Page 12 - index.html
P. 12

Broggi is the story
Broggi kept on growing and soon it was time to move again. The new place was at Piazza San Marco. There Broggi was the  rst company in Italy to manufacture cutlery and turning oval items thanks to new machinery, a foundry, rolling mills to shape thicknesses, polishing machines and super nishing machines. In the large shops
along the Naviglio, Broggi’s dream kept on growing when the biggest recognition came from the Court of Savoy. The date was 14th June; the year, 1872. Victor Emmanuel II granted the right to add the royal coat of arms to the company’s sign, thus appointing Broggi as suppliers to the Royal Family. A few years later, a new innovation took place. It was the dynamo that produces electric current. The Broggi brothers had discovered it abroad and brought it to Italy to optimize the galvanic process. At the beginning it was a small machine driven by a similarly small steam-powered engine with a vertical boiler. But the results exceeded expectations and in 1888 the small boiler was replaced with a more powerful horizontal one which was replaced with electric motors only
ten years later.
For the family it was time to face the challenge of large supplies, mainly to the hotel sector.
The challenge was ambitious but, like in any pioneering adventure, opportunities were there waiting for those who dare  nd them... In 1875 the Marquis of Flori had opened the Hotel Confortable in Milan: 400 rooms that accommodated up to 250 guests, with all mod cons of that time. The Broggis were called to create an original cutlery model for the hotel, which should perfectly re ect the new concept of hospitality that was growing at the heart of Milan. And there was more to come. Orders from the Hotel Continental in Milan, Bellevue in Baveno and many other hotels on the banks of Lombardy’s
lakes soon poured in.
In the meantime, in 1884, Broggi became the supplier of cutlery and tableware for the canteens of the of cers and non-
commissioned of cers of the Royal Italian Navy.
The job was worth more than 150,000 liras! A considerable amount indeed, but the commitment the job implied was also
huge since the Broggis had to perfectly reproduce the items on board that were imported at that time.
“For having introduced in Italy the silverware industry and for having know how to steer it to such proportions and perfection to bring about a
true and proved advantage to the region”
It was 1886 and with these words, handwritten in an elaborate style on a wonderful scroll accompanied by 2000 liras, the Reale Istituto Lombardo di Scienze e Lettere presented the
Brambilla prize to Broggi.
There came the time to expand horizons, going beyond the limits of the country and
turning to other countries and markets.
First it was the job for the Splendid Hotel in Aix- les-Bains; then, the Hotel Excelsior in Rome and Naples, for which dedicated models of cutlery and
tableware were created.
The  rst food trolleys debuted at Grand Hotel in
Rome and the Ristorante Orologio in Milan.
In the meantime, Broggi prepared the kits for the steamships of leading companies of maritime
of a family
and of a passion
Because the art of the goldsmith is old and dif cult requiring skill and precision but above all, love.
And it was exactly for love of work that Gaetano Broggi, the last heir of a family of craftsmen experts in the art of ‘gilding and silver plating metals’, opens his  rst workshop in Milan in 1818.
That was two hundred years ago. Cutlery, tableware and sacred objects made of silver, whose fame reached very far, up to the royal court in Turin. Old tales in Milan recount his rocambolesque journey in a stage-coach amid bellows, melting pots and metals in a far-away time of long-distance trips that were no comfortable at all... And the rest is history.
Because in 1841 the Duke of Savoy (the future king Victor Emmanuel II) entrusted the Milan-born craftsman the gilding of the ornaments for his wedding with Archduchess Maria Adelaide of Austria.
The magni cent bronze candelabra seemed to be shaped in re ections and  are that livened up the dim atmosphere of the royal palace along which Charles Albert wandered in his pale  gure, followed by a host of aristocrats as much secretive.
Charles Albert got very enthusiastic about Gaetano’s work that he praised it adding a new invaluable recognition for the art to which the Broggi family seemed to have the secret.
The deserved fame that the Milan-based workshop at Via dei Mercanti d’Oro had gained at every royal level was just the beginning.
Leaf gilding and silver plating were still made manually, and Gaetano’s sons Carlo and Sera no decided to travel abroad to learn the latest innovations in the sector. As a consequence, they experimented applying thin layers of metal onto another metal via electrolytic processes.
The galvanic process implied remarkable savings in terms of time and resources, and so production increased in volume while quality improved, to the delight of the traditional aristocratic customers and the new middle-class that, for the  rst time, enjoyed
the pleasure of having true small domestic jewels.
It was 1866 when the company, then called Gaetano Broggi e Figli, moved out of the old workshop and into the new facilities on Santa Maria Fulcorina, a narrow and dark neighborhood amid a medieval setting, at the heart of a Milan that was embracing neoclassicism.
It was here that besides the traditional metal processing method, the manufacture of tableware and cutlery started with the aid of dies, new machinery, and over thirty workers that started to feel part of a bright future.
Here was also the ‘birthplace’ of the silver alloy that soon turned Broggi into a renowned name all over the world. This is a special amalgam that blends glossiness, extraordinary resistance, and a markedly low price.

   10   11   12   13   14