Since 1774 Pineider produces bespoke fine stationery, leather goods and luxury gifts.
A history of contemporary relevance over two centuries.
The strength of a personal affir-mation stands behind these four numbers. One Seven Seven Four. The year 1774 marks the beginning of what would become a success, but was then just a small manufac-turing enterprise. It was a year of ambition for Francesco Pineider, the entrepreneur who carried all the vigor of his native Val Garde-na – in his last name as much as in his soul – and merged it with Florence’s cultural grace. In the Tuscan city, Pineider opened his first workshop in Piazza della Si-gnoria: a clear challenge to the beauty of Michelangelo’s David, which he observed from the win-dow everyday. Because Pineider was a sculptor too: he shaped characters’ elegance, chiseled reliefs by hand, incessantly refined his printing techniques by repro-ducing buildings and monuments in the most beautiful cities in Europe.
His sense of aesthetics was so outstanding that by 1800 it had charmed politicians, writers and poets from Napoleon to Lord Byron to Stendhal. Romantic tourists fell in love with Pineider’s artistic postcards. They were enchanted by the personality and beauty that Francesco brought to Rome in 1871, when he opened a new store to offer his precious instruments to the royal court, the ministries and the embassies that had moved to Italy’s new capital city.
Yet all these tokens of growing recognition did not quench Pineider’s entrepreneurial passion. A few years later, in 1888, after opening another shop in Florence amongst the aristocratic palaces on Via de’ Tornabuoni, Pineider’s small workshop turned into a full-fledged company. He started importing from the United States the first modern fountain pens, under an exclusive agreement: a new chapter in his story, adding ink and character to his production. It was also a period of constant, impatient and tormented research, of creativity that longed for perfection, lasting seemed to raise a symbolic barrier against further progress, whis-pering the idea that every genius has its limits. But Pineider created a number of sketches with such elevated style that they became a collection.
So beautiful that its designs even deceived the flood of 1961, surviving a historic tragedy. Saved by its own expressive wonder, it has been chosen by the Italian government as gifts offered at its most important events since the 2000s. A travel desk set, a briefcase, a pen… daily details that are distinct, refined and delicate, and have always described the contemporary biography of Pineider clients, as well as the brand’s current international standing.
Choices are not between past and future. Choices are between time and nothing. If you choose time, it will tell. If you choose nothing, it will be silent forever. Because storytelling first of all means to recount: lining up events, dividing moments into the before and the after, giving meaning to the chaos of our experiences on this shapeless earth.
History began with the first word ever written and will finish on a blank sheet of paper. History, that is, began with the ambition that makes our species so different from all the others: to last beyond our lifetime. Writing is more than just letters and numbers.
History is a humming choir of pens that sings about time across pages, an ancient dance of the alphabet directed by punctuation: words that stop for a question, then start again with the new-found certainty of a capital letter; words that hesitate over a comma; words that after a line break, jump into the abyss of their tomorrow.
Since 1774, Pineider has given people the tools to create their own story, their own history. Writing instruments and leather goods to safeguard the past, because, without the pursuit of memories, one cannot jump towards the challenge of the future. In today’s digital age, when words can be reproduced infinitely and freely wander in cyberspace, the paper, and the pen preserve the fragile beauty of something that cannot be replicated.