• Steven Heller

Books Al Dente

Oliver Wood is a London rare book, photograph and archive dealer with a yen for photo books and some graphic design. I found this unique 1934 trade catalog, Catalogo Generale Buitoni, in his recent acquisitions drawer (on his website) and what a find it is (love those pasta shadows); yet little too dear for my fixed income at £750

Buitoni began in 1827 when Giovan Battista Buitoni and his wife Giulia Boninsegni opened a small shop in Sansepolcro. It was their great-grandson Giovanni who was largely responsible for establishing the family name as one of the worlds leading pasta manufacturers. In 1909 at the age of 18, he took over general management of Perugina, a chocolate company which was co-founded by his father a few years earlier. He continued to work for the family businesses and in 1938 he became CEO of both the Perugina and the Buitoni companies. The following year he and his wife, opera singer Letizia Cairone were invited to the United States by Hershey’s. Whilst they were abroad, Italy entered World War II, thus preventing their return home. In response to this change in circumstances they established the Buitoni Foods Corporation, which eventually grew to incorporate factories in Brooklyn and Jersey City, a spaghetti restaurant in Times Square, and a Perugina shop on 5th Avenue.

To contact Mr. Wood email: books@oliverjwood.com

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