THE BEGINNINGS OF THE HISTORIC MAZZOLINI GIUSEPPUCCI PHARMACY
The history of the Mazzolini pharmacy is not only a history of a building but is tightly entangled within the history of the local community, a community who over the decades chose the pharmacy not only as reference point for health and medicine but also as a meeting place for intellectual, scientific, political and masonic associations.
Already in the 1800’s the Mazzolini family had been long established in Fabriano, each generation entering the profession of the pharmacist.
Ermogaste Mazzolini (1849-99), son of Perseo, grew up among chemistry stills, mortars, medications and spices, and breathed both the air of overwhelming political turmoil of that century which led to the unification of Italy and the explosion of experimental science which quickly transformed the quality of life.
The family pharmacy had been in the historical centre for decades along the Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, a busy thoroughfare and already considered by many doctors and citizens as their trusted pharmacy.
Ermogaste was not only a competent professional but also a scientist and intellectual, deeply involved in the town’s cultural and political activities. This is the reason why, a strong fellowship developed with the Perugian sculptur Adolfo Ricci, the newly nominated Professor of Engraving at the Professional School of Arts and Crafts, both men were fierce patriots and Freemasons. Together they would give birth to a spectacular project.
Between 1895 and 1896, Ermogaste decided to renovate his pharmacy and commissioned Adolfo to decorate all the interiors, with the ambition of transforming the pharmacy into a monument dedicated to the progress of science and its protagonists.
The pharmacy became Ricci’s masterpiece: the entire area – walls, ceiling and counter – was decorated with maple and ebony wood carvings, using various techniques (from Ronde-Bosse to Bas-Relief) to represent scientific progress between the XVIII and XIX centuries in a series of portraits and allegoric figures. The symbolism conveyed by Ricci’s engravings transformed the pharmacy into a secular monument, in a small provincial town like Fabriano historically subject to the power of the Pope.
The pharmacy had its own Galenic laboratory for the preparation of medicines, endowed with a very representative range of chemical ingredients, of which fortunately an important legacy remains to this day stored in a unique collection of ceramic vases and containers that Ermogaste commissioned from Ginori di Doccia.
Over the years, the Mazzolini family followed closely all the progress in modern medicine and the changes brought by the modern pharmaceutical industry. In 1932 the family pharmacy was sold and for the next 20 years it changed owners several times until 1954, when the Giuseppucci family bought it.
The Giuseppucci family continued both the sale of industrial pharmaceutical products and the artisan Galenic production up until 1982 when they moved to a new premise while maintaining the ownership of the historical pharmacy and started a new phase in it’s long history.
In 2010, the ancient pharmacy Mazzolini Giuseppucci has been carefully restored by the third generation of Giuseppucci’s pharmacist and reopened to the general public as “a museum of itself”, representing the family’s attachment to this noble tradition, to this historic landmark and finally the revival of the family tradition of artisan production, with the launch of a new line of natural and organic cosmetics: “1896 Science and Nature”.