Capodimonte is a style accredited to the very finest italian porcelain, and its fascinating origins date to the eighteenth century when Charles VII took Princess Maria Amelia Cristina of Saxony for his bride. A portion of Princess's fabulous dowry consisted of extraordinary examples of Meissen porcelain produced in her father's workshop. King Charles decided that such beauty had to be produced in Italy as well. The artistical porcelain of Capodimonte began in Naples in 1743 under the reign
of Charles of Borbon.
The Royal Manufactory of Porcelain was erected on the grounds of the royal palace, it stood high atop a hill, and it soon became known to all
as "Capodimonte" which means top of the mountain. They took on the best artistic goldsmiths and painters from Italy to found the school of porcelain. The Academia del Modello.
The school was set amongst the green, the quiet and the harmony
Many years passed and Charles was granted his wish as exquisite italian-made tea sets, coffee services, statues and tureens began to appear at court. Unable to enjoy the beauty of flowers in bloom because of his allergies, he directed his wokshops to create delicate floral arrangements in porcelain, each a pecious tribute to nature's real. Soon the royal palace overflowed with porcelain bouquets of incredible artistry and sumptuous colors.
The tradition of Capodimonte flowers had begun. The crowning artistic achievement of Charles VII remains the porcelain room he created for his bride in their summer palace at Portici. The ceilings, walls and floors were constructed of porcelain and mirrors. This dazzling display of artistry was to inspire his son Ferfinand IV, to inherit his father's passion for porcelain.
In 1803 Napoleon ousted Ferdinand IV from the throne, and without the firm hand of its patron, the factory felt into debt, and closed its doors in 1817.
While this could have been a sad ending, it was not. As the artisans made their way back to their villages, they brought their spirit and their skills. Soon hundreds of small shops and factories all over Italy made available to everyone what was once reserved for Kins and Qeens.