The Aldo and Edda Lorenzi Foundation was established in July 2020 and serves a mission of providing public utility, handling the permanent preservation of the entire Collection on exhibit at its location.
The collected objects show how, by starting from an artisanal craft that is as ancient and humble as that of the knife-grinder, it is possible to evolve to the point of achieving historic excellence. A professional and tenacious knife-grinder: this is what Giovanni was at the start of his career, as the founder, in 1929, of the Coltelleria G. Lorenzi – a small shop at the time -, located on the renowned via Montenapoleone 9, Milan, and later conducted by his sons Aldo and Franco, each of whom expressed himself in his work in line with his own personal character.
In the course of over sixty years, Aldo and his wife Edda Chiodini collected and kept the pieces which best represented their profession, carried out with dedication until the closure of their business in 2014. A passion for their work, an aspiration to perform it at the best, a never-ending pursuit of quality and love for beauty characterized, with the collaboration of 13 employees, the qualitative leaps they attained. Their selection of the most recent objects was made possible thanks to the close, precious relationship with those artisans – many Europeans, a number of Americans and Japanese – whom Aldo and Edda visited periodically at their shops, who were capable of creating unique pieces, full-fledged artworks that will stand the test of time and which have enabled the historic shop to become renowned and appreciated at the international level.
The Collection gathers cutting utensils and similar objects, dating back to the Etruscan period until the present time, and is accompanied by a series of specialized publications, testaments to the incessant research that was necessary to bring the operation of a business, whose artisanal origin was never disavowed, to exceptional levels, in which Aldo and Edda expressed their skills and creativity for many years.
The Collection is made of about 2000 pieces, catalogued and accompanied by specific information: era, origin, artisan (when known), function, material, processing. As further informational support, there are over 700 books, about one thousand magazine and 150 prints, which depict for the most part itinerant knife-grinders.
The Foundation’s premises include a library, serving as a space for studies, where visitors and specialists may take their time to view the bibliographic materials.
A special fit-out of the space enables us to relive the atmosphere of the shop. Thanks to an attentive recovery, a number of the original furnishings have been reinstalled on site, including an exterior window – one of six eyes which communicated with the street, and the sale counters on which, over the years, more than eighteen thousand types of articles have been placed. The space also features oak display cases within which the objects were shown, as well as the copper-paneled room which featured the small entrance door opening onto a larger shop capable of surprising all visitors who crossed the threshold, and enchanting them with its splendid objects.