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Michele De Simone

Portrait. oil on canvas
F. Batelli - New York 1913

De Simone Fratelli
Archive


Raffaella Palomba

Portrait. oil on canvas
F. Batelli - New York 1913

De Simone Fratelli
Archive


A FAMILY BRAND

Francesco De Simone & figlio was founded in 1855, based on business experience and a passion for coral and shells displayed initially by Francesco and later on by Michele De Simone. It was a ideal match between father and son, aided by the acumen of Michele who, before setting up a craft workshop at Torre del Greco, devoted himself to buying and selling coral and cameos. Michele was eclectic and extremely bright, leaving nothing to chance. He travelled the length and breadth of Italy, keeping on good terms with foreign wholesalers and searching constantly for raw materials to be worked by the master engravers and craftsmen of Torre del Greco. 

His wealth of knowledge and professional expertise helped him to build up a commercial network, initially with American firms, then later with firms from Japan and finally from England. Michele’s wife Raffaella Palomba had an instinctive business sense and would prove to be the strategist in the success of his business. The daughter of a leading coral merchant of the period, donna Raffaelina was beautiful, determined, stubborn and endowed with excellent managerial qualities; she immediately became the sharp-witted coordinator of the De Simone firm. Raffaella and Michele were married in a chapel in Torre del Greco on 14th August 1911, ten months after the death of Francesco. He died in October 1910 at the young age of 55 after going on a crash diet. Shortly after getting married, the De Simone husband and wife team decided to move to New York to strengthen their relationship with American firms. While the Torre del Greco office was run by Vincenzo Palomba, Raffaelina’s father, the married couple moved to America and set up a new office at 59-61 Maiden Lane.

© De Simone Fratelli Srl Via Roma, 4 P.O. Box 230 80059 Torre del Greco Napoli, Italy