburg (from a model by the sculptor Franz Anton Bustelli active in Nymphenburg between 1754 and 1763)
Size: h. 14 cm., b. 13 cm.
Provenance: Duchy of Parma

The sugar bowl portrays an African woman leaning against a large basket.

Address

Porcelain Museum, Palazzo Pitti, Florence
Boboli Gardens, Casino del Cavaliere, Piazza Pitti, 1
Florence
Phone: 055 2388709 / 605
Fax: 055 2388710
Website | E-mail

How to get there
By car: When you arrive in Florence, follow the signs to the Viali di Circonvallazione, then to the San Niccolò district. Park in Lungarno Torrigiani.

Opening hours

From Monday to Sunday
8:15 a.m. to 4:30 pm during the months of November, December, January, February
8:15 a.m. to 5:30 pm in March
8:15 a.m. to 6:30 pm during the months of April, May, September and October
8:15 a.m. to 5:30 pm in October with the change from summer time to winter time
8:15 a.m. to 7:30 pm during the months of June, July, August

Closed on the first and last Monday of each month, New Year’s Day, May 1 and Christmas Day

The last entry is an hour before closing time.

Tickets

Full price: € 7.00
Reduced price: € 3.50

The ticket also allows entry to the Silver Museum, Porcelain Museum, Costume Gallery, and the Bardini Gardens.

Reservations for the visit
Florence Museums, Tel: 055 294883
Cost of the reservation: € 3.00

Services

Accessibility for the Differently abled | Bookshop | Coffee shop | Education Department | Guided Tours

References

Richard Ginori Museum of Doccia
[Museum] go to the site

Montelupo Fiorentino Ceramics Museum
[Museum] go to the site

Villa Petraia – Florence
[Villa] go to the site

Stibbert Museum – Florence
[Museum] go to the site

Bargello National Museum – Florence
[Museum] go to the site

Royal Apartments – Pitti Palace – Florence
[Palace] go to the site

Sforzesco Castle – Applied Arts Sections – Milan
[Museum] go to the site

International Museum of Ceramics – Faenza
[Museum] go to the site

Giannetti Museum – Saronno
[Museum] go to the site

Capodimonte Museum – Naples
[Museum] go to the site

The Museum of Duke of Martina – Naples
[Museum] go to the site

The Palazzo Ducale Museum – Parma
[Museum] go to the site

The Palazzo Ducale Museum – Mantua
[Museum] go to the site

Regional Museum of Umbrian Ceramics – Deruta
[Museum] go to the site

Musée National de Céramique Sèvres (Francia)
[Museum] go to the site

Porzellan Sammlung Dresda (Ger)
[Museum] go to the site

Museum of Fine Arts – Boston (USA)
[Museum] go to the site

Villa Cagnola Museum
[Museum]