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.