Candida Martinelli's Italophile Site

Main Page This family-friendly site celebrates Italian culture for the enjoyment of children and adults. Site-Overview



Italian Porcelain: Capodimonte, and Richard-Genori


Murano Glass

Home Decor





Richard Ginori porcelain.  Check out their museum. (Note: they are currently renovating their site, so it may be down.)















Visit my pages on Renaissance Gardens and Villa Gardens

Visit my page about Modern Italian Designs


Italian Porcelain

Capodimonte Porcelain

Richard-Ginori Porcelain

Books about Italian Majolica and Porcelain


Italian Porcelain

The English word 'porcelain' comes from the Italian word 'porcellana'.  It's a white, hard, permanent, nonporous pottery that is translucent, and resonant when struck.  

Porcelain was first made by the Chinese, which is why in English it's often called 'China' or 'Chinaware'.  The Chinese exported it to the Middle East and Europe, and closely guarded the secrets of the trade.

It was not until 1710 that porcelain was made successfully and commercially in Europe (Meissen, Germany), after trial and error, and espionage to gain the secrets of the trade.  It moved quickly to Italy with the German wife of Charles of Bourbon (hmmm a woman and porcelain, sounds about right...).


Capodimonte Porcelain

Capodimonte Porcelain dates from the mid-1700s, outside Naples, under the control of Charles of Bourbon, the son of the king of Spain, who then controlled the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (Sicily up to Naples).  (Click here for a longer history.)

Charles set up the factory and then had it dismantled a few years later when his father died, and Charles returned to Spain to take the throne.  So original Capodimonte porcelain is very rare.  (Click here or here to see some original pieces in Spanish museums).


Two originals from 1780

Modern Capodimonte porcelain is still made in Italy, but some of it has a decidedly modern feel about it, though charming all the same. 

The on-line Capodimonte Shoppe is run by a site visitor.  They carry traditional designs like the flower basket and centerpiece, and the wishing wells, below, as well as more modern designs like beautiful porcelain light-switch covers.  They have a wide selection with lots of images to drool over.


A British company, Capodimonte Ltd., sells on-line a wide selection.  There are lots of images on their site from their various collections.  For example:

The Pizzamaker

The Chestnut Roaster

Even sells some offerings such as lamps and porcelain flowers.  Click on this link to see their selection.

 Capodimonte Porcelain from


Richard-Ginori Porcelain

The English Porcelain company Richard Ceramics Company (since 1873) joined with the Ginori porcelain firm, in business since 1737 as Manifattura Doccia, to form Richard-Ginori, the premier Italian manufacturer of porcelain today.  

If their history interests you, they have a beautiful on-line museum (currently their site is under renovation), and a real museum you can visit when in the Florence area.  And their store on Florence's main shopping street (running from the Cathedral to the main square) is always one of the main window-shopping attractions.

I've put images of some of their products on this page for you to enjoy.  They have a Richard Ginori site you can visit to see more.  It doesn't always work, but when it does, it's very nice.  You can try this on-line store Chinacraft of London for more images of Richard Ginori products. 

Even sells some Richard Ginori products.  Click on this link to see their selection, or on the Ross Simons Store link.  Ross Simons sells discounted household goods through a storefront at, including Italian majolica and porcelain.  

 Richard Ginori from

 Ross Simons Store


Books About and Italian Porcelain

You can see what books are available at about Italian porcelain, what people's comments on the books are, and what they cost, with this Search tool.  

Just enter 'Books' in the 'Search' field, and, for example, 'Capodimonte' or 'Richard Ginori' in the 'Keywords' field.  Then click on the 'Go' button to see the list. 

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