On the occasion of the 160th anniversary of the birth of the Italian State, the route of the Royal Museums, in the Rotonda dell'Armeria Reale, is enriched with the carriage of Vittorio Emanuele II, protagonist with Cavour and Garibaldi of the Risorgimento, the first King of Italy since 1861 to 1878 and of which the 200th anniversary of his birth was celebrated in 2020.
The arrival of the carriage in Turin represents an important step in the Royal Museums itinerary, in one of the sections that most strike the imagination of visitors; it will in fact be located a few steps from the loggia from which Carlo Alberto announced the promulgation of the Statute, on March 4, 1848. Belonging to the Presidential Collections of the Quirinale, the carriage, called Mylord and mentioned in the inventories with the ancient definition of 'Polonese' or 'Polacca ', was one of Vittorio Emanuele II's favorite means of transport for his private outings in Rome. It is an open and low model, without doors, with four wheels and two seats with driving box for the coachman, made by the Roman firm of the Casalini brothers. Today the carriage is part of the oldest and most precious nucleus of the Presidential Collection. In the inventory of 1882 there is a handwritten note next to it which reads: "The Polonesi were the carriages that the Great King Vittorio Emanuele II usually used [....]". The passage continues underlining that "this second was the last one used in Rome before his death" to remember, therefore, how this means was particularly loved by the king.
On this occasion, the new exhibition The Arms of the King is also presented, a selection of 21 objects of considerable value and historical importance, recently restored, which were part of the rich personal collections of Vittorio Emanuele II. In addition to weapons, the collection includes flags, uniforms, honors and other strictly personal items: some are linked to the public role of the sovereign, such as diplomatic gifts or weapons that recall the battles of the Risorgimento, others are related to interests personal of Vittorio Emanuele II, first of all hunting, documented by a spectacular collection of rifles and knives.
The exhibition also includes two Japanese armor, the B. 53 and the B. 54, both donated to the sovereign by the emperor Meiji in 1869 and 1871, a few years after the signing of the friendship and trade treaty that opened the relations. diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of Italy and the Japanese Empire. These were prestigious gifts as evidenced by the care in making them and the choice of materials used that indicate the destination to high-ranking characters. The first armor is a light defensive apparatus used for foot combat. Unlike the B. 53, already mounted on a mannequin in the nineteenth century, the B. 54 armor has only now been re-proposed as a whole, to emphasize its unitary aspect and facilitate a more immediate reading. The two armours, with the extra-European collections, were set up in the Rotunda of the Royal Armory, a room where the collections of Vittorio Emanuele II were also housed.