•  Dames and Knights. Jewels of honour.

    Dames and Knights. Jewels of honour.


 curated by
 Alessandra Possamai

The “Dames and Knights” exhibition celebrates and recalls the historic tradition of bestowing honours that has been handed down through the centuries and which is still very much alive on the Italian and global scene, in different forms and representations.

The temporary exhibition is arranged into two sections. The first will display about 40 Knighthood honours and decorations selected from among the most pre-eminent and rare collections around the world, and 10 significant items that pay homage to the Giovanni Giolitti collection, decorations given to the Italian statesman by the King and other European and international countries when he was the Italian Prime Minister. The second section dedicated to Ladies, includes ten or so items.

A fascinating itinerary that takes the visitor on a journey through time and honorary decoration culture and their intrinsic and evocative meanings. A “piece” of our history that recalls a value handed down through the years with the aim of rewarding praiseworthy actions in favour of the Nation in the fields of literature, arts and economy and for commitment in carrying out public duties and activities for social, philanthropic and humanitarian purposes as well as for long-standing and remarkable services in civil and military careers. Insignia, decorations and medals that date back to the 11th century with Knighthood honours bestowed purely on men who highly distinguished themselves, a usage that was only extended to women in 1662.

Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani

(Svereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem)

Golden metal and red glaze
8,5 cm x 3,5 cm (pendant)
52 cm (necklace)
Possamai-Vita Collection
Italy - Reign

The collar belongs to a dame of the Sovereign Order of Italy O.S.M.T.H. It represents a double cross of golden metal and red glaze with a crown.

Ordine al merito della Repubblica Italiana

Grand Cross badge

Golden bronze and glaze
7 cm x 7 cm
Andrea Rosso Collection

The badge is made of eight groups of rays, diamond-tip carved, with lateral eagles with on the top a white enamelled cross adorned with golden bronze.

Ordine dell’Annunziata

Small collar

Golden bronze
6,5 cm x 4,5 cm (pendant) 67 cm (necklace)
Andrea Rosso Collection
Italy - Reign

Ordine dell’Aquila Rossa

Grand Cross coat-of-arms

gold, silver and glazes
8 cm x 8 cm
Giovanna Giolitti Collection
Germany – Reign

The insignia presents a cross enameled of white and four eagles on the edges; the eagles represents the eagle of Brandenburg, with the head surmounted by the Royal Prussian crown. At the center in a medallion surrounded by the blue there is the motto “SINCERE ET CONSTANTER” sincerly and constantly.

Ordine della Redenzione Africana

Grand Cross coat-of-arms

Gold, silver and glazes
8,5 cm x 8 cm
Giovanna Giolitti Collection


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