Other historical notes

Due to the vastness and variety of the collections it is impossible to summarize in a short space all the material visible in the museum. From the point of view of the collections, it is worthwhile mentioning a few of the holdings, such as that donated by the nobleman Malachia De Cristoforis in 1876, which includes an interesting group of German profane jewellery from the Renaissance period, 16th century stained majolica modelled after works by Raphael and a collection of remarkable bronzes. The Francesco Ponti Legacy (1895) is fundamental to the majolica collection.

The Trivulzio collection’s contribution of the famous Tapestries of the Months, as well as objects in gold and ivory, paintings, sculptures, codices and incunabula (now in the Trivulziana Library), were an extraordinary addition to the collections. Other importance assets include the late Roman ivories collected and donated by the painter Giuseppe Bossi along with some michelangelesque small bronze and Renaissance stained majolica.

Following World War II the purchase of the Fortuny and Regazzoni collections of antique fabric fragments (High and Late Middle Ages) added thousands of pieces of great value to the Sforza Castle collection, however, for reasons of conservation these can only be displayed in rotation and for short periods of time.

The museum also holds a collection of significant works of the 1900s (glass, ceramics and jewellery) purchased at the Monza Biennale and Milan Triennale, or generously donated by the many individual donors.

In 1997 Gianguido Sambonet’s large collection of cutlery was acquired by the Region of Lombardy and deposited within the Museum. Also on display is the Bellini-Pezzoli glass collection, on a five-year loan from the owner Sandro Pezzoli to the Raccolte di Arte Applicata of the Castello Sforzesco since 2016. This offers an important overview of glass art and design from the 1950s to the 21st century, including works by Mario Bellini, Gianfranco Frattini and Roberto Sambonet. The Bellini-Pezzoli collection is exhibited in the Sala Castellana in a new display designed by architect Andrea Perin in 2017