The section, one of the most important in Italy, is composed of two collections which belonged to Alfredo Barsanti and Giacinto Auriti.
The 110 small bronzes of the Roman antiquary Barsanti, preserved in an aristocratic building in via Sistina, was coveted and requested by many European and American collectors. In 1934 the mayor of Milan, the Duke Visconti di Mondrone, promoted a fund-raising of the most important Lombard industrialists and bankers to purchase the collection and to give it to the Prime Minister, Benito Mussolini.
The Ambassador Auriti, between 1921 and 1933, during his diplomatic career in United States, Spain, Romania, Austria and Japan, collected 113 bronzes and plaquettes and donated them to Italy on October 25, 1963. Auriti bought a group of Asiatic bronzes as well, now in the National Museum of Oriental Art in the Palazzo Brancaccio of Rome.
Among the sculptures, displayed in two rooms of the Palazzetto, there are some important Renaissance Paduan bronzes, such as the Kneeling Satyr and the Sea Monster by Severo da Ravenna, and the Ram by Andrea Briosco known as Riccio. These sculptures attest the high standards of the bronze workmanship in Padua, specially after Donatello activity in the Basilica of Saint Anthony. Among the XVI century masterpieces there are the works of Jean de Boulogne, known as Giambologna, (The Bagpipe Musician and The Wayfarer) and of Guglielmo della Porta (The Dance of the Nymphs). The Baroque age is represented by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (Portrait of Clement X) and Alessandro Algardi (The Rest on the Flight into Egypt, The Fall of Christ under the Cross).
There is also an interesting series of everyday life objects, like oil-lamps, door-knockers, inkpots and plaquettes, little reliefs used on the women's dresses, male hats or sword pommels.