The museum was created by Frederick Stibbert (1838-1906). His father was English, his mother Italian. Frederick was born in Florence but was sent to England, as a young boy, to study.
His father, Thomas, was a colonel of the Coldstream Guards, and his grandfather Giles had been Governor of Bengal, in India. Giles accumulated an incredible fortune which passed on to Frederick when he was 21 years old.
He started to collect immediately upon his coming of age and ended up transforming his house in a real museum “which has cost me a great deal of money and much care and effort”, as he wrote on his will. When Frederick died he left the museum to the municipality of Florence, to improve the knowledge of history for the benefit of future generations.
Today the museum is a Foundation according to Stibbert's last will.