The Design Observer Twenty

Louise Fili | Collections

Louise Fili’s Collection of Italian Tins

Bambi d'Italia

Few things make me happier than my collection of Italian tins, which I have found in the far-flung reaches of Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Italian Ebay and Great Barrington, Massachusetts. I started finding them in Italian flea markets over thirty years ago. Some are ornate in an Art Nouveau (or Stile Liberty) manner, while others have an Art Deco aesthetic.

I gravitate towards the ones with decorative typography and particularly those with dimensional typefaces. The tins once contained everything from powder (for both face and gun) to tomato paste, chocolates, peppermints and biscotti (for bambini grandi e piccoli.) Now they fill up shelves in my studio, where they provide endless stimulation and inspiration.

Comments [3]

So lovely. Normally I would want to cut them up to use in my work, but these are too fabulous! Thanks for sharing images from your collection and for highlighting yet another wonderful thing about the internet--the ability to glimpse worlds one would otherwise know nothing about.
Christine Terrell

Squisito! I think some, like the biscotti, are still in use or re-issued. One of my faves is the paper paste Coccoina, which I'm sure you have in your collection. It is still in use today.
When I lived in Italy, I collected the tissue wrappers of blood oranges.
Ron Rifkin

Slow News Week?
Mark Kaufman

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