Exquisite traditions

Italian design firm S. Clairy’s hand-made pure gold decorations have changed little since 1890

By Layla Haroon

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Sat 25 Oct 2008, 8:35 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 3:45 PM

RARELY DO WE find an artisan firm combining quality, exquisite craftsmanship and luxury, but S. Clairy simply hankers after that. Active since the 19th century, Italian design firm S. Clairy is known for hand-made pure gold porcelain decorations, an art handed down by generations following the ancient art of Florentine masters. The productions include decorated porcelain in many compositions, like table sets, coffee sets and tea sets, exposition cups and a varying typology of items like pots, trays, porcelain boxes.

“S. Clairy was founded by the grandmother of my father in 1890,” says AndreaCarnesecchi, managing director of S. Clairy, speaking to City Times. “Previously, she worked in Ginori, the most important and famous company of hand-painted porcelain and mastered the art of decorative painting in Florence. Today we work with techniques of decoration and instruments exactly the same as of that period and our collection is much varied, designed by using pure gold and Swarovski crystals. This job is impossible to learn alone so it has been handed down from generation to generation. It is much more a passion than a job.”

S. Clairy stands apart from its contemporaries by developing its status with key words ‘personalise’ and ‘customise’ in a highly globalisedworld. Apart from decorative art, they offer a plethora of customising options that extend to having a personal self-portrait photograph or emblems on the art piece through digital definition.

Nevertheless, despite the industrial revolution and the worldwide standardisation of everything, the decoration techniques used are of the Florentine painting art of recording gold on a porcelain base. And the collections are extremely contemporary, modern and delicately hand crafted in traditional, ornate patterns by Andrea’s father Fiorenzo Carnesecchi.

“What makes Florence so different?” Carnesecchi questions. “It is its beauty. It is from the Florence that the Renaissance, a cultural revolution, spread throughout Italy and into the rest of Europe. During that historic period many unique decoration techniques emerged from Tuscan painters and sculptures. The artists began to reproduce descriptions of classical paintings and copy the antique statues that were being newly rediscovered. The works of that era are, today, the most important and famous art pieces for museums and monuments worldwide.”

“Being located in Tuscany, just about 25 kilometres away from Florence, it is quite worthy for S. Clairy to own the distinct aesthetics of that period. We live up to erstwhile proficiencies using only porcelain to cede the best results of the paints, gold plating and platinum enamelling. When I work on a client or collection base, I research the culture and tradition of the country and on that basis we incorporate the favoured materials in our decoration. But what I prefer is the old style of decoration as old is gold.”

S. Clairy has fashioned a unique collection which is on display at the International Jewellery and Watch Show in Abu Dhabi. “We did work with Arabian people before and this helped us to understand their taste and preference,” Carnesecchi says.

“In the UAE, we see Arabs are persistent to decorate and furnish their house. The new "Arlecchino" collection of crockery sets is in six different colours: yellow, pink, red, violet, light blue and green.Each item is firm with our logo. It is made with paintbrushes and hand drafting-engravers tools, using 24 carat gold and other materials chosen from a wide variety of colours.”


The International Jewellery and Watch Show runs till October 26.


More news from