The Piccini family and the Ponte Vecchio
My name is Maria Gaia Piccini and I come from an old Florentine family with a long tradition in jewellery making, with several shops on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence. I represent the fourth generation of passion, tradition and experience in this sector.
Alberta Risaliti, mother of my father, Carlo Piccini, was the daughter of the silversmith, Aristodemo Risaliti, owner of a company producing enamelled, gold and silver objects located in Via De’ Bardi – near the Ponte Vecchio – which was destroyed during the bombing in WWII. He was one of the first jewellers in Florence with his business “A. Risaliti – Al Gioiello Artistico”.
Tebaldo Piccini, my paternal grandfather, was the son of Pirro Piccini, a famous gem setter who had worked with the Settepassi family and was the jeweller of choice of several noble families
Tebaldo was responsible for purchasing and selling the silverware and jewellery, buying from the United Kingdom, Holland and France.
His brother, Armando, was the creative mind behind the jewellery and some of his works are still on show in the Silver Museum in Palazzo Pitti in Florence. After WWII, the two brothers, Tebaldo and Armando, together with their father, Pirro, opened the Fratelli Piccini shop on the Ponte Vecchio which is still there today. This is how the tradition of the Piccini family began, renowned jewellers in Florence, Tuscany and the world.
Over the years, we have been through many ups and downs studded with moments of glory and just as many setbacks, played out against a backdrop of changes, criticisms, partnerships and divisions of the Piccini brand.
Throughout my personal and professional growth, I was profoundly influenced by my grandmother, Alberta Risaliti Piccini, a lady with not only an extraordinary sense of beauty, but also a well-known entrepreneur and the first woman to run a goldsmith family business, the “A. Risaliti – Al Gioiello Artistico” on the Ponte Vecchio, which she managed by herself from 1930 until the age of ninety-three.
When I was nineteen, I met Madame Mahin Fallah, , in my father’s shop, a Persian noblewoman and renowned collector jewels, of unparalleled sophistication. A strong bond formed between us and I was her guest for three months in London, in one of her apartments in South Kensington. During my stay, she introduced me to her friends and family and I had the privilege of meeting Marina Bulgari, the celebrated jeweller of international fame.
I can safely say that these three women have been my mentors, the ones who have made me understand the values that define female business excellence: creativity, a taste for beauty and vision.
Today I am the proud mother of three children: Ginevra, Benedetta and Michelangelo, to whom I dedicate this collection.
The Triangle which figures in my jewellery represents the link between past, present and future. Maria Gaia Piccini Pontevecchio is, in fact, the fruit of the seeds sown by those three extraordinary women which I carry within me, together with my family tradition and the deep-rooted links to my origins.
Many thanks to all the people who inspired me while creating this project.
I am glad to have had them on hand as both accomplices and critics because otherwise I probably would not have created Maria Gaia Piccini Pontevecchio.
A special thank you to my father, Carlo Piccini, for his invaluable advice and no end of thanks to my friend and the designer, Christina Fallah, for having motivated and encouraged me in this project.