- Museum number
Cheese cellar or dish for parmesan cheese, a circular lidded turned lime wood box with incurved sides and hole in base to push the glass liner out easily and cut-out in rim for a spoon (a-b), containing a glass dish (c). The base lined with grey felted wool (?) Contained in the original cardboard box, labelled 'TWERGI. Un nuovo episodio dell'avventura Alessi', with images of some of the products and the Twergi 'gnome' symbol (d).
- Production date
- 1989 (designed)
Diameter: 8.70 centimetres (glass dish)
Diameter: 11 centimetres (wood box)
Diameter: 10.80 centimetres (wood lid)
Height: 11.50 centimetres (cardboard box)
Height: 4.70 centimetres (glass dish)
Height: 8.50 centimetres (wood box with lid)
Height: 6.80 centimetres (wood box without lid)
Width: 12.60 centimetres (cardboard box)
- Curator's comments
- Woodworking was a traditional craft in the area of northern Italy where Alessi has its roots. In 1989, spurred by a desire to reconnect with and preserve a local production tradition, Alessi introduced a collection of wooden articles made by artisans in the Strona valley. Valle Strona starts at 1300 metres and drops down to Lake Orta where Alessi's headquarters are based, at Crusinallo, north-west of Milan. The year before Alessi had acquired the firm of Battista Piazza 1865, the oldest company in the Strona valley in northen Piedmont. The area had been known for its woodworking sicne the 16th century, but production expanded greatly in the 19th century with the introduction of the continuous rotation lathe which harnessed the energy produced by the mountain torrents and led to the establishment of a number of different workshops.
Alberto Alessi has written 'As well as re-introducing some of the original objects made by the company in the early decades of the 20th century, our aim was to revitalize this kind of production technique, and some of our traditional designers worked on this project. In addition it was a sort of training programme for many young designers.' (quoted in an article on Alessi's website: http://www.alessi.com/alessiwords/twergi/, accessed 10 Sept 2015). This article also explains that the derivation of the name 'Twergi', from a local sprite or gnome of the woods, a recurrent element in the legends of the valley, called 'Twergi' (Tuérzi) in the local dialect. Drawn at Alberto Alessi's request by the graphic designer Milton Glaser, the gnome became the trade mark for the new wooden articles. Since 1998 all Twergi products have been incorporated into the Alessi catalogue while retaining their identity as craftsman-made articles in a variety of different woods. For further information, see M. Gabra-Liddell (ed), 'Alessi. The Design Factory', London 1994, pp. 110-111.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number