By Samantha Hughes-Johnson

Luca Landucci was a Florentine diarist, active between 1450 and 1516. He owned an apothecary shop at the Canto de’ Tornaquinci and is thought to have purchased the business using the dowry of his wife, Salvestra.

Luca recalls that, on 5th July, 1466, “a Sunday evening, I gave her a ring, the contract being made before Ser Giovanni, son of Francesco di Neri.”

There is no extant visual record of this, or any part of the rituals that would have made up Luca and Salvestra’s betrothal. However, if the text from the diary is juxtaposed with a roughly contemporaneous depiction of a ring ceremony, it becomes much easier for the twenty-first century reader to imagine how the couple’s happy day may have concluded.

Reference: Luca Landucci, A Florentine Diary from 1450-1516 by Luca Landucci Continued by an Anonymous Writer Till 1542 with Notes by Iodoco del Badia, trans. Alice de Rosen Jervis, J.M. Dent and Son, 1927. 

Image: The Workshop of Domenico Ghirlandaio, The Ring Ceremony, 1486-1490, fresco, The Oratorio dei Buonomini di San Martino, Florence. Image gifted to the author. 

© Antonio Quattrone.

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