The Altar Gradine of the Oratory in the chapel of the Santissima Annunziata is an interesting example of early seventeenth-century Florentine silversmithing. Along with other fine silver objects, it fits into the context of the reinvigorating impetus of the period that gave the church the “Baroque” appearance we see today. Currently the gradine is not in its original site, but in a niche which still contains ex-votos, in the oratory adjacent to the chapel. This part of the church is not readily accessible to the public. The gradine’s placement there distorts its original decorative function, and does not allow it to be viewed, enjoyed or correctly interpreted, thereby depriving both worshippers and interested visitors of an outstanding example of Baroque silversmithing and of a beautiful painting by Andrea del Sarto.
The conservation condition of the entire structure requires restoration and consolidation properly flanked by an in-depth study of the object’s parts, materials, and traces of the past interventions which modified its appearance. The aim of the proposed treatment is to return this beautiful altar decoration, an integral part of the Marian sanctuary – one of the city’s main symbols – to the faithful.