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Basilio Liverino

The Fable


The beginning sounds like a fable. There is also a king in the tale.
The time is set at the end of the last century and the king is visiting a military base in Sardinia; suddenly a sailor from the guard of honor steps out of the ranks and kneels in front of him.
<<Your majesty>>, says the young man all in one breath and in Neapolitan dialect, <<I'm not twenty yet but have a wife and two children and I have been working coral since I was seven and now I have a small workshop in Torre del Greco and my wife can't manage to keep it working and if your majesty doesn't send me back home l'll be ruined and my children will starve to death.>>
Impressed and amused, as in all fables, the king has him discharged from the navy and sent home again. Basilio Liverino returns to Torre del Greco and to his work, buys a "corallina" - boat for the collection of coral - and sets up all that's needed to develop the firm.
Today, in the troubled 1994, the company celebrates its hundred years of life; and again there's a Basilio Liverino doing his military service in the navy.
It's the fifth generation of a dynasty of coral craftsmen, which has done more than its share to build the legend of Torre del Greco. When his military service is over he'll be off to Taiwan and Japan to gain experience and then learn the skill from his father Vincenzo, his grandfather Basilio, his great-grandfather Vincenzo and great-great-grandfather Basilio.
If he has a son he'll have no trouhle in choosing a name.
The Basilio Liverino firm has decided to underline its centenary without much fuss, almost with discretion.
There'll be a graphic reminder on all letter heads and on business cards, an exhibition of artistic corals at Vicenzaoro called "The King of the Sea" and, with the backing of the Club degli Orafi, an exhibition of Neapolitan and Torre del Greco pieces from the 19th century in the windows of the Ambroveneto Bank in Vicenza during the months of July and August.