Italian family of merchants, bankers, rulers, patrons and collectors. They dominated the political and cultural life of Florence from the 15th century to the mid-18th. Their name and their coat-of-arms showing five to nine spheres were not derived from medical ancestors, since the family had always been merchants. However, they appropriated this interpretation, making the physicians Cosmas and Damian their patron saints. International trade in wool, silk, metals and spices made them one of the wealthiest and most influential families in Italy.
Marlis von Hessert