LUIGI DEAMBROGI del dott. Ezio Deambrogi e C. snc

History

In 1918 the firm "Vaccario e Deambrogio" was established in Piazza Statuto by the goldsmith Mario Vaccario (1898-1967) and the gem settler Luigi Deambrogi (1899-1960), who had already been employed by "Fratelli Caniggia". In a few years the company reached 15-16 employees, producing jewelry and trading also in gems.   

For a short period at the beginning of the 1920s the designation became "Deambrogi, Vaccario e Celada", following the temporary inclusion of the dealer Agostino Celada, who almost immediately left the company and was replaced in his role by Deambrogi, who from 1926 dealt directly with the marketing representation activity.

The already sound activity was practically unaffected by the consumer crisis as a result of the economic policy of "quota 90" and the financial collapse of 1929. In 1931, Deambrogi disbanded the partnership with Vaccario and continued on his own, dedicating himself to the trade of jewelry also produced by contractors. In 1935 he received the trademark "57 AL", in use until 1955. The headquarters at that time were located in Via Alessandria 30, along the present-day Corso Matteotti. In the second half of the 1930s the Italian economy faced international sanctions due to the Ethiopian war and the subsequent autarchic measures, which had consequences on the trade of gold and precious stones. Deambrogi, however, managed to buy diamonds in Antwerp thanks to shares given by his dealer friend Carlo Tavella. During the Second World War, when many companies closed down, Luigi Deambrogi chose to keep operating. However, like other goldsmiths in Valenza, he was forced to adapt to the absence of precious raw materials and produced jewelry in silver and non noble materials, a customary habit of those years. A selection of these particular "cheap luxe" objects was displayed in a specific exhibition at For.Al in 2004.    

By the end of the fifties the firm changed to the new trademark "757 AL" (in use until 1993) and after 1963 headquarters were moved to Strada Fontanile 5. In 1960, upon the founder's death, the firm became "Dr. Ezio Deambrogi's Luigi Deambrogi". Ezio (1923-2014), Luigi's son, had already been involved in his father's business and had experience in commercial matters. An anti-fascist and partisan of Giustizia e Libertà ("Justice and Freedom"), he had finally graduated in Law. He continued with the usual line of high quality jewelry, using high-level craftsmen. He also bought and sold gems, of which he was an esteemed connoisseur, and also engaged in the trade of vintage jewelry. The company operated mainly on the domestic market, serving the main stores in the major centers, while international relations focused mainly on the Lebanese market. Their offer ranged among many types of items, designed both by the owner and by external collaborators. Especially in the Seventies, Ezio Deambrogi used the skills of French designers to expand the aesthetics offer.

In 1976, the company of his deceased brother-in-law Rino Frascarolo was closed down and [Ezio Deambrogi] protected its models and its historical heritage.

In its latest period the company had four or five dealers and some employees at the headquarters, while the goods were supplied by contractors.

Ezio Deambrogi was a well known and respected figure, especially for his commitment as a promoter of the knowledge and memory of Valenza jewelry. He was therefore an active member of the Goldsmiths' Association of Valenza, in which he was particularly involved in international relations. As a consultant of the Savings Bank of Alessandria, he followed the financing of the goldsmithery sector. He was also president of the Center of Documentation on Goldsmithery, which was named after him and established at For.Al, in Valenza. He was one of the founders of the Association of Friends of the Museum of Fine Goldsmithery Art, to whose collections he contributed with the donation of historical materials.

 

Archives

The archival material produced by Luigi De Ambrosis activity during its various historical denominations was preserved since 1993 first by Ezio Deambrogi and later by his daughter.           

A fund named after Ezio Deambrogi was deposited at For.Al until 2014 when the collection operation began.

In 2000, a collection mainly consisting of ancient tools was donated to the Association Friends of the Museum of Goldsmith Art of Valenza. The inventory is available in the Association's archives under the references 1919-1940. Moreover, For.Al currently holds a definitive donation of about 50 drawings.

Objects and documents coming from this company have been exhibited and published in catalogs on various occasions, in particular in the exhibitions " Oro e lavoro" (1994, Valenza), "Di necessità virtù…” (2004, Valenza).

The Deambrogi family also holds the fund relating to the company Frascarolo e C., given the family ties with the last owner.

Noteworthy series are the following:

- 12 manufacturing registers (1930-1940 approx.)

- Tables and drawings (1925-1940 approx.)

- Magazines and brochures from the 1930s

- A collection of 59 objects in silver or vile metals (1941-1945)

- Drawings and photographs by Ezio's Luigi Deambrogi (since 1960)

- 80 wax models, finished and colored, made by French designers in the seventies, not for casting but for reproduction.                     

 

Sources

Lia Lenti, Gioielli e gioiellieri di Valenza, Arte e storia 1825-1975, Allemandi, Turin 1994, Specific item on pp. 407-408; tables XIV, XCII; images n. 51, 93, 97, 143, 187, 300, 312-317, 322, 323, 325, 352, 461, 466, 478, 481, 592-594, 610, 611, 630-633, 646, 755, 756. 

Maria Grazia Molina and Maria Carla Manenti (ed.), Oro e lavoro. Cento anni di oreficeria in Valenza. 1840-1940, Lindau, Turin, 1994. Photographs of the workshop in 1922 at pp. 21 and 23; description of the manufacturing registers at p. 189.   

Lia Lenti, Il gioiello: la storia, l'arte. Di necessità virtù, mostra di gioielli realizzati con materiali poveri durante la seconda guerra mondiale mondiale, For.Al, Valenza, 2004. Publication on the occasion of the exhibition.

Pier Francesco Manca (edited by), Valenza. La storia, le storie. Saggi, immagini, testimonianze, SPI-CGIL, ANPI, ISRAEL, Valenza, 2016. In pp. 87-116, chapter entitled "Il diario di Ezio", or autobiographical account of the origins of the family and the experiences of Ezio Deambrogio youth, in particular dedicated to anti-fascism and the Resistance.             

Vaccario e Deambrogi (1918-1923)
Deambrogi, Vaccario e Celada (1923-1925)
Vaccario e Deambrogi (1925-1931)
Luigi Deambrogi (1931-1960)
Luigi Deambrogi del dott. Ezio Deambrogi e C. (1960-1993)

strada Fontanile n.5, Valenza (AL)

BIBLIOTECA CIVICA
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