The Roman painter Giovanni Maggi was described as a man of cheerful character and a great lover of the comical and the bizarre. In 1604 he dedicated his ‘Bichierografia’ to Cardinal del Monte, the representative of the grand Duke of Tuscany in Rome, the renowned art collector who also commissioned some of Caravaggio’s most important paintings.
Maggi’s work consisted of four codices, now in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, containing a collection of more than one thousand extravagant and entertaining ‘designs of glasses’ and as it was noted at the time, not only of glasses but also of vases. Maggi was inspired by the amusing models produced in the Medici factories and by ornamental sculpture and garden architecture. The taste for the picturesque is evident in glasses representing musical instruments, animals and flowers, numbers and letters, keys and hammers, tangled bodies, and human and horse legs.
We began producing these glasses and vases in silver and glass in 1992, eager to revive a project begun four centuries ago. Maggi’s almost inexhaustible quantity of designs allows us to add new pieces every year to the models – now over three hundred – that we have already produced.