Friday, August 09, 2019

Treasures of the Cathedral Museum of Urbino

Here are some pictures from the diocesan museum of the city of Urbino in the Romagna region of Italy, taken by Nicola during our recent visit. The museum has two very well preserved medieval  miters and two ivory episcopal crooks. However, the real flowers of the collection date to the reign of Pope Clement XI Albani (1700-21), a native of Urbino, who donated a number of very beautiful liturgical items to the cathedral. The museum also preserves something very unusual, a papal tiara of decorated papier-mâché, which was made to be set on the catafalque during the Requiem Masses celebrated for him. Unfortunately, we were unable to visit the cathedral itself, since it is currently closed for restorations.

A miter of the mid-14th century in gold and silver threads, (popularly said to have belonged to the Bl. Mainardo, bishop of Urbino from 1056-88.)
Two ivory episcopal crooks of the 14-century, both decorated with the scene of the Annunciation inside the curl.
Another medieval miter.
The Papal tiara in papier-mâché.
A brass lectern in the form of a crowned eagle on a stand, taken as war-booty by the famous Duke of Urbino Federico of Montefeltro after the capture of Volterra in 1472. UPDATE: Reader Marcus van der Meulen has written into to let us know that this is one of a group of similar items made in Tournai (modern Belgium) between 1470 and 1530; others of the same workshop are preserved at Southwell Minster in England, at Balliol College, Oxford, and at Santissima Annunziata, the Servite church in Florence.
A golden rose donated by Pope Clement.
A complete altar service in German porcellain, 17th century.
The pax-brede and the ewer and basin for Pontifical Mass.
A reliquary of the True Cross, donated by Pope Clement XI.
The following three items were donated to the cathedral by Card. Annibale Albani (1682-1751), Pope Clement’s nephew; first, a silver monstrance for Eucharistic processions.
A chalice and set of cruets in partially gilded silver.
A pix and two chalices made of gold, silver and amber.
Medallions made of gilded plaster, on the left of Pope Clement XI, and on the right, his brother Orazio II, Prince of Soriano.
A crucifix and candlesticks for Requiem Masses.
Chalice of rock crystal and gilt silver with gems, first half of the 18th century.
Reliquary of St Albanus, gift of Prince Orazio II Albani.
Various pectoral crosses, morses and episcopal rings.

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: