Born in Florence, Frederick Stibbert, whose family, originally from Norfolk and of a military background, was Commander in Chief of the Indian Company forces in Bengal.

He enroled also in the Guide Garibaldi in the Trentino campaign of 1886 and won a silver cross for military valour.

When in 1859 he became a major he inherited a large fortune which he used to invest in shares linked to the restructuring of Florentine capital; he could also travel a great deal. And it was thanks to his passion for art and antiques that during his travels he was able to accumulate a vast collection of artefacts.

His project in fact was the founding of a museum, an idea that went back to his youth during which he had already gathered a collection of arms and armoury to which he later added costumes, tapestries, paintings and other art objects.

When he died in 1906 he had succeeded in making come true his lifelong dream of bringing into existence a large museum that included European artefacts which incorporated the late Renaissance to the First Empire, not to mention collections from the Middle and Far East.

Frederick Stibbert


A portrait of Frederick Stibbert, 1905
by E. Gelli


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