Enamel, ivory and coins


The series of enamels, a munificent gift from a collector in Mantua, includes works with sacred subjects, secular images and utilitarian objects, executed according to the painted enamel technique, which began in Limoges in the 16th century and was revived in Paris in the 19th century. This collection of painted enamels, the richest in the world, includes admirable works, such as devotional triptychs, en grisaille plates, precious caskets and the wall polyptych, which reproduces the altarpiece made for the King of France, François I, who is portrayed here with his bride Claudia d'Orleans.

Other enamels can be found in the museum in the Furniture Room and the Gonzaga Rooms.

The ivories

The museum's extensive display of the fine art of ivory carving includes three caskets from the Islamic period (11th-12th century) from the Cathedral. All others are privately owned, including a very rare statuette of classical art, medieval triptychs, caskets and other medieval, Renaissance and Baroque works. A valuable amber Madonna and Child, exceptional for its size, completes the series of ivories.


The numismatic collection collected by Pietro Zappa consists of almost four hundred items, the majority of which are Roman coins from the Republican era. The public display, equipped with a touch-screen, of a sample of sixty-seven, representative of the entire collection, makes it possible to trace the main lines of the development of coinage from the classical age to the end of the empire and the dawn of the Middle Ages.

Spesa oggetto del contributo nell'ambito del bando PNRR, Missione 1 – Digitalizzazione, innovazione, competitività e cultura, Componente 3 – Cultura 4.0 (M1C3), Misura 1 “Patrimonio culturale per la prossima generazione”, Investimento 1.2: “Rimozione delle barriere fisiche e cognitive in musei, biblioteche e archivi per consentire un più ampio accesso e partecipazione alla cultura” finanziato dall’Unione europea – NextGenerationEU“ – CUP: C64H22001410004.