Trapani was a leading center for the production of works of art in coral in the 17th and 18th centuries. Due to its geographical position and its extensive coral banks, it became one of the principal commercial ports in the Mediterranean. This growth resulted in the expansion of a prosperous merchant class, who, together with the wealthy clergy, contributed to the development and growth of a high level of coral and goldsmith's work. In 1628, the guild of the coral workers, the Arte dei Corallari
, was established in Trapani and after the suppression of the insurrection there in 1672, the skilled coral workers were dispersed to other Mediterranean centers.
From the Renaissance, coral was sought after for its rarity, colour and unusual texture and it was believed (as was the case in antiquity) to have the power to ward off the 'evil eye'.
M. Concetta Di Natale, Il Corallo Trapanese nei secoli XVI e XVII, Brescia, 2002