- Hunting horn with the coats of arms of the Medici and the Sforza
- Author, circle:
- Florentine goldsmith (?)
- Epoch, date:
- circa 1465-1470
- Florence, Bargello National Museum
- inv. Ressman 250
- Technical details:
- brass or yellow bronze; l. cm 47.7
- Florence, Palazzo Medici (1492) (?)
- Description, subject:
- The horn is octagonal in section and has a ferrule at one end and at the other a mouthpiece in paler metal, engraved with the motto viva palle, lauding the Medici. Along the ferrule, the motto is alternated with bipartite shields with four bezants on one side and the Visconti biscione on the other, respectively the heraldic emblems of the Medici and the Sforza. Finally, running along the edge of the band is a series of feathers which again allude to the famous Medici device. (see record: collateral themes / Medici arms and devices)
- Historical information:
The hunting horn has been connected with the “brass horn” recorded in the inventory of the assets of Lorenzo il Magnifico (1492; Scalini 1979).
The presence on the same heraldic shield of the emblems of the Medici and the Sforza is probably due to the fact that the object was made to mark a special occasion. The events that have been suggested include:
- the wedding of Ippolita Sforza - daughter of Francesco I, Duke of Milan, and Bianca Maria Visconti, and hence sister of Galeazzo Maria - to Alfonso Duke of Calabria and heir to the throne of Naples (1465; Boccia 1980);
- the christening of Gian Galeazzo Sforza, son of Galeazzo Maria and Bona of Savoy (1469) (Boccia 1980);
- the wedding of Giovanni di Pierfrancesco de’ Medici and Caterina Sforza in 1497 (Guidotti 1990).
The first two of these events were also attended by the Magnifico, while the third took place after his death.
However, the horn does not prove to be recorded in the inventories of the armoury of Cosimo I de’ Medici (grandson and heir of Giovanni di Pierfrancesco and Caterina), drawn up from the mid sixteenth century on, and therefore it is hard to believe that it was part of the collection of his grandfather, Giovanni di Pierfrancesco (Scalini 1992).
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