His sons Mario and Aldo worked on the expansion of a small workshop, which had already become a real little figurine factory in 1936. The Fontanini family soon started to export the nativities scenes, Mario's speciality, and the papier mache figurines into the USA. @Debbie Williams
This was the original Fontanini symbol of authenticity which was later replaced by the fountain we use in our logos today. Why the spider you ask? Because Emanuele Fontanini, the Founder of Fontanini, started his business by producing papier-mâché spiders suspended from springs, thus the spider. @Debbie Williams
Fontanini's cent logo, which displays "Fontanini since (dal) has been used to show figure authenticity. This logo is applied to a coin then embedded or placed on larger statues or underneath some figures.
Emanuele Fontanini, the family's progenitor, who was strong in this tradition, exported the art of the figurine to some European capitals in
Pope John Paul II with the Fontanini Family and Nativity Set.
Ron meets the renowned members of the family in the After a few years, Roman became Fontanini's exclusive North American distributor.
Great grandson and namesake of the House of Fontanini's founder, Emanuele began his apprenticeship in the Nativity crafting process as a young boy and studied all facets of the business at his father Ugo's side.
Did you know that Roman's life-sized nativity set was featured in the popular Christmas movie, Home Alone?
The fourth generation leaders of Fontanini. From left to right, Emanuele, Luca, Marco, and Stefano Fontanini.
A stunning image used for the back cover of our 100-year celebratory Masterpiece Collection catalog. This image depicts memories of ,the then 28-year-old, Emaunele Fontanini's one-room shop where he began crafting his own figures after studying with the best artisans in Europe around 1908. @Debbie Williams
The last representatives of this hard-working category of figurine-makers still live in the area who have passed their craft down from generation to generation.