It is safe to say that the collections of the Museo Comunale Bardini, situated in Piazza dei Mozzi on the oltrarno in Florence, remain comparatively little known. The museum's vast store of paintings, sculpture, architectural ornament, rugs and tapestries, armour, bronzes, furniture and musical instruments all belonged to Stefano Bardini, the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century collector and art dealer. Born in 1836 in the province of Arezzo, Bardini came to Florence to study painting at the Accademia delle Belle Arti. After the political turbulence of the 1860s, when Bardini fought with the Garibaldini, the young painter turned to restoration, connoisseurship and art dealing. By the age of forty-five he had established his reputation and an extraordinary personal collection. At the height of his career his patrons included the Rothschilds, the Vanderbilts, Isabella Gardiner and J. Pierpont Morgan. Many objects now in some of the world's best-known public collections passed through his hands.