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Plaque made of lava stone entitled “The Farnese bull”. The plaque depicts one of the masterpieces in the National Archaeological Museum in Naples.
Second half of the XIX century

De Simone Fratelli
Collection


THE “CUPOLINI” AND THE AMERICAN DREAM

Antonio De Simone’s meeting with Mr. Catamore, a wealthy Californian entrepreneur, marked the definitive take-off of the firm founded by Don Michele. In 1972, coral became all the rage in America and coral “frangia” and “cupolini” necklaces were extremely fashionable: they were a cheap product that became a craze for both teenagers and elderly women, earning a lot of money for producers and craftsmen alike. Famous New York stores such as Saks, Bergdorf Goodman and Bloomingdale’s sold hundreds of thousands of coral necklaces to the trend-setting rich and famous. Within a few weeks, the fashion swept through America, making a fortune for the Italians. The firm received orders worth millions of dollars from Catamore who each week, to speed up delivery times, would send the orders by telegram. The workers at the firms based in Torre del Greco experienced a period of feverish excitement. Antonio De Simone, who in the meantime had opened a new office in Via Roma, had to turn to many ‘external’ workshops to subcontract work in order to satisfy the demands of his important American client. For ten years, the same routine would take place on Saturday morning: the artisans would deliver cameos, necklaces with “cupolini” and “frange” and cabochons made of red and pink coral. There was then a dash to the customs office prior to the rapid delivery to the United States

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