The “Antique Gold” collection G.B. Spadafora in an unmissable great book.

Our collection of Antique Gold is about a unique set of 468 golds. Most of them were produced between the second half of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century, destined both to adorn the elegance of bourgeois women or religious devotion (many of these jewels were intended to adorn the traditional costumes of women of San Giovanni in Fiore and other countries of Calabria) and also document the traumatic phenomenon of southern emigration. Many of the gold of the collection have styles like the floral, the liberty and the art nouveaux, which makes us guess how Calabria was open to the various European artistic currents.

The objects are mainly in red or yellow gold, low carat and some of them have been restored and made functional again. Our collection is therefore a testimony of our traditions, of what society was and of their everyday life.

“A profound link between knowledge, know-how and the soul of places.”

Italy, from always, of the intertwining of beauty, art, community and creativity has made a fundamental trait of its own identity and an element of strength. The great historian of the economy Carlo Cipolla called it “a vocation, the ancient Italian propensity to produce in the shadow of the bell towers things that the world likes”.

A profound link between knowledge, know-how and the soul of places. That bond that we find in this interesting collection of the Spadafora goldsmiths of San Giovanni in Fiore, a territory that evokes the charm of the Sila and the echo of Gioacchino’s mysticism. The constraint of the Mibact does nothing but sanction its extraordinary interest: a testimony of particularly precious Calabrese goldsmith’s art, not so much for the materials, given that once the most widespread were in light alloy and with semi-precious stones but rather for processing, for the techniques now lost, for the possibility of comparing them and seeing the differences, the local particularities.

This catalog is therefore not only a journey into the refined artisan knowledge, the popular jewel returns to us in a filigree the story of a society and its rituals: the traditional dress, the burials, the weddings, the occasions that marked community life.

Dario Franceschini

Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism

A museum dedicated to the “Antique Gold”

The recent reform of the MIBACT has entailed the establishment of new museum poles and institutes of Superintendencies with functions mainly of protection, education and research. A renewed attention has also been established for those so-called “minor arts” and for demo-ethno-anthropological assets, very present in our region. Thus the need arose to entrust dr. Rosa Romano (ABAP Superintendency for the Municipality of Naples), with the collaboration of the colleague Superintendent arch. Luciano Garella, the task of verifying the historical, artistic and cultural heritage of our collection.

The work was carried out with the participation of the historical-artistic sector coordinator Dr. Enrichetta Salerno and the coordinator of the architectural heritage sector arch. Pasquale Lopetrone who, besides having pointed out our collection, has also designed the catalog with the aim of greater protection and a greater knowledge of its artistic and cultural importance.

From this research work resulted a complete picture of the richness and beauty of Calabrese goldsmith production becoming full title to the Sila museum network with a future exhibition at Camigliatello offering it to the public to pay homage to the tradition of working precious metals that it is typical of Calabrian places.


San Giovanni in Fiore (Cs)

via Roma, 8 | 87055 San Giovanni in Fiore | | tel. 0984 993968