18th century Italian (Florentine) decorated fragments and mirror.

Gold, Fragments, and Mirror

Florence has been the epicenter of Italian history, art, and design. The 13th to 16th centuries birthed an endless source of creative masterpieces and Italian genius. Both Dante and Michaelangelo were born in Florence in addition to the Italian Renaissance. 

During Europe’s richest cultural period, elaborate 16th century palaces and squares were erected around the city, transforming Florence into a living museum. Many squares, such as Piazza della Signoria, exhibit famous statues and fountains. Its chapels, churches, galleries and museums are historical treasures, capturing the complex and often ambiguous spirit of the Renaissance. From the city came precious antiquities and architectural artifacts.

Pictured right: Jean and her daughter Grace posing outside the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore or the Florence Duomo.

Jean O’Reilly Barlow, the artist and creative director of Interi, has collected many of these 17th to 19th century Florentine ecclesiastical artifacts and antiquities. Even through hundreds of years and historic floods, these pieces remain. Fragments that were used as folly to adorn churches and historical buildings around Florence, had been discarded due to age and distress. 

Pictured left: 18th century Italian church vase (Florence) with polished fossil agate coral and a Herkimer diamond on a polished agate base with fossil shells.

But because of their history, intricate carvings, and distressed gold leaf paint, Jean still saw a work of art. She became interested in the fragments when she saw more than the discarded artifact, but a piece that could be made beautiful again.


Pictured right: A pair of 18th century Italian candlestick fragments (Florence) decorated with tourmaline in matrix.

Florentine mirror with an 18th century Italian fragment and coordinating Apatite gemstone.
Florentine mirror with an 18th century Italian fragment and coordinating Apatite gemstone.

Interi works to preserve the sacredness and significance of these pieces while transforming them into sculptural works of old and new. To breath life back into the fragments and keep the spirit of the Renaissance alive and well.

We present to you our collection of Florentine mirrors and fragment sculptural pieces. Our hope at Interi is to give the modern home access to this beauty — the home being the highest gallery. It is where life happens, and life, to be sure, is beautiful.

Jean posing in the Pallazzo Medici in Florence.
Jean posing in the Pallazzo Medici in Florence.