NINO VERITA' DESIGNS
Stefano Verità was born in 1935 in Faenza, an artisan center famous for the production of ceramics. In that Romagna town, he began his apprenticeship with the master Neo Massari, who ran a sacred art workshop, dedicated to metalworking.
At the age of 17, a goldsmith's dealer working in Romagna invited him to Valenza. Here he started working with Mario Novarese, then passing through Ugo Milanese and Montaldi.
He later became director of Gianni Vescovo's company in via Felice Cavallotti. The mature entrepreneur gave almost paternal trust to the still young Verità, entrusting him with a laboratory specialized in mechanical goldsmithing, which by that time employed 35-40 people. The owner, after a while, allowed him to join the company without new capital to be paid in. In 1965, however, Vescovo died suddenly: Verità then liquidated the part due to the heir of his deceased mentor and remained alone to manage the business, although remaining open to new partners. In 1971 he opened, together with his brothers Marco and Giorgio Fantini, the company "Effe-Vi di Verità e Fantini", with the trademark "1581 AL". The factory was then located in Via Trieste 9 and employed more than 30 people.
The company specialized in fancy goldsmithing, with gold and precious stones, combined with ivory, onyx, lapis lazuli, coral, pearls and antique coins. It was also among the first companies to produce gold and steel jewelry.
The United States quickly became a privileged market for Effe-Vi, as a result of their participation in international events and fairs. Two ethnic, Greco-Roman and Egyptian inspired lines, were well received - as well as the "Bonbons" and "Millefeuilles" collections.
The creation of onyx and malachite medallions with zodiac signs, designed exclusively for Van Cleef & Arpels, date back to 1975. The famous panthers were also produced for Cartier.
The "Nino Verità Designs" was born around 1990, with the name "Nino" representing a euphonic abbreviation of the name Stefano, used for its easier understanding and pronunciation in foreign languages. The headquarters have been for a short time in via Donizetti, 17 and then finally in via Mazzini, 4. Two foreign branches were also opened, the "Nino Verità U.S.A." and the "Nino Verità Japan". The "Country" collections, of great success in the U.S.A., "Imperial", with the inclusion of Roman Imperial coins, "Japan", for the Japanese market, were then proposed.
Verità travelled assiduously for work to the United States establishing, among other things, a collaboration with the wife of a renowned film producer. Several Hollywood stars thus became his clients to deal with him personally.
"Nino Verità designs" went out of business in 2002.
Beyond being a professional goldsmith, Stefano Verità had been very active in Valenza's public life over the years, having been a town councillor until 1983. He also held various positions at the AOV ( Valenza's Goldsmiths' Association): he was a member of the board of directors since 1975, then vice-president under the presidency of Paolo Staurino, and finally president himself from 1983 to 1988. At that time there was much discussion about the proliferation of robberies and the advent of the first television sales. During Verità's presidency the brand "Valenza Produce" was presented, the VAT reduction on jewellery was obtained and the new US practice of gold lending by banks to artisans was implemented. In October 1983 the new Exhibition Building was inaugurated, which was once again conceived as a temporary exhibition venue, but more sturdy and secure than the previously used tensile structure. Two events took place there annually: Valenza Gioiello Moda in spring and Valenza Gioielli in autumn, which were then a good media and commercial success. These fairs were combined with the competition "Gioiello inedito" ("Unique Jewel"), the Gemmological Week and special exhibitions such as the Iron Crown and the private diamond collection known as Rainbow Collection.
A passionate lover of the history and memory of Valenza, Verità wrote many articles published in the periodical "Valensa d'na vota" ("Once upon a time, Valenza") and taught at the University of the Third Age; he is also the author of the recent encyclopedic dictionary of the dialect of Valenza (Fantigrafica, 2017).
The records that make up the historical archives of the companies "Effe-Vì di Verità e Fantini" and "Nino Verità Designs" are preserved by Stefano Verità together with other records that show the different activities he has carried out over the years (especially as President of AOV).
The corporate materials are kept in a folder, packed in transparent envelopes and often accompanied by additional notes - written by Verità himself - with reference to dates, places, collection (for the objects) and other context information.
In addition to this uniform group of material regarding his activities as professional goldsmith, there are two ring binders named, respectively, Forty Years Work, Politics, Culture, Association 1 (1978-1984) and Forty Years Work, Politics, Culture, Association 2 (1984-1994) which collect papers and photographs (with captions indicating useful information such as dates) mostly on the activity of the AOV, the Mostra del Gioiello Valenzano (Valenza Jewel Exhibition) and Valenza Jewelry in the national and international context.
The archive includes these materials:
- Drawings of objects, 1965-1994 (many with identification number and signed "Nino Verità");
- Pictures of objects (in colour), 1975-end of the 90s;
- Pictures of the "Effe-Vi" workshop (in black and white and in color), early 70s;
- Colour pictures of travels and participations to fairs, 1990-1999;
- Catalogues, brochures, newspaper clippings and advertising material, mid-70s-end of the 1990s.
- Press clippings (taken from local, national and foreign periodicals), correspondence and photographs related to AOV activities, the Mostra del Gioiello Valenzano, the Competition "Gioiello Inedito", the Gioiello-moda Exhibition, the Export jewelry, visits of Italian political personalities, awards and honours.
Franco Cantamessa e Giampiero Ferraris (edited by), Associazione Orafa Valenzana. 30 anni di vita associativa, 1945-1975, AOV, Valenza, 1976.
Effe-Vi di Verità e Fantini (1971-1988)
Nino Verità Designs (1900-2002)
via Mazzini n.4, Valenza (AL)