When porcelains were first introduced in Europe from China, the substance was known as “white gold” for its value because of its toughness, strength relative to all other known types of pottery.
In 1735, the Marquis Carlo Ginori, driven by an interest in the advent of European production of “white gold,” founded his porcelain manufactory in the town of Doccia in Sesto Fiorentino, near Florence in Tuscany.
After an initial experimental period, during which he imported Chinese porcelain samples, Ginori engaged two Viennese painters, J.C.W. Anreiter and his son Anton, with Gaspare Bruschi employed as chief modeler.
By 1740 Doccia had a monopoly of porcelain making in Tuscany and in 1746 began public sales. The product was a grayish, hard-paste porcelain made from local clay, with a glaze lacking in brilliance; a finer, white paste was adopted later.
Early wares were decorated by stencil, a rare process that was to give way to a fine range of painted colors.
The Manufactory of Doccia, as it was originally known, remained on this site until 1955.
1779 An era that gives birth to some of Richard Ginori’s best known forms and decorations. Combined with elegant centrepieces, they accessorize many a famous banquet in important palazzi and ville. The woven pattern is introduced, still a must- have in the collection today. The dawn of the nineteenth century brings with it new technologies and gold decorative solutions to fuel the taste for luxury.
1850 The arrival of the international expositions and the fashion for naturalistic taste offers the Manufactory the opportunity to expand. Scenes of insects nestling among floral elements animate tableware, meanwhile the academic sculptor Urbano Lucchesi brings themes of theatrical literature, fantasy objects and the Macchiaioli school of painting into the Manufactory.
1896 Now known now as the Manufacture Richard Ginori, a major expansion in artistic and industrial manufacturing activities lead to the successful development of two innovative patents: the oven-proof Pirofilia, (c. 1897-1898) and developed expressly for scientific laboratories, Euclide porcelain (c. 1940).
1923 The architect and designer Giò Ponti is appointed as artistic director, and the Manufactory brings to the European scene new decorative designs in line with the styles of the era.
1954 Manufacture Richard Ginori interprets the new functionality of the everyday life style. Colonna, with its stackable and essential design is introduced under the artistic direction of Giovanni Gariboldi.
1985 As tastes and lifestyles evolve, the Manufactory turns to the creative talents of the great Italian architects and 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.
2013 The renaissance of the Manufactory Richard Ginori begins. The Manufactory is acquired by Gucci and Alessandro Michele is appointed artistic director. Today, just as 280 years ago, it represents excellence in creativity, innovation and the hand-made in Italy.