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Gold craftwork in Lombardy From the traditional workmanship of Gallarate gold to the most up-to-date techniques of Milanese silverware, a glorious tradition between history and renewal.

The art of precious metal in Lombardy has its historical roots in the Roman era and before, with the creation of works of art which, in a tangible way, has created the history of Italian arts. Presently, gold production in this region is concentrated in three main areas: the historical Milanese workshops and the areas of Gallarate and Lomellina. The Milanese workshops Handed down from generation to generation, Milanese gold art is a thriving presence which begins with the first workshops of via degli Orafi (now via Orefici), to arrive today to over 30 craftwork laboratories making Milan one of the leading Italian centres of the sector. The most important Milanese gold companies derive their success from tradition: this is the case for Buccellati, a brand which, across the centuries, has become the essential benchmark for the development of this art. A traditional example of an active workshop since the beginning of the 20th century is that of Cesare De Vecchi specialized in the production of gold and platinum jewellery. The great Milanese gold companies, having single brand shops in major cities, have become a paragon for the culture of the “Beautiful”. The current activity of young

goldsmith artists-craftsmen is often that of producing traditional jewellery for other companies or craftsmen. Work for third parties guarantees young goldsmiths the security of an income, and this offers them the opportunity to experiment as individuals. Two cases, significant markers in the search for the renewal of gold art, are worth mentioning. One of these is Guido Guzzi, a young goldsmith of Villasanta who brings an authentic creative energy to his work and the other is Roberto Bottazzi, another young talented goldsmith from Monza, who is inspired by the world of fashion and music. Alongside these artists-craftsmen is the input offered to this art by designers who, on various occasions, have involved themselves with the jewellery sector. Symbolic example is the silverware crafted by De Vecchi, under the guidance of the architect and artist Gabriele. Gallarate gold Jeweller’s art at Gallarate dates back to the times of Visconti and Sforza

when the merchants traded in textiles plated with wrought gold and silver. The traditional workmanship, typical of the Gallarte area, is represented in the assembly of the “empty pressings”. The metal used is essentially gold which, in rare cases, is coupled with gems, while setting of semi-precious stones is substantially more widespread. Lomellina gold The gold sector, in the essentially agricultural area of Mede Lomellina, was established at the beginning of the Fifties by a small number of employees of companies from near by Valenza. With respect to the production of this town, rich in diamonds, gold art from Mede is characterized by the workmanship of the gold with a particular attention to design and insertion of hard stones cut in a special way. This type of detailing allows Mede goldsmiths to carve out a name for themselves on the market with excellent quality products, with no exorbitant price tags.

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Profile for Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d'Arte

Artigianato 58  

Italian Magazine about crafts

Artigianato 58  

Italian Magazine about crafts

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