The Porcelain Museum in Florence is part of the Palazzo Pitti complex and is located in the Casino del Cavaliere, built in the 17th century at the top of the hill that stands above the Boboli Gardens as a retreat for the Grand Duke.
The museum is home to mostly porcelain table sets used by the reigning families that followed one another in Tuscany – Medici, Lorraine and Savoy – whose tastes are strongly reflected in the objects.
Throughout the rooms, the collection is divided chronologically by nation and manufacture. Among the Italian porcelains, visitors can enjoy those made in the Doccia Manufacture, employed by the Grand Dukes to make everyday china, and objects made at the Real Fabbrica in Naples.
The foreign pieces include those coming from the French manufactures of Vincennes and Sèvres, some of which were brought to Palazzo Pitti by the Savoy and others donated by Napoleon to his sister Elisa Baciocchi, Duchess of Tuscany from 1809 to 1814. There are also Austrian and German pieces coming from Vienna and Meissen.
The oldest pieces in the collection are those belonging to Gian Gastone, the last Medici Grand Duke, which are spectacular objects made in Meissen.