VALENZA JEWELLERY

Valenza  with its upper position on the river Po, is the worldwide capital of jewellery; its  history linked to this peculiar production  started in 1817 when Francesco Caramora came in the Piedmontese small town from  Pavia .

Francesco Caramora, partner of  his uncle Luigi, manages a goldsmith’s shop in Voghera. In 1817 he moves to Valenza where he opens his workshop in Contrada Maestra. In 1825 he enrols his brand in Alessandria: a  stamp with his initials and a half moon in the middle. For the next two years (1825-1827) Caramora is a goldsmith master and his workshop counts the presence of two apprentices working with him. In 1826 he buys a farm near Piani di Pecetto that will be identified as Cascina dell’orefice on the ‘800 maps. In 1827 Caramora dies and  his widow, Giuseppa Tremolada, decides to make an inventory of  all her husband’s goods to sell them at an auction. All the tools are taken over by Pietro Canti, the most experienced apprentice of the master. Pietro becomes the second operating goldsmith in Valenza carrying on the teachings and the knowledge learned during the years of traineeship at Caramora’s workshop. In 1828 Canti registers his brand with his initials and a torch in the middle.

Four apprentices work  at  Canti’s workshop, the only one existing in Valenza, and among them  Vincenzo Morosetti, the third father of the town goldsmith art tradition. He is the one that registers at Ufficio Marchi in Alessandria, in 1838, the trademark with his initials and the heart of Jesus in the middle.

The way to conceive the job in a goldsmith’s shop will change thanks to Morosetti, with him there will be a distinction between the artisan ,who makes objects, and is skilled  in a specific executive phase of the job subdivision, and the owner, in other words, the person who sells jewels made by goldsmiths. Vincenzo Melchiorre is among the young artisans sitting at  work tables to learn the job in Morosetti’s workshop. Before the foundation of his factory in 1873, Melchiorre has a long period of apprenticeship , then  he moves to Turin ,and later to Paris, called  by the famous draftsman Camillo Bertuzzi. Melchiorre & C. will produce  jewels suitable to meet the needs of  the middle-class, who pays attention to style  fashion , latest trends, thus  establishing the leadership of  Valenza  goldsmith model , and conditioning the history of Italian jewellery.

 

Almost a hundred years after Caramora had come to Valenza,  about 43 gold companies were in activity in the town with circa 613 workers .

 

In 2017, two hundred years later, there were 800 gold companies in activity in the area of Valenza with about 4500 workers.

Caramora generò Canti, Canti generò Morosetti, Morosetti generò Melchiorre, Melchiorre generò…[1]

 

[1] L’età dell’oro, testo teatrale di Laura Curino e Michela Marelli, 2002

BIBLIOTECA CIVICA
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