The company was founded in 1929 by Carlo Barberis (1909-1994) who, after some time as an apprentice, decided to open his own workshop - to which was assigned the trademark 39AL, the oldest trademark still in use in Valenza. In 1940 his marriage with Valeria Boris brought a big change for the company: as the daughter of Fancesco Boris, already a goldsmith of established fame in Valenza, she could become the company’s own designer; from 1941 to 1975, with her work she directed the creations towards the research of harmony and proportions with a special eye for colour. The company is known for the invention of “lapidé”, a technique which was developed in collaboration with the Doria brothers who worked for Carlo Barberis’s company. Their manufacture of enamels was very valuable especially during the ‘60s and the ‘70s and in this specific production the company was considered one of the best worldwide.
In 1960 Carlo and Valeria’s son Giovanni began working for the company after a period of apprenticeship abroad. Giovanni was an expert of gemstones and so he focused on the design of jewels with high-value gems; he also collaborated with some of the most remarkable International jewellery brands. At the end of the ‘70s Francesca, Carlo and Valeria’s younger daughter, also started to collaborate in the family's company and, in association with Gianni’s wife, Giovanna (who also belonged to Valenza’s goldsmithery élite, as the daughter of Eraldo Tornati), devoted and still devotes her efforts to researching new and original designs.
Carlo Barberis' company takes part in the major International Trade Fairs dedicated to goldsmithery and in 1971, during the New York International Fair, was awarded for the best necklace by the American Association of Jewellers. In 2010 some jewels made by the company were on display in Paris at the Petit Palais for the exhibition “Valenza ou la joaillerie italienne”. Today Fancesco and Maria Barberis, Giovanni’s sons, direct the business.
The Carlo Barberis srl collection includes all the documentation produced by the company starting from the ‘30s to date. The material is summarily arranged but not indexed and it is divided in several typological series. Drafts and the sketches section are catalogued.
The series below are preserved:
rubber moulds and waxes (around 1950-1975),
prototypes, drafts and sketches (around 1930-1970),
photographs (starting from the ‘40s),
catalogues and posters (from the end of the ‘70s to the ‘80s),
accounting and management.
A reference tool doesn't exist.
L. Lenti, Gioielli e gioiellieri di Valenza. Arte e storia 1825-1975, Allemandi Turin 1994. Description on pages 398-399; tables LXXIV, LXXXIV; illustrations n. 16, 99-102, 689, 731, 732, 753
Luxury design. Nei Codici del lusso e design del gioiello, curated by D. Santachiara, Triennale di Milano – Silvana Editoriale, Cinisello Balsamo, 2007 [Barberis Carlo is on page 95 (details) and on pages 83-85 (jewel)]
Valenza ou la joaillerie italienne, exhibition catalogue curated by Lia Lenti, Parigi, Petit Palais 8-28 february 2010, Nuvole, Sardigliano, 2010, pictures on pages 126-128.
W. Fochesato, R. Massola, Gioielli su carta. Ricchezze dorate fra disegni e cartoline: da Valenza all’Italia, Interlinea, Novara 2018, drawing print on page 12
Descrizione sintetica-Jewellery In siths by : Katerina Perez
Sito: Diamonds in the Library
Sito: Gioiellis-Il primo quotidiano sui gioielli