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  • Entirely made in Italy  Bandiera 1
  • The art of nativity figurines, over a century of quality
  • All figurines are hand painted piece by piece
  • Nativity figurines of craftsmanship with unique warmth
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Tradition of figurine makers in Bagni di Lucca

The history of Fontanini dates way back with roots that lie in the tradition of Bagni di Lucca, where the founding figurine makers are found.
 The town, which was a favourite of the rich Englishmen who frequently visited its famous spas, now also lives on due to the figurine industry.
The last representatives of this hard-working category of figurine-makers still live in the area who have passed their craft down from generation to generation.

Emanuele Fontanini, the family's progenitor, who was strong in this tradition, exported the art of the figurine to some European capitals in 1893. 

From papier mache to Nativity.

In 1908, thanks to the overseas experience, he opened a small craft workshop in Bagni di Lucca where, having abandoned plaster and taken up papier mache workmanship, he started to produce rockers, spider to which springs were added on the side of their bodies and which, hanging by a thread and moved, oscillated.
Given the considerable success, Emanuele went on to produce little soldiers and doll's faces using the same material.

His sons Mario  and  Aldo worked on the expansion of a small workshop, which had already become a real little figurine factory in 1936. The Fontanini family soon started to export the nativities scenes, Mario's speciality, and the papier mache figurines into the USA.

Plastic advent and religious items production.

In the 1960's, Mario headed up the company's first large-scale technological revolution: the arrival of the plastic and the production by injecting into moulds.
Having overcome the market's initial distrust, in 1963 Ugo, Piero and Mariano, Mario's sons, opened Fonplast in Chifenti, a company of articles for favours and religious objects, developing the commercial business of the Fontanini company. With the increase in export to th USA, Ugo, Piero and Mariano managed the production through the second revolution of the Fontanini companies: a nativity with figures that were 125 centimetres high.

An export policy, expecially to USA

The company has always had a sales policy that is aimed at overseas, so much so that it follows and extends in the steps of its great founder, Emanuele. It is the fourth generation who is advancing the family's standard by tackling the competition of the Asian market.

 



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