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Roundel - Stemma of the Becchi-Fibbiai Family

Stemma of the Becchi-Fibbiai Family

  • Object:

    Roundel

  • Place of origin:

    Florence (made)

  • Date:

    1475-1525 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    della Robbia (sculptor)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Polychrome enamelled terracotta in relief

  • Museum number:

    4563-1858

  • Gallery location:

    Medieval & Renaissance, Room 50a, The Paul and Jill Ruddock Gallery, case WS

The use of coats of arms (stemmi in Italian) emerged in the 12th century as a way of identifying armoured knights in combat. The practice was then adopted by the nobility and by banking and merchant families. They placed them on the outside of buildings and on tombs as identifiers or signs of allegiance. Similar stemmi also appeared on livery and small-scale objects.

Physical description

Circular relief in polychrome enamelled terracotta. With a frame composed of white and yellow egg-and-dart and pearl mouldings, on a porphyry ground, is a Tuscan shield with the Becchi-Fibbiai arms (azure, a pine tree on a mount of six summits accompanied by two lions affronty, all proper), The summits and tree trunk are enamelled in brown, the foliage in green, and the lions in brownish yellow. The surface of the shield is blue, and the ribbons behind are yellow.

Place of Origin

Florence (made)

Date

1475-1525 (made)

Artist/maker

della Robbia (sculptor)

Materials and Techniques

Polychrome enamelled terracotta in relief

Dimensions

Depth: 17 cm, Diameter: 104 cm, Weight: 75 kg

Object history note

Purchased in Paris (£ 24)

Descriptive line

Panel, Shield of Arms, circular, in terracotta, workshop of the Della Robbia, Italy, about 1500

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Maclagan, Eric and Longhurst, Margaret H. Catalogue of Italian Sculpture. Text. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1932, p. 85.
Inventory of Art Objects Acquired in the Year 1858. In: Inventory of the Objects in the Art Division of the Museum at South Kensington, Arranged According to the Dates of their Acquisition. Vol I. London: Printed by George E. Eyre and William Spottiswoode for H.M.S.O., 1868, p. 8.
Pope-Hennessy, John. Catalogue of Italian Sculpture in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Volume I: Text. Eighth to Fifteenth Century. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1964, p. 249.

Labels and date

4563-1858
Stemma (coat of arms) of the Becchi-Fibbiai
Polychrome enamelled terracotta
Workshop of the Della Robbia
Florentine; late 15th or early 16th century
The Becchi-Fibbiai family were a noble Florentine family who maintained close relations with the Medici. [2004]

Materials

Terracotta

Techniques

Enamelling; Relief

Subjects depicted

Shield; Lion

Categories

Sculpture; Arms & Armour

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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