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Step end

  • Object:

    Step end

  • Place of origin:

    Florence (made)

  • Date:

    1490-1501 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Grey sandstone

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

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

This and fourteen other remarkable step ends in the V&A collection come from one of the most celebrated palaces in Florence. Commissioned by the wealthy merchant Giuliano Gondi, they display a variety of foliage and animals. One can be linked to a story in the Indian Panchatantra, or Fables of Bidpai, and others to Aesop’s Fables. Educated observers would have identified moral and political messages in this decoration.

Physical description

Step end, stone, carved with a relief of a branch laden with leaves and nuts, surrounded on two sides by a toothed moulding.

Place of Origin

Florence (made)


1490-1501 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Grey sandstone


Height: 17.3 cm, Width: 45.4 cm, Depth: 18.9 cm

Object history note

From the Palazzo Gondi, Florence. Purchased in Florence (Bardini).

Descriptive line

Step end, branch with leaves and nuts, Palazzo Gondi, Florence.

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

List of Objects in the Art Division South Kensington Museum acquired during the Year 1891. Arranged according to the dates of acquisition, with appendix and indices. London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1892. pp. 10
Pope Hennessey, John. Catalogue of Italian Sculpture in the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1964. pp.186-7
Corbinelli. Histoire généalogique de la Maison de Gondi. I. Paris: 1705. pp. 194-6
Stegmann and Geymüller. 'Giuliano da Sangello.'in Die Architektur der Renaissance in Toscana. V. Munich. 1885-1908. pp. 13-15
Marchini. Giuliano da Sangello. Florence. 1942. pp. 108-9
Poggi, Giuseppe.Ricordi della vita e documenti d'arte. Florence. 1909. pp.64-7
Burci.Guida artistica della città di Firenze. Florence & Rome. 1875. pp. 90. n. 2.


Grey sandstone

Subjects depicted

Nuts; Leaves


Sculpture Collection

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