The Alessandro Sbordoni Ceramics Company was established in 1910 by Alessandro Sbordoni, who was later awarded the title of Grand Officer. Initially, the production focused on artistic pottery and in the 1920’s was broadened to encompass ceramic sanitary ware. A second manufacturing site was opened in 1925 on Via Flaminia – Civita Castellana, Viterbo – right next to the train station, followed by a third site in the borough of Stimigliano Scalo. This last plant is where the production of the finest “HYGIA VITREX” branded bathroom fixtures took place, while second quality “KRISTALLI” lines were produced at the Civita Castellana site. By 1939, SBORDONI’s fame was so far reaching that it was awarded two historic acknowledgements. The first was a patent released on August 8, 1939 by the Royal House of Savoy to the Civita Castellana manufacturing site for the reproduction of the Savoy coat of arms. With that, the company boasted the appointment as official supplier to the Royal House and was able to affix the insignia of the Royal House above its own company sign. Secondly, the posting of the founder’s name, Alessandro, in the Italian Biographical Encyclopedia, in the section devoted to ceramics manufacturers. That is why the HYGIA VITREX logo featured a stylized Savoy crown.
6 - 6
Initially, traditional manufacturing processes were implemented. Everything was manufactured entirely by hand; molds were coated with fresh clay layers, then assembled, painted and fired in traditional Tuscan wood-fired ovens using wood that arrived from Arezzo via the railway. A widespread public soon applauded the outstanding talent, ability and efforts of the founder, and the company’s excellence was acknowledged by competitors. After World War I, Sbordoni was considered one of the major Italian companies active in the bathroom fixture sector, shedding light on the rising Roman industry.
The expansion of the company was steady and constant. In 1958, the single-member company became a public limited company, masterfully led by the founder’s two sons. These are glorious years for the Sbordoni brand, which becomes the sole supplier of sanitary ware and bathroom fixtures for the Italian national railways and the Orient Express company.
After World War II, the increasing demand from all over Italy and further afield, profitable relationships established with foreign customers, the advancing of new processing techniques and direct competition with other European markets following the opening of the European Common Market, all made it necessary for the company to implement state-of-the-art production systems.
Therefore, the Stimigliano plant went from the manufacture of double fired earthenware to a brand new production technique that saw the use of a prestigious material: vitreous china, notably ceramic glazed with white or colored enamel. The traditional Tuscan vaulted ovens were replaced with continuous cure oil-fired kilns. The brilliant results led the company to acquire a first rank position on the international scene. The Civita manufacturing site, too, was modernized; hot pressing forming techniques were replaced with casting plants, and old wood-fired Tuscan ovens were abandoned for modern, oil-fired kilns.
Today, as in the past, production is strictly executed using artisan manufacturing techniques that marked the success of the company over the decades. The historical lines, such as Fabia, Fausta, Marina, Dora, Alena – exceptional bestsellers the world over beginning in the 1960’s – no longer exist. The current holders of this glorious all-Italian tradition are nonetheless the feathers in the cap of the company production: Neoclassica, Palladio and Masaccio lines, whose unparalleled original design still testifies to the talent of Alessandro Sbordoni, who conceived them in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Sbordoni is indeed an illustrious brand, which Sanitosco is honored to present in a completely new key.