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The presentation of the objects on our website makes it possible to inform you about interesting new acquisitions and to present them with detailed photos and detailed descriptions, without a physical visit. It is always important to provide you with as much information as possible about the respective art objects. However, this is not always easy with historical objects.
But if it is possible, as with our latest acquisition, the
TRAVEL SERVICE FOR MARCHESE ORAZIO EMILIO PUCCI DI BARSENTO (1774-1824)
forefather of the world-famous fashion designer Emilio Pucci (1914-1992),
whose innovative compositions of form and colors should revolutionize the fashion world.
in original, gold-embossed leather case
Florence: first quarter of the 19th century
Maker’s mark: MZ: “CODACCI in the trapeze” for the “Bottega di Codacci” and G.C in the rectangle for Guiseppe Codacci, see: Bemporad, Argenti Fiorentini, p. 406, no. 207 a, 207b and 207c
H of the Ecuelle 18,5 cm, Ø of the plate 21,5 cm; Total weight: 852 g.
Travel service, consisting of three parts, in an original, gold-embossed leather case, with lock and latch, protected by fine blue velvet lining. Embossed on the lid: “SOUVENIR”.
Silver; gilded, engraved, hallmarked, chased, cast, with engraved monogram.
The elegant Florentine travel service from the important workshop of the Codacci goldsmith family consists of an ecuelle with a lid, a plate and spoon.
In the center of the mirror of the plate and on the lid of the ecuelle, the coat of arms of the Florentine noble Pucci family is engraved with a leaf crown and the motto “CANDIDA PRAECORDIA” (shimmering white in front of the heart / white at heart), which is today still registered as a trademark for the Pucci fashion label.
The monogram engraving “OP” is located on the handle end of the spoon. The travel service was commissioned by Marchese Orazio Emilio Pucci di Barsento (1774-1824) and inherited within the Pucci family.
The Pucci di Barsento family
The Pucci were first mentioned in the 13th century and are among the oldest and most influential Florentine noble families. Antonio Pucci (1350-after 1416) was a politician and member of the Arte di Legnaioli. He worked as an architect on the construction of the Loggia della Signoria. His descendants were merchants, politicians, bankiers and art patrons. As a patrician, they held important political positions in Florence. During the Renaissance, the Pucci were Medici allies. They played a key role in shaping the development of Florence. At the beginning of the 16th century, the Pucci provided three cardinals. In 1662, Orazio Roberto Pucci acquired the fief of Barsento (Bari) and the hereditary title of nobility Marchese di Barsento. Orazio Emilio Pucci di Barsento (1774-1824) was Mayor of Florence from 1809-1813, at exactly the time when Élisa Baciocchi (Napoleon’s oldest sister) resided in the Palazzo Pitti as Grand Duchess of Florence. His descendants were Roberto Orazio Pucci di Barsento (1822-1891) diplomat and patron of the arts, whose grandson Orazio Pucci di Barsento (1880-1944) was the father of the world-famous fashion designer Emilio Pucci (1914-1992), whose innovative compositions of form and colors should revolutionize the fashion world.
The Bottega di Codacci
Angelo (Angiolo) di Codacci (active in Florence between 1773 and 1821) made numerous works for the Chiesa di San Lorenzo and other churches in Florence. To this day, many of his goldsmith objects are kept in the Tesoro della Basilica di San Lorenzo and in other Florentine churches, which indicates the special appreciation of the work.
The maker’s mark “CODACCI in the trapeze” was used by Angelo Codacci and his sons, Filippo Codacci (documented in 1833) and Guiseppe Codacci (documented in Florence 1825-41). In 1821, Guiseppe signed receipts for the Bottega di Codacci for the Chiesa di San Michele Visdomini. Apparently, he took over his father’s workshop this year and continued it with his brother Filippo Codacci.
A writing cassette by Giuseppe and Filippo Codacci, documented for 1833, is located in the Museo degli Argenti in Florence: its functionality is emphasized by the practical rectangular shape and clear lines, but skillfully loosened up by the targeted use of palmettes at the corners.
All three parts of our Pucci travel service are in excellent condition and of heavy quality. Smoothly polished surfaces combine with a clear, elegant design: the plate rim and lid rim of the ecuelle are framed by an elaborately worked ornamental band, an ionic kymation. The economical use of decor highlights the artistically screwed-in handles of the ecuelle, which are made of goosenecks and heads. It emphasizes the finely crafted eagle, which seems to be settling on the spherical lid knob. The high-quality execution in connection with stylish, noble decor and classicistic forms was a trademark of the Bottega di Codacci, which is clearly emphasized in the literature.
In the first quarter of the 19th century, classicistic vessel shapes, combined with artistically curved animal necks as handles or animal heads as spouts, were particularly en vogue in Florence. The reason for this, was the lasting influence of French goldsmiths from the court of Napoleon Bonaparte, such as Martin-Guillaume Biennais: Élisa Baciocchi, Napoleon’s oldest sister, equipped her parade apartment in the Palazo Pitti, during her reign as Grand Duchess in Florence (between 1809 and 1814), with silk, brocade, porcelain, bronzes and silverware from Paris. Francesco Fontani, the trade controller, complained to Emilio Pucci (Mayor of Florence between 1809-1813) that the Florentine silversmiths were more likely to sell silver objects than to manufacture them themselves. French goldsmiths already had influence during the reign of Ferdinand of Lorraine, the Grand Duke Ferdinand III. of Florence. Between 1790 and 1801 he had Guillaume Biennais’ silver dinner service completed by the Scheggi and Gaetano Guadagni goldsmith’s workshops. Exactly those goldsmith workshops were considered the most important ones next to the Bottega di Codacci in the first quarter of the 19th century in Florence. Like the Bottega di Codacci, they worked for the Chiesa di San Lorenzo.
Marchese Oratio Emilio Pucci (1774-1824) bought our travel service from the Codacci goldsmith’s workshop at the end of his life, a goldsmith’s work à la mode française, that followed the classicistic style of France, but came from Florence, which was most probably a special concern for the former mayor of Florence.
Presumably, former Court Council Dr. Ernst Marquardsen, Bad Kissingen; art auction Altkunst G.m.b.H., Freiburg im Breisgau, 27.-29. November 1928.
We were pleased to be able to take you on this little journey through time!
More photos and information about this extraordinary object can be found here.
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Stay healthy and take care!
your Helga Matzke team