Espresso set 6


“Collecting illy espresso cups is a wonderful hobby.”

Every illy Art Collection project starts with the same, elegant canvas: the iconic, white illy espresso cup introduced by renowned architect and designer Matteo Thun in 1992. Taking cup as muse, more than 100 of the world’s foremost artists have created collections since – no two ever alike, and each a revelation. 

RICHARD GINORI Cup and Saucer Set – Illy Art Collection 1992.

The first illy collection is called Arts and Crafts: the creativity of art and the craft of those producing the best blend for espresso. Brought together by a passion for beautiful and well-made things, and the idea of introducing art into small everyday items.
The china surfaces embrace the works of Maurizio Cargnelli, Paolo Cervi Kervisher, Cosimo Fusco, Francesco Illy, Luca Missoni and Matteo Thun. Each leaves their own unmistakable mark: many colourful fingerprints, a naked woman, a tangle of colourful sculptures, a pattern of ties, some signs and mysterious planets alluding to coffee.

Richard Ginori green factory mark to base, Italy.

Cups are 3floz – 5cm tall x 6.5cm ; Saucers 11cm diameter.

Condition : Excellent – unused.

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In stock


Collecting Illy Espresso cups

In 1990 Matteo Thun was asked to design a new espresso cup. This resulted in the well known shape of the espresso cup that is used by illy today.

Francesco Illy, being an art lover, must have thought that a new cup with the illy logo was not enough and that it might be a good idea to combine two pleasures in life, espresso and art. The idea to decorate the new espresso cup was born. A little later the Company of Matteo Thun was asked to decorate the first cup. This resulted in a prototype, named “NAÏF”.

Beside a standard logo cup, the first illy collection set “Arti e mestieri” was introduced in 1992. The cups were designed by Illy himself and five other “artists”. In 1993 another “Arti e mestieri” was made, again by several artists. However this was the first time that the cups were signed and numbered with the inscription “illy collection” and a signature and number at the bottom. However, the first Arte e Mestieri cups have the inscription:”illy collection 1992″, but they were neither signed nor numbered. Therefore they are unique, of its kind. The 1993 Arte e Mestieri set was released with the “illy collection 1993” inscription, but this time it appeared also in a signed and numbered version.

History of the Florentine company to become Richard Ginori

The history of the Ginori factory began in Doccia, just a stone’s throw away from Florence. Inspired by his passion for white gold, Marquis Carlo Andrea Ginori started a porcelain factory which was destined to become a worldwide icon of style. The eighteenth century is a key century for the development of porcelain in Europe and in Doccia, Carlo Ginori combines the elements of the ancient tradition with more modern influences. The factory gives life to the art of making porcelain and Ginori becomes the international reference point for the creation of sculptures.

During the nineteenth century the Doccia factory expands and the Richard Ginori Ceramic Company is born. The tradition of master craftsmen meets new technologies and the creations are perfected thanks to the use of new patents.

In 1923 the great master Giò Ponti was made creative director and the Ginori factory spread its new decorative porcelain throughout Europe. At the 1925 Exhibition in Paris the factory and Ponti were awarded a Grand prix. During the twentieth century they employed some of the greatest Italian designers of the time: Franco Albini, Franca Helg, Antonio Piva, Sergio Asti, Achille Castiglioni, Gabriele Devecchi, Candido Fior, Gianfranco Frattini, Angelo Mangiarotti, Enzo Mari and Aldo Rossi.

In 2013, the Manifattura Richard Ginori was acquired by Gucci and the artistic direction entrusted to Alessandro Michele.
Today Richard Ginori is an expression of excellence in Italy and Worldwide appreciation of the high artistic manufacture of porcelain, able to combine craftsmanship, creativity and attention to progress.



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