• 1800
  • Year 1875

    Luigi Gonnelli (1837-1911) and the birth of the bookshop in Via Ricasoli

    «Luigi began his profession modestly but in a short time he made a great name for himself both as an antique dealer, as an editor, and as a connoisseur and lover of paintings. Up until today, the Gonnelli Bookshop has printed more than one hundred and fifty catalogs».

    Giorgio Batini, Giorgio Batini, The antiquarian. Florence: Vallecchi, 1961, p. 69.

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  • Year 1880

    The first editorial commitment: Luigi Gonnelli, Luigi Razzolini and the Brochures of Giuseppe Manuzzi

    Since the beginning of his activity, Luigi Gonnelli has supported the bookshop with his editorial efforts. This is the case of the works of Giuseppe Manuzzi, a philologist from Forlì who lived in Florence for many years and worked as an editor of an issue of the well-known Vocabulary of the Accademia della Crusca.

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  • Year 1880

    The first catalog: the book auction of Collection Manuzzi

    The first printed catalog preserved is that of an auction: the auction of the collection of Giuseppe Manuzzi, a library "consisting of over 10,000 volumes" which engages the bookseller for over 10 days in the premises of the library, in via Ricasoli 6.

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  • Year 1884

    Sale of the collection of Abbot Michele Colombo

    Abbot Michele Colombo (Campo di Pietra, Treviso 1747 - Parma 1838) has a biographical profile that traces the biography of Manuzzi in many points.
    He too an abbot and an expert on the language of the Fourteenth Century, Colombo approaches the experience of the Vocabulary of Accademia della Crusca by publishing a catalog of some works relating to the sciences, the arts and other human needs ... (Milan: from Tipografia Mussi, 1812). His work is destined to increase his prestige and one that will earn him the first prize in the literary competition organised by the Accademia itself in 1817.

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  • Year 1889

    The Dictionary of Living Artists by Angelo De Gubernatis and the company with A. Silvio Gonnelli

    The official start of Gonnelli's publishing activity is marked by catalog #33 of 1889: here is announced the publication of the Dictionary of Living Italian Artists by Angelo De Gubernatis.

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  • Year 1892

    Amos Silvio Gonnelli opens his own antiquarian bookshop in 2 Via dei Servi

    Between the end of the 1800s and the beginning of the 1900s, one of Luigi's sons, Amos Silvio, left his father's business to open his own bookshop in Via dei Servi, near the Duomo Cathedral.

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  • 1900
  • Year 1903

    Ferrante Gonnelli, bookseller-publisher the Futurist Florence

    "Gonnelli was a very intelligent and very fervent bookseller, tall and massive with a big face and a strongly marked profile, kind and austere at the same time, he knew how to gather around himself in the years of the "Voce", "Lacerba" and Futurism the young people of that time who met, as soon as evening fell, in his narrow and rather dark shop, cluttered with books, stacked one on top of the other, from the floor to the ceiling. The idea of ​​the first Florentine exhibition of Futurist paintings was born in this very bookshop, thanks to Ferrante, an excellent, calm yet fervent host".

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  • Year 1911

    Aldo Gonnelli (1894-1971)

    "Aldo Gonnelli followed his father's footsteps while still wearing shorts and was going to school in the triple activity of antiquarian bookseller, publisher, connoisseur of paintings". Giorgio Batini, The antiquarian. Florence: Vallecchi, 1961, p. 69. Aldo Gonnelli, second son of Luigi and Eugenia, took over his family business opon the death of the founder (in 1911) and he traces his activity as an antiquarian bookseller, publisher and connoisseur of paintings. Under his direction, interrupted for a short period during the First World War - her sister Elvira, together with her husband Omero Martelli, will replace him - the bookshop publishes over a hundred sales and auction catalogs.

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  • Year 1913

    Exhibition of Futurist Painting in Ferrante Gonnelli's bookshop

    "In a vacant commercial space in Cavour St., right next to the Gonnelli bookshop," says Viviani, "the exhibition was arranged [...]. The boxes came from London, Paris, Berlin, Milan, Moscow because in those cities the paintings had participated with great success in other exhibitions ».

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  • Year 1913

    Against the sexual morality of Italo Tavolato

    At the expense of Ferrante Gonnelli, Tavolato's work, Against sexual morality, was published, a book that caused a great scandal in Florence and led to the Tavolato trial, later acquitted thanks to its cultural defenders Papini and Marinetti.

