HOW IT ALL STARTED
Northern Italy 200 years ago and in a small village on the shores of Lake Como, Paolo Bianchi lived and worked as a Looking Glass manufacturer. Paolo’s associate, Gaetano Copini, was also producing mirrors but having left Italy around the time of the Napoleonic wars was now based in Norton Folgate in London.
Paolo had a son called Pietro. Perhaps due to the instability that Italy was going though at that time Paolo saw an opportunity for his son to work overseas and so arranged for him to join Gaetano in London to work as his assistant. Pietro Antonio Bianchi arrived in London in 1837. He moved to lodgings in Islington near to the workshops and quite soon gained a reputation as being not only very professional but also a very personable young man.
After Gaetano’s death in 1847 Pietro took over the business. Not long after, Pietro married Mary Bedford, a local girl whose family were wood carvers and gilders. Together they started producing elegant wall hung mirrors and other furniture. By 1850 they had moved into the production of stained glass which they exhibited at the Great Exhibition at Hyde Park. Bianchi & Sons existed in its original format up until the early 20th century.
Mark Bianchi, great, great, great grandson of Paolo Bianchi set up the current company in 1981. Since then it has become a family business very much encapsulating some of the spirit of those early pioneering days when we first left Italy for London. Although now our furniture range is much broader, we still offer a large selection of very beautiful mirrors all produced in Italy from the world renowned Fiam collection. Products like this are special and we are proud to be part of this rich history.