Muff a pelliccia, 19th c.
Muff a pelliccia, 19th century, I-Taranto. USA-Chicago, Field Museum of Natural History, inventory FMNH 2462 (MS inventory 20)
Muff a pelliccia, 19th century, I-Taranto. USA-Chicago, Field Museum of Natural History, inventory FMNH 2462 (MS inventory 20).
Sea silk fur made of sewn-on fibre beards a pelliccia, lining probably silk, cotton-like filling, cylindrical, length 21 cm, Ø 13 cm.
Label: “Pinna (P.) nobilis (Linné) / Taranto, S. Italy. Ward’s Natural Science Establishment”.
This muff was first exhibited by the Wards Natural Science Establishment in Rochester, New York in 1876 at the exhibition celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the city of Philadelphia. In 1893, it was one of the exhibits at the World Columbian Exhibition in Chicago, the second world exhibition on North American soil, together with the pointed cap (MS inventory 18) and gloves (MS-Inventory 19). Together with other scientific objects, which Ward sold for $95,000, they form the basis of the collections of the Field Museum of Natural History, which was founded shortly afterwards. More about this in the chapter Historical aspects → Modern times → Fairs and exhibitions → USA.
The muff was recorded in the museum catalogue on 31 October 1893, one day after the end of the Universal Exhibition, with the entry: ”Family Pinnidae / Muff made from byssus of Pinna nobilis / Taranto, S. Italy”.
After Campi 2004, this object was depicted in the Annuario 1925/26, 1926/27 Regia Scuola Complementare ‘C. Colombo’ (Coll. G. Villani).
Also in Mastrocinque 1928, two muffs are shown: “Fig. 16 – Lavorazione a pelliccia – Manicotto (della N. D. Emilia Ricci vedova Ing. G. Galeone)” and “Fig. 17 – Lavorazione a pelliccia. – Manicotto e cappellino (del Sig. G. Villani)”. However, it is not possible to know from these photographs whether one of these two is the muff from Chicago. Both muffs are listed in the inventory of Potential Objects (PB 5 and 6).