Richard Ginori

Richard Ginori 1735 is still produced in the town where it was founded in 1735 by marchese Carlo Ginori near his villa in Sesto Fiorentino outside Florence Italy.  He established Ginori as the pre-eminent manufacturer of Italian dinnerware, and the company remained under family control until 1896.   At that time, it was incorporated with the Società Ceramica Richard of Milan, a larger manufacturer of ceramics, and thus was renamed Richard-Ginori.  Over the years, the company has enlisted top notch designers such as architect Gio Ponti and artist Paola Navone to lead the vision of the company.  

Today, Richard Ginori is the most famous Italian factory producing porcelain dinnerware.  Their handcrafted, elegantly designed products have graced museums and the tables of both the wealthy and an aspiring middle class.  Their range includes all-white to air brushed and hand-painted collections with precious metal decorations.  Some of their original patterns are still produced today.  In 2013, the Gucci company purchased Richard Ginori 1735, ensuring that the company will remain true to its Italian heritage of producing the finest porcelain dinnerware. 

Porcelain is made principally from the clay kaolin, and is fired at high temperatures which causes a process called vitrification.  Often referred to as china or fine china, it is renowned for its strength, hardness, toughness, whiteness, translucence and impermeability.   

Why we love it

Richard Ginori dinnerware is sophisticated, beautifully colored and drawn, with intricate detailing, elegant shapes, and an aesthetic that is unique and Italian!  All patterns are hand painted or hand decorated, and even their white patterns are graceful and lovely.

We visited their factory outside Florence in 2016 and were blown away by the history of the factory and the skill of their artisans. 

When we entered the factory, we saw a white vase that was likely 5 feet tall, with a full-sized peacock attached to its side.  Upon further review, we were directed to the rear which showed a large crack in the piece.  The Ginori factory displays this to demonstrate the difficulty of producing flawless items, as the crack occurred during the final stage of firing the vase in the kiln.  So many months of work can sometimes fail not because of a mistake, but rather the complexity of clays, glazes, and heat.    

Richard Ginori has an enormous room that archives the molds they have created since their beginning in 1735.  This allows them to re-create pieces that may not have been produced for decades or centuries.  The archives also include art pieces that may have served as inspiration, such as the engravings on which their Perroquets collection is based.  They also have display cases that feature unique and historical dinnerware creations, centuries old.

We also learned that the color palette used in Ginori ceramics are proprietary to their collections, with formulas created and maintained over the centuries by their artisans.  We saw artists sculpting decorations for their serveware and giftware, and also an artist hand painting the delicate scenes in the Paesaggio collection.  They were also in process of making the Gio Ponti Majolica Urn for a client, 4 feet high and 4 feet wide.  Just amazing.

The fun fact we also learned is that their store, in the center of Florence, was originally the family villa and is still owned by Ginori descendents.  Carlo Lorenzini, author of Pinocchio, wrote the famous fairy tale while a guest there. 

Prop 65 Warning:  Use of decorated patterns by Richard Ginori will expose you to lead - a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.   

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