In 1873 Domenico Conti Borbone founded the bookbinder’s workshop that bears his name. An authoritative master bookbinder, he handed the baton to his niece Giuseppina and her husband Isacco Marchesi.
The couple moved to Corso Magenta in 1919, and it is in the same location that their grandchildren, Gianluca, Gabriele and Angelo, officially in charge of the company since 2000, are still cultivating and innovating the art of bookbinding. A historical legacy of expertise that relies on hand-operated equipment and one of the largest collections of dies, pallets, rolls and gilding boards in Italy. It is Gianluca Marchesi, in particular, who has inherited the passion and know-how of the previous generations, bringing to bear a technical expertise appreciated by the great Borromeo, Elkann, Garavoglia, Dompè, Gancia and Mentasti families of Milan, whose books he has bound and whom he has supplied with precious furnishing accessories in leather. Companies like Prada, Etro, Bottega Veneta, Stivaleria Savoia, Marinella and Fabriano send their customers to his workshop for the customization of bags and wallets.
The workshop, which has a catalogue of over 2,000 decorations, produces marble paper, special colourings on leather, gilt impressions and perfect bindings. Everything is done by hand, from the sewing of the book to the gluing, cutting and making of the cover, as well as the splendid decoration and printing.
Gianluca Marchesi’s expert hands have created marvellous works of art, such as a precious facsimile of Leonardo’s miscellany the Codex Trivulzianus, with parchment covers and a latch closure with ties, the wonderful edition of Michelangelo illustrated with engravings by Dutry, bound in full leather with applied bands in a classic 16th-century binding and Ovid’s Metamorphoses, again in full leather and hand-embossed in gold on the board and spine. And then tables and desks covered in richly embossed leather, fake book panelling and ‘personally’ signed books.
The Legatoria Conti Borbone is a Bottega Storica. In 1980 it was awarded the Ambrogino by the municipality of Milan and in 2001 the CCIAA of Milan gave it a diploma with gold medal for 28 years of activity.