One Saturday afternoon twenty-five years ago I was, as on other occasions, rummaging in the wooden trunk we kept in the old workshop. It had belonged to my father Giovanni and my grandfather Filippo, the founder of Medea, which at that time was called Tagliabue. The workshop was in Meda, in Piazza Cavour, in the courtyard of the “Fratit”, thus called because some centuries earlier it had been a convent.
The trunk contained drawings of furniture, estimates and old photographic catalogues of chairs and armchairs that my grandfather made for customers in Milan. My curiosity was aroused by a letter containing an order for twelve chairs and four armchairs from a certain Ducrot of Palermo, with a branch in Milan. A craftsman of Brianza, my grandfather, work¬ing for a firm in Palermo, in 1915 – incredible!
I made enquiries. It was a large firm with more than three hun¬dred workers that made interiors for ships, hotels, villas …
At that time I was always on the look out for English furniture sold by collectors and antique dealers because that was the most popular style of the moment. Shortly after my trunk dis¬covery, I was in an antique dealer’s in Vercelli where, hidden behind a mass of furniture, I discovered a whole bedroom in light maple, manufactured by Ducrot and designed by Ernesto Basile. I took it back to Meda. Cesare, Enrico, Filippo (my brothers), Giuseppe, Cleto (my assistants) and I, fell in love with this fiorai style. It highlighted the cabinet-making and artistic skills that only a few craftsmen could reproduce. We started our search for the most interesting Art Nouveau pieces and made them, with the aid of Professor Eugenio and Mr Gianni, whose contribution was fundamental to the definition
of the prototypes. The ~ncounter with Carlo Amadori, creator of “Abitare il Tempo”, and Gian Domenico Salotti, professor at the Milan Polytechnic, enabled us later to produce other re¬editions of that period that alone we could never have man¬aged. This book contains some examples of our collaboration with them, which was of the greatest professional and cultural importance for uso Over the years we have also produced some pieces of periods that came after Art Nouveau, ali hav¬ing extraordinary manufacture and fruit of a totally personal taste. I would like to express my undying thanks to ali those who have helped us over the years in our research and exper¬imentation. As well as the aforementioned Carlo Amadori and Gian Domenico Salotti, Annibale Osti, Franco Raggi, Daniela Puppa, Ugo La Pietra, Anna Maria Fundarò of the Faculty of Architecture of Palermo, Luca Scacchetti and Patrizia Scarzella.

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