The Art of Making Golden Books
In a spectacular villa on the legendary Appia Antica road, in Rome, D’Oro Collection crafts magnificent books completely by hand, in order to protect history and art in superb masterpieces that preserve their content and pass it down for generations.
Tell us about your golden books and what makes them special.
We live in the digital age, which is very fragile and produces culture without haven’t found a definite way to preserve it. D’Oro was created with this mission: to design books that will last forever. In our production process we have abolished the machine and started to put man at the center, instead. We produce our own paper, so that we can monitor its quality. Each book is decorated without using computers or Photoshop. Using the finest materials and artisanal craftsmanship, in combination with care and time, we create a one-of-a-kind book that is both a new and ancient object and, most of all, a treasure chest that protects its content.
Could you describe your production process of your golden books?
Each of our books is a true work of art. The jacket is made of a sheet of copper covered in real gold and subsequently embossed by hand over a bronze mold made exclusively by a master artist with about 1000 hammer blows. The handmade paper made by us is folded one page at a time and then printed by hand with a process that involves 28 individual steps. Each of these unique pieces is bound by hand using the best silk and leather, which were dyed by hand and gilded with fire. Exclusive decorations embellish the pages inside, and each is exclusively made for each book.
How did D'Oro Collection start? Tell us the history of your company.
In 1955 Italy started to show interest in collections of art books. We thought that, in order to be really memorable, we needed to go back to a time during the Renaissance when books were made to pass down new discoveries and old traditions to future generations. Our European culture comes from this revolution and that is why we only publish new texts, which are developed in three series: one dedicated to the protagonists of history (such as Alexander the Great and Napoleon); the other with modern heroes (those men and women who are revolutionizing our times); and the third is devoted to art and it is created in collaboration with world renowned artists.
Who are the most important people in your company?
The founder of D’Oro is Dino Salvatore Giorgio, a young entrepreneur in his mid-thirties that manages what is now a family comprising 50 people. Among them there is Alberto, a 70 year-old artisan who has spent 53 years of his life binding books; Maurizio who chisels every single bronze mold; Paola, the head of administration; and Carla, who manages our special working space.
How do your surroundings influence your work?
We have the great privilege to be working in Rome and to be working on our own, without delegating to third parties. Our headquarters are located in a villa on the Appia Antica road, on which – during the ancient Roman Empire - every Greek philosopher and any piece of treasure coming from Egypt and the Middle East would travel to reach the eternal city. We work every day among monuments that have survived time and this oasis in the center of the city also represents the spirit of D’Oro: a veritable cultural oasis.