If you are looking for Giovanni Raspini jewelry, then you have come to the right place. Here you will learn about the history, materials, most collectible pieces, and where to buy.
Giovanni Raspini has said that a piece of jewelry “must be followed, step by step, like a child who grows up and becomes an adult.” In keeping with this belief, all of his jewelry is designed, modeled, constructed and finished exclusively within the company and all by hand.
Brief History of Giovanni Raspini Jewelry
Tuscan-born architect, Giovanni Raspini was born in 1950. He was educated as an architect and was, for a time, involved with urban planning and designed houses and roads as well as furniture, fashions, and jewelry. Giovanni had always loved the art of goldsmithing and collected ancient and medieval artifacts with a focus on items of Tuscan origin.
Giovanni found very little difference in designing and bringing to fruition a skyscraper, say, and creating jewelry. The process starts with a drawing then goes on to 3-D model, wax model for casting, application of the “lost wax” technique. Later, the piece is cleaned, filed, assembled, and polished. This is how Giovanni’s style originated and this is how it remains today. This is the uniqueness of a brand that combines the tradition of classic plastics with elements of contemporary design.
Giovanni established his workshop in Arezzo where every morning silver is melted down in what looks like a magical spectacular. He selected the best model makers, sculptors, engravers, etc. And this is why he demurs when he is called an artist. He does not discount the contributions of the masterful craftsmen who wield the chisels, burins, throttles, augers, props and files that coax his design from the silver.
Giovanni opened his first shop, a small “treasure box” with a stunning black and white interior warmed by his silver creations, in Rome in Via Margutta. He chose that location because it was near Federico Fellini’s home. The filmmaker was Giovanni’s idol. He liked to be close to genius. Also, in that area lived esteemed actress Anna Magnani and Italian painter Giorgio de Chirico. Much earlier, the area was home to Peter Paul Rubens, Nicolas Poussin and Pablo Picasso and was the site of the workshop of Antonio Canova, the Venetian sculptor known as the greatest of the Neoclassical artists.
Giovanni loves silver because of the unparalleled chiaroscuro effects that no other metal can achieve. Many designs are inspired by nature, such as the crocodile and turtle patterns, a shell or a leaf. He is able to recreate the depths of the sea in silver. He points out the pieces inspired by bamboo or coral or an animal, and he reaffirms the importance of keeping pieces in an intermediate range. He embraces inclusiveness and accessibility and spurns elitism, luxury and prestige. He has never wanted his jewelry to be worn as a status symbol (even though it often is).
His daughters now work with him in the business: Costanza in marketing and Giannina in retail.
- “132 AR”
- Giovanni Raspini Made in Italy
- G. Raspini
- Sterling silver (Giovanni's very favorite material)
- Gold-plated silver
- Pink opal
- Mother of pearl
- Moonlight stone
- Hydrothermal quartz
- Rock crystal
Notable Collectibles: Vintage Giovanni Raspini Jewelry
20th century. Vintage Italian earrings for pierced ears in sterling silver covered in gold.
Sterling silver necklace, 35 ½ inches long, with delicately twisted open links alternating with round yellow and green enamel centers.
Vintage sterling silver bracelet in Modernist style, .8 inch wide.
Vintage necklace, 23-inch long chain + 7-inch pendants, fashioned in sterling silver. The pendants are adorned with blue and green chalcedony beads.
Sterling silver angel pendant, 2 3/8 inches long, 1 ½ inches wide.
Tips for Buying Vintage Giovanni Raspini Jewelry
If any sterling silver surface is scratched or damaged, has lost its luster or is blackened, do not be concerned. It happens. Sterling silver exposed to air and humidity tarnishes. There are several ways to bring back the beauty.
- Use a silver jewelry cleaner.
- Use a silver polishing cloth.
- Have your silver professionally cleaned by a jeweler.
- Make your own silver cleaning dip.
- Line a bowl with aluminum foil, add baking soda and salt and pour in boiling water. Add some white vinegar. Soak the silver for several minutes. Once the tarnish has been removed, take out the jewelry items and wipe.
- Note: Be wary about commercial dips. Some cannot only damage the surface of the silver but they are not good for your health.
Ask the vendor about what metals are used in the alloy. For anyone sensitive to metal allergies, nickel may be the alloy used in the nickel.
Buy only from a reputable vendor. Check reviews, if possible. Also ask questions and judge the answers that you get and how forthcoming the vendor is.
Check the shipping and return policies. A reputable vendor will allow you to return an item that is unsatisfactory.
There is a beautiful book about Giovanni’s creations called Wild, written by Francesco Maria Rossi, that not only contains a wealth of information but also is a wonderful keepsake for a collector. The problem is finding one in English.