One of the things I love about writing the magazine, This Tuscan Life is learning the stories of the many, very talented artisans that can be found in this enchanting region that we know as Tuscany. In our latest issue, I write about Richard Ginori, maker of the most beautiful porcelain and whose business was founded in the town of Doccia, Sesto Fiorentino just outside of Florence. Below is an excerpt from the article.
The name Ginori is well-known worldwide but mention the name of Richard Ginori to any Florentine and you will see their eyes light up with pride, recognition, a bit of nostalgia and an appreciation of a brand that not only represents luxury but also a symbol of artisan craftsmanship and beauty that has withstood many tests of time.
A brand synonymous with excellence and attention to detail, once one understands the steps that go into creating the stunning porcelain and ceramic tableware so beautifully on display in boutiques around the globe, you will gain a new appreciation for this brand and its heritage.
“Richard Ginori is the expression of the proper know-how of the Florentine artisans, which seals a strong link with the territory as an icon of the Made in Italy.”
It all began in 1735 when the Marquis Carlo Andrea Ginori, founded his porcelain manufactory in the villa of the family estate in the town of Doccia in Sesto Fiorentino, near Florence.
The ‘white gold rush’ had spread to the whole of Europe and the Marquis was driven by an interest in the rise of production in Europe of porcelain. The Manufactory of Doccia, as it was originally known would remain on this site until 1955.
The ‘Manifattura di Doccia’ was the first Italian manufacturer of hard porcelain, destined to become one of the most famous factories in artistic porcelain and the only one who has remained active to the present day without interruption. Their elegant centrepieces and tableware have dressed many tables in the most important palazzos and villas.
The early days gave birth to some of Ginori’s best know forms and decorations such as the woven pattern, still a must-have in the collection today.
At the end of the nineteenth century, the factory had grown into an industrial complex of considerable size and had joined forces with the ceramic industry’s Augusto Richard from Milan.
In 1923, the architect and designer Giò Ponti is appointed as art director of the company and the Manifattura brings new decorative designs to the European scene. Forever evolving with the era, Richard Ginori interpreted the new functionality of the everyday lifestyle by introducing the ‘Colonna’ collection, a stackable and essential design introduced under the artistic direction of Giovanni Gariboldi.
They would go on to collaborate with many other great Italian architects and designers such as Franco Albini, Franca Helg & Antonio Piva, Sergio Asti, Achille Castiglioni, Gabriele Devecchi, Candido Fior, Gianfranco Frattini, Angelo Mangiarotti, Enzo Mari and Aldo Rossi.
With a rich tradition and history spanning more than 280 years, Richard Ginori is the epitome of Italian excellence in the artistic manufacture of premium-quality porcelain and is recognised worldwide.
Part of the Kering Group since 2013, Richard Ginori has long been associated with key figures in the fields of architecture, design and fashion and has established itself as an icon of ‘Made in Italy’ excellence.
A painting workshop during the recent event LOVE THE PAST – INVENT THE FUTURE at the Maison&Objet fair in Paris showcases the art of customising Richard Ginori creations. The event was held inside the chapel of the Laennec Hospital, in rue de Sèvres 40 – now the head offices of the Kering Group. Thank you to Richard Ginori 1735 for the photo.
The Babele Collection above encompasses 47 items of tableware and giftware. It is available in four variations from the iconic Antico Doccia and Museo, and the elegant Duchessa, to the essential Venezia style inspired by the designs of Giovanni Gariboldi. January 2018 saw the colour palette enriched by new shades of black and green alongside blue and red. The decoration on each item reproduces the floringatura effect, evoking 18th-century “serial” decorations in an underglaze, created using a stencil technique.
To read the rest of the article, download the MARCH-APRIL issue of This Tuscan Life.