AGATE AND CORAL CIGARETTE BOX ALFREDO RAVASCO, CIRCA 1925
Cf: Sotheby's Milan 27th June 2007, lot 314 for an example of an agate bowl by Alfredo Ravasco.
Alfredo Ravasco was born in Geneva in 1873. He undertook an apprenticeship with his father, Giacomo Ravasco, and attended the courses held at the Brera Academy School in Milan. He also spent time at the Milanese goldsmith, Eugenio Bellosio's workshop. He reached the height of success in the 1920s and became one of the main representatives of the Modernist movement without ignoring more traditional concepts of jewellery design.
A connoisseur of 1920's Paris fashions, Ravasco created jewellery that was unique and stylish often with geometric patterns, using bright, sometimes contrasting colours as a background to diamonds and coloured stones.
Ravasco was meticulous in his art, paying the utmost attention to even the smallest detail in his favourite subjects fish, flowers, fruit, leaves. His exceptional inventive ability with precious objects was also put to work in the Monstrance for the Catholic University's Chapel and in the small crown and buckle of the cope belonging to His Holiness Pope Pius XI.
His clients were Popes, Kings, Queens, the aristocracy of the day and the wealthy, they could see him at the world's main decorative arts and jewellery exhibitions Milan 1919, Paris and Monza in 1925 and New York in 1939 and several Venice Biennales.
Alfredo Ravasco died in 1958 with no next of kin and left his wealth and works to the Stelline Girls' Orphanage in Milan which sold the entire collection at a large public auction held at the Orphanage in 1961.