Passamanerie Massia: the frills that helped make history
Passamanerie Massia played an active role in the Italian Wars of Independence (1848-1866) that led to the country’s unification: cords, braids, tassels, and fringes made by the artisan passementerie company in Turin decorated uniforms, flags and cockades in those tumultuous years of battles and plebiscites.
Luckily, the military were not the enterprise’s only client. Founded by Victor Massia in 1843, in what at that point was the capital of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, the company has also been supplying – for more than one hundred and seventy years now! – theaters such as the Bolshoi in Moscow, the Colón in Buenos Aires, and La Fenice in Venice. It also works for museums, castles, palaces, and mansions – and is a favorite especially in and around Turin, with the Egyptian Museum, Palazzo Madama, the Palazzina di caccia (“hunting residence”) of Stupinigi, and the Royal Palace of Venaria Reale.
The shop in Via Barbaroux 20, located inside the Palace belonging to the Counts Giriodi Panissera, is right in the historical center of town. It is worth a visit in and of itself: it is an old artisan workshop under the tutelage of the government department responsible for cultural heritage, and conserves three centuries of products and objects from the world of passementerie.
Because, after all, frills and decorations helped make history too.