Museo del Bijou
Via Azzo Porzio 9
26041 Casalmaggiore (CR)
Museo del Bijou
The Golden Mood Kingdom - This was the definition of the non-precious material used to make the "jewels" of Casalmaggiore. The Bijou Museum collects, exposes and enhances the production of costume jewelry that for almost a century has made this small town in the province of Cremona a small gold-plated capital: rings and earrings, cufflinks and badges, necklaces and brooches, which testify to the taste and Italian fashion.
Established in 1986 and set up in its present location ten years later, the Museo del Bijou di Casalmaggiore is located in the basement of the former Collegio Santa Croce, a building built by the Barnabiti Fathers in the mid-eighteenth century; is a specialized museum of the historical-industrial heritage in which objects of ornamentation and accessories produced by the different Casalmaggiore factories are preserved between the end of the nineteenth century and the years '70 of the twentieth century. In addition to the traditional types of costume jewelry (brooches, cufflinks, bracelets, belts, earrings, pendants), there are compact cases, portarossetto, cigarette cases, sunglasses, devotional medals, badges.
Next to the objects are placed original machinery from the ancient Casalmaggiore factories, various tools for the processing of costume jewelery, catalogs, documents and vintage photographs that offer a glimpse of the life of the Casalasco industrial district of costume jewelery. The permanent exhibition is complemented by two laboratories (a professional one and an educational one) and a space used as a documentation center.
The bijou industry in Casalmaggiore arose in a small workshop - workshop on the initiative of the pioneer and master Giulio Galluzzi (Codogno 1855 - Casalmaggiore 1932) who, moving to Casalmaggiore in 1878, succeeded in making the first gold-plated metal plate in 1882 . This successful experience gave rise to an important and flourishing enterprise that already exported its products to Latin America in 1887 under the brand name "GG". In the late 1920s, the company Giulio Galluzzi, the Società Federale Orefici, founded in 1905, and the company Il Placcato, active since 1920, merged into a new company, the Società Anonima Fabbriche Riunite Placcato Oro. From the early '30s, next to the bijou d'imitation began the production of "fantasy" jewelry, made of new shapes and materials, strongly linked to fashion and influenced by social, sporting, political, military, military and religious events. The diversification of production dates back to this period, a trend that is accentuated in the post-war period: after 1945 sunglasses and then radios, tape recorders, televisions and, finally, electric motors were also made; the company's own name, from Fabbriche Riunite Placcato Oro, became Fabbriche Industrie Riunite (FIR).
Following the complete conversion of the production carried out by the company in the mid-70s - which involved the closure of the lines of the jewelry -, the entire sample would have been lost if the meritorious initiative of the Associazione Amici del Bijou di Casalmaggiore (mainly made up of ex-employees and chaired by Dr. Francesco Zaffanella) who took steps to set up a museum of industrial archeology in which to rearrange the collection. The FIR patrimony was donated to the Municipality in 1985.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10.00 to 12.00 and 15.00 to 18.00; Sunday 15.00 to 19.00