Now Micaela is ready to take her family’s prized handcrafted jewelry overseas, introducing the Alfonsi and Germano Gioielli trademark quality to American enthusiasts.
“We thought of entering the U.S. market through art events and showcases,” says Micaela, as she prepares for her upcoming trip to Boston, where she will present her work alongside that of Liz Zangrilli during the First Friday event at Giardini di Sole. “We strongly believe that Italian art is very much appreciated in the United States.”
Boston will be the first American city to welcome Micaela. “We’d like to introduce Bostonians the “art jewel,” which underlines the uniquness and personality of every woman, making a bold statement opposite the common jewel,” she says.
Throughout its history, the Alfonsi family has been able to attract many prestigious clients: The Royal Family recognized the creativity of this artist, naming him an Official Purveyor, and the plaque which attests to this award can still be seen in the shop’s window display, along with a gold and ceramic rooster, which to this day remains the company’s symbol. Princes and members of the nobility, representatives of the Holy See, and, following the formation of the Italian Republic, many high ranking members of the new Government in Rome entrusted their purchases of fine jewelry to the creative genius of Gallo Alfonsi. A genius that still runs in the family and that has been able to renew itself throughout the decades.
“One hundred sixty years of history are not few, but real jewelry has ancient origins,” says Micaela. “You also need the intelligence and foresight to renew yourself as new generations come along.”
In 1911, upon Gallo’s death, the shop passed on to the hands of his son, Francesco, who carried on and renewed the family tradition of fine jewelry creation. World War II introduced years of difficulty and political upheaval, which added Representatives of the Regime to the growing number of clients who visited the small shop in Via delle Muratte, among whom stand out the Ciano family.
Following World War II, the running of the shop fell into the hands of Lamberto Alfonsi, well introduced and active in pontifical affairs, as well as in Roman sporting circles. Almost simultaneously there appeared on the scene a new member of this artistic family, which had by now endured over 100 years of renowned fame in the sector of fine jewelry.
Germano Alfonsi began his artistic apprenticeship when he was only 14 years old, signing his first artistic creations with the letters GER. It would be this very young boy, Germano, following his father’s death in 1948, who was destined to raise the quality and artistic creativity of the goldsmith to new, undreamed of heights. His exquisite miniature sculptures, realized in precious gold, soon caught the attention of many new clients; Via delle Muratte soon became a meeting point for many of the famous of the day: Renato Rascel, Virna Lisi, Peppino De Filippo.
During the 1950’s Germano left the shop on Via delle Muratte, and moved to Frascati, where he at first opened a studio in Piazza San Rocco, and then, later on, opened the “Galleria La Rassegna,” in Via Ajani 4.
In Frascati Germano is visited by many famous names of the time: Kennedy, Podgorny, De Gaulle, Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI, Sophia Loren, Ornella Muti, Zeffirelli, Frank Sinatra, and many other equally famous personalities.
During the 1980’s, the latest generation of Alfonsi’s, Biancamaria, Francesco and Micaela, Germano’s three children, who with their creations represent a natural union between the bloodline of this family, and the artistic conceptions of jewelry, as seen through the eyes of their father.
Today, Alfonsi jewelry is over 160 years old, but still faithfully pursuing the path initiated so many years ago by Gallo Alfonsi.
Images courtesy of Germano Gioielli and Giardini di Sole.