In 2003, Emanuela Burgener, the company’s creative spirit and driving force, came up with the idea for the Margherita Burgener brand. Born near the Swiss border at the foot of Monte Rosa, Emanuela moved to Valenza in 1997 to work for Damiani, where she was responsible for the overseas market and regularly visited the workshop belonging to Massimo Lombardi, her future husband, where the Margherita Burgener brand would later come to life. This workshop, with its wealth of experience, would prove to be the ideal location for Emanuela Burgener's creative ideas to take shape.
Massimo Lombardi’s history began in 1966, when Carlo Lombardi founded his first goldsmith company with Renzo Camurati, becoming the sole proprietor in 1973 and naming it Lombardi Carlo with the trademark AL 2003.
The workshop has a rich archive of drawings, models, and equipment, some of which are still used in Margherita Burgener's workshop, attesting to a recognised heritage and family history with well-established roots.
The factory mostly produced jewels representative of Valenza’s identity in the ‘70s and ‘80s, primarily in gold and diamonds.
At the same time, Carlo Lombardi was also inspired by the Parisian ateliers whose jewellery featured designs deeply tied to flora and fauna, especially in his brooches which embodied the remarkable savoir-faire of a small workshop. Skilfully crafted jewellery that to this day remains true to Piedmont's strict production standards. Massimo and Alberto Lombardi, along with Emanuela Burgener, have been running the family business since 1997 under the name Lombardi Massimo, then become in 2015 Lombardi Massimo S.r.l.
This savoir-faire continues to serve as a link between Valenza’s traditional craftsmanship and cutting-edge design thanks to the company's small dimension and artisanal organisation, as well as Massimo and Alberto Lombardi’s dedication and expertise.
Today, the workshop is well known for being a pioneer of innovative techniques and novel materials like titanium.
Evolutions in design and new feedback from travels and meetings with customers have driven the company to lighten its creations and experiment with different sizes and shapes, shifting its gaze to the increasingly international world of jewellery. Margherita Burgener's high jewellery is a world inspired by nature, where rare gemstones and expert goldsmithing give life to one-of-a-kind creations.
Each piece begins with a drawing, giving rise to the inherent worth of uniqueness, the custom nature of each design, and the modern and imaginative quality of the craftsmanship. Research and experimentation go hand-in-hand with time-honoured practices, demonstrated by the introduction of prototyping and 3D printing and the acquisition of specific skills such as titanium anodizing.
The skilled eye of Massimo Lombardi, who personally selects the gemstones during his trips to Brazil, is evidence that enthusiasm and exceptional talent are partners in excellence.
In 2003, the first piece was presented at auction at Phillips in Geneva, a channel that has since been expanded to include Artcurial, Adam's, Bonhams, Christie's, HVMC and Sotheby's.
Even the retail-focused Boutique collection line debuted in 2011.
Emanuela Burgener's openness to new experiences has prompted her to collaborate on and take part in projects that promote innovative and cutting-edge jewellery.
Recent projects include the jewellery items made with Enrica Borghi for the first edition of Fragile Bellezza in 2020, promoted by the Municipality of Valenza.
In 2021, the atelier participated in the second edition, collaborating with artist Elisa Bertaglia. Giovanni Frangi too saw his pictorial art take shape in 2010, while with Chicco Margaroli, the collaboration focused on rings an customised painted boxes.
The company has received numerous accolades throughout the years, such as having a one-off piece displayed at the Vicenza Museum of Jewellery between 2014 and 2016. This was followed in 2016 by the display of the Blooming brooch/necklace at the Milan Triennale, which later went on show in Seoul.
The brand went on to receive the Sant’Eligio Award in 2018 in Valenza recognising the company’s valuable heritage, as well as the Well Made award from the Cologni Foundation, Milan and Michelangelo Foundation Geneve – Homo Faber Guide. Furthermore Margherita Burgener has been an active member of the Club degli Orafi (“Goldsmiths' Club”) since 2018 and is a training centre for future goldsmiths.
The archive includes the documentation produced by Lombardi Massimo Srl - Margherita Burgener, specifically the following typological series:
silicone rubber moulds in use (about 750), sketches (some pre-1966, the ones from the late ‘90s describe the evolution of the Margherita Burgener brand), prototypes (there are prototypes in imitation gold of jewellery produced even before 1966).
It also includes the company catalogues and technical data sheets.
W. Fochesato – R. Massola, Gioielli su carta. Ricchezze dorate fra disegni e cartoline: da Valenza all’Italia, Interlinea Novara, 2018, p. 57
L. Lenti – D.M. Papa, Fragile bellezza. Arte e oreficeria contemporanea, Silvana Editoriale Cinisello Balsamo, 2020, p. 66-69, 105, 128
L. Lenti – D.M. Papa, Fragile bellezza. Arte per il corpo, Interlinea Novara, 2022, p. 52-57, 73