Is there a quirkier museum in Florence than the Museo Stibbert?
The Stibbert Museum comprises a diverse, and somewhat eccentric, collection of over 36,000 artefacts, which belonged to the Anglo-Florentine, Frederick Stibbert (1838-1906).
Stibbert, the eldest of three children, was born in Florence to an English father (Thomas Stibbert, 1771-1847) and an Italian mother (Giulia Cafaggi, 1805-1883). At the age of twenty-one he inherited a great deal of money, which enabled him to pursue what he liked doing best, namely, collecting antiques.
Stibbert's particular passion was for armour and over the course of his life he amassed 16,000 pieces of European, Oriental and Islamic arms and armour, which date from the 15th to the 19th century.
Stibbert never married and, having no direct heirs, he bequeathed both his home and his collection to the British Government, who declined the bequest. According to the terms of Stibbert's will, the house and collection then passed to the city of Florence.
Frederick Stibbert is buried in the Cimitero degli Allori in Florence.