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  • Year 1914

    Exhibition of Futurist Sculpture signed by the Futurist painter and sculptor Umberto Boccioni

    In March 1914, the Gonnelli Gallery in Florence hosted the exhibition of Futurist Sculpture by the Futurist painter and sculptor Umberto Boccioni which followed Lacerba's on Futurist Painting held from November 1913 to January 1914.
  • Year 1914

    Canti Orfici by Dino Campana

    "It is a real revelation: Soffici thinks it is the only volume of poetry released this year. Read it ». (Ferrante Gonnelli, December 1914)

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  • Year 1915

    World War I

    The First World War leads to an interruption in the publication of the catalogs: Aldo is enlisted as an officer and we know that he was captured after the defeat of Caporetto and held prisoner in Mauthausen, then managing to repatriate in 1918 before the end of the conflict for an exchange of prisoners. He suffered serious damage to the lungs.

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  • Year 1915

    Lorenzo Gonnelli, realist painter

    In those same years, Renzo (Lorenzo) Gonnelli worked in the bookshop, also returning from the front and disabled by the war experience.

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  • Year 1922

    Personal exhibition of Ottone Rosai

    «One night in 1922 Rosai knocked on the door of my library tragically announcing the death of his father. Words of comfort and immediate decision followed the event. It was necessary to provide for the family by collecting the available works and presenting them for sale to the public.

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  • Year 1923

    The company with Hugh Cecil Brooks and the first Gonnelli logo

    That year marks the entry into the company of Hugh Cecil Brooks, a scholar and bibliophile of English origins who will work alongside Aldo for a few years, until 1928.

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  • Year 1927

    The compendious bibliography of Bodonian Editions by Hugh Cecil Brooks

    A repertory still in use today, the Compendiosa bibliography and the supplement to this, a hitherto unpublished Character Essay by Giambattista Bodoni (Florence: L. Gonnelli & Figli, 1929) represents one of the most important editorial efforts of the Florentine bookseller.

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  • Year 1934

    Giorgio Castelfranco, Modern painting 1860-1930.
    Florence: Luigi Gonnelli publisher, 1934.

    In January 1934 the first important volume of Giorgio Castelfranco, historian and art critic, as well as official for many years of the Administration of Fine Arts in various Italian cities, was published in Florence for the Gonnelli editions.

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  • Year 1939

    Foundation of the Hundred Friends of the Book

    Aldo Gonnelli is one of the founding members of the Hundred Friends of the Book. The association was born in Florence in 1939 from the idea of three amateurs of the beautiful book, Ugo Ojetti, Tammaro De Marinis, Gilberta Serlupi Crescenzi whose intent was to raise the quality of the printing of the Italian book, much decayed, after the achieved splendor. in past centuries.

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  • Year 1940

    Renato Piattoli, Dante's Diplomatic Code.

    Florence: L. Gonnelli and sons bookshop, 1950.

    Written on the continuation and remaking of a work interrupted in 1911 by G. Biagi and G.L. Passerini, the volume contains the edition of all the documents in our possession concerning Dante and his family, included within a chronological-genealogical span of almost three centuries (1131-1417).
  • Year 1944

    Anti-fascist collaboration

    During the Second World War the bookshop became a strategic place, frequented by the militants of the Italian Resistance, who, in order to communicate with each other, hid their messages inside the books.
  • Year 1945

    Enrico Barfucci, Lorenzo de' Medici and the artistic society of his time. Florence: Gonnelli, 1945

  • Year 1947

    The Gonnelli bookshop in the Association of Antiquarian Booksellers

    The establishment of the Association by a qualified elite finally aligned Italy with other European countries: coinciding with the great world development of the antiques market, in the first three years of the Century various national associations of Antiquarian booksellers are born. The first issue of the "Bollettino del Circolo dei Librai Antiquari" gets published: a magazine that hosts short articles of professional interest, useful information for commercial activity.

  • Year 1955

    Relocation to Lungarno delle Grazie

    For two generations the Gonnelli family lived in the rooms adjacent to the library, consistently with the custom of reconciling home and work according to that typical Tuscan saying “uscio e bottega”.

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  • Year 1959

    Gonnellone’s Bookshop

    "Gonnellone's shop has closed ..." this is how friends called Ferrante Gonnelli for his generous size; Ferrante's widow had run the bookshop for another thirty years after the death of the bookseller, a friend of the Futurists and Lacerbians. After her transfer in 1919 from Cavour St., the bookshop founded by Luigi Gonnelli's nephew was forever closing its doors.
  • Year 1963

    An important collection: 19th century painters and other figurative ones. Exhibition sale from 25 June to 31 July 1963 at the Saletta Gonnelli

    Shortly after its opening, the library with an adjacent room, later called "Saletta Gonnelli", immediately became an important meeting place for painters of the "Macchiaioli" art movement and writers of the time. In this very room, painting exhibitions by various generations of artists have been presented, many of whom have gone down in history as great masters of Italian Art in the Twentieth Century, such as Giorgio De Chirico, Primo Conti and Ottone Rosai.
  • Year 1963

    Ottone Rosai exhibition on the 41st anniversary of his 2nd solo show at the Saletta Gonnelli from 6 to 26 March 1963

    «Today, in this vary same room, various paintings by the master are collected by the will of his brother Oreste Rosai, coming directly from his studio, still unpublished, as well as of indisputable authenticity».

    Aldo Gonnelli, 1963
  • Year 1966

    The flood of Florence

    On November 4, 1966, the flood engulfs the city, and with it a large number of works of art.

    The damage to the Gonnelli library and its volumes is severe: numerous photos, taken after the flood, reflect the image of a critical situation for the business.

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  • Year 1971

    Death of Aldo and succession

    "They gave him the office in Santa Croce. In the aerial naves, in the spacious verticality of the Franciscan church, in the face of a secular solemnity, Aldo Gonnelli had what life denied him: an implicit recognition of his merits, in front of the public of friends. […]

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  • Year 1975

    Centenary of the bookshop and birth of the Papyrologica Florentina

    The Papyrologica Florentinadirected by Rosario Pintaudi, were born from the will of Alfiero Manetti who in 1975 wanted to celebrate the centenary of the Gonnelli Antiquarian Bookshop. From 1975 to 2021, 48 volumes have been published.
  • Year 1976

    Centenary of the bookshop and birth of the unpublished documents of Tuscan culture

    Another editorial series, called DICT is added to the Papyrologica Florentina on the occasion of the centenary of the bookshop.
  • Year 1979

    Luigi Zangheri "Pratolino the garden of wonders"

    The first edition, then republished in 1987, of this fundamental contribution to the knowledge and enhancement of this Medicean park, is released. This is, indeed, a wonderful and fascinating place.
  • Years 1990-1991

    Refurbishment of the Library

    A careful restoration, carried out in 1991, brought to light precious architectural testimonies dating back to the 16th century. The stylistic design of the wooden shelving and of the wrought iron structures, handcrafted, in addition to giving a more functional and modern layout of the space, enhance the place while substantially maintaining its historical memory.
  • Year 1992

    Exhibition of the ancient book in Milan

    From 1992 to 2012 the Gonnelli Bookstore participates as an exhibitor at the Exhibition of the Ancient Book of Milan, in the historic location of the Palazzo della Permanente. This was undoubtedly, a market exhibition of the highest level, for the quality of the works presented, for the level of preparation and for the prestige of the exhibitors, coming from all over the world.
  • 2000
  • Year 2000

    Death of Alfiero Manetti and succession

    On 13 September 2000 Alfiero Manetti suddenly died, his thirty-year-old son Marco took over, representing the fourth generation of the family in the management of the bookshop. Thanks to the support of valid "historical" collaborators such as Ivaldo Baglioni, Emanuele Bardazzi and Alessandro Durazzi, Marco faces the management transition and leads the bookstore as it enters the new millennium.
  • Year 2009

    The rebirth of the Auction House

    Until the end of the 1960s, numerous and important auctions of books, manuscripts, paintings, engravings and drawings were held in Saletta Gonnelli.

    After a long pause of almost 50 years, in 2009 the historical activity of book and graphic auctions registered under the Gonnelli Casa d'Aste brand was "reactivated" with great success.
  • Year 2018

    Transfer from Via Ricasoli to Piazza D'Azeglio

    After 140 years, the Gonnelli Antique Bookshop has moved to a new location, more accessible, more functional, more suited to the needs of a business in line with contemporary times. From February 1st of 2018, the new headquarter of Gonnelli Auction House is in 13 Piazza Massimo D’Azeglio, on the premises of a villa built at the end of the 19th Century.
  • Year 2018

    Historical plaque of the Municipality of Florence

    A plaque to celebrate the more than 140 years of activity of the Gonnelli Antique Bookshop and the new headquarters in Piazza D'Azeglio. To deliver it to the owner Marco Manetti were the Mayor of City of Florence, Dario Nardella and the City Councelor for economic development, Cecilia Del Re.

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  • Year 2022

    Transfer to the new headquarters

    From 1 February 2022, the Auction House Gonnelli Antique Bookshop moved to a new location: a former contemporary art gallery, which we bought and renovated to house the historic Florentine bookshop and auction house.

    The choice of a new location is driven not only by the needs of versatile and functional spaces for commercial activities, but also by the desire and need for larger spaces where great things can be achieved, as per ancient tradition.

    Therefore, not only a place where old books are sold, but a place where to set up book displays and art exhibitions, presentations of cultural events, introductory courses to ancient books and art graphics, to continue to give the contribution of “Cultural cenacle”, as the activity of Gonnelli has been defined several times in history.

Historical and archival research carried out by Valentina Zacchi.

Discussion: Zacchi Valentina, Storia e attività della libreria antiquaria Gonnelli (1880 – 1971).
Firenze: Università degli studi di Firenze, 2017.