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Lithea Company’s new natural stone collection refers to the Byzantine Empire

Lithea, Elena Salmistraro: Maniace.Lithea, Elena Salmistraro: Maniace.

The Sicilian Enterprise ties its interior décor objects to ancient Mediterranean cultures

One of natural stone’s distinguishing factors is its inherent ability to transport history and stories. Sicily-based Lithea Company has perfected the art. The designer collection goes by the name „Mediterranean Grafts“ („Innesti Mediterranei“), as it has for some years.

Lithea works with designers who have „special ties“ to the Sea joining Europa, Africa and Asia according to a press-release.

Last year designers were inspired by antique household objects.

In the 2019 collection designers refer to lore from all around the Mediterranean, particularly from the Byzantine Empire.

Designer Elena Salmistraro has named her side-tables Maniace and Calafato.

Their story dates back to 1040 A.D. and is obscure to say the least. So, as is often the case where stories are handed down from generation to generation by word of mouth, embellishments are acceptable: Maniace (Georgios Maniake) was a massively built General in the Byzantine Army. He was entrusted with the task of cleansing Sicily of Arabs. Stefano Il Calafato, a boat-maker, was of slim build and joined Maniace’s army.

The endeavor was a military success, at first. But strategic mistakes were made and soon problems arose between the two culminating in an embittered struggle.

The rendition evolves along the way on desert treks or at sea until finally it can be told at the port tavern or caravanserai with all the trimmings.

Lithea, Elena Salmistraro: CalafatoThe designer expressed the story in two side-tables. They have much in common, but each is distinct. Both are built in the Byzantine style with rich décor natural stone and metal.
Coffee table Maniace (photos on top), dimensions: cm 110x50x62h, materials: iron structure varnished with an opaque black powder, brass sheet base with satin finish / double top in bianco fenice stone honed finish and nero portoro marble polished finish / vertical element in bianco fenice stone honed finish with grafts in nero portoro marble, malachite, pink quartz and brass.
Coffee table Calafato, dimensions: cm 60x50x62h, materials: iron structure varnished with an opaque black powder, brass sheet base with satin finish / double top in calacatta marble polished finish and pietra pece stone honed finish / vertical element in bas-relief of calacatta marble with grafts in malachite and brass.

Lithea, Elena Salmistraro: Theodora.The dressing table is named after Empress Theodora. She, too, is the subject of many a story, some freely invented.
Teodora, dimensions: cm 118x51x155h, materials: solid wood structure opaque black lacquered, solid wood turned, and opaque white lacquered and iron sheet varnished with an opaque black powder / top in bianco fenice stone honed finish / mirror stainless steel mirrors with bianco fenice stone decoration with grafts in precious stones (lapislazzuli, pink quartz) and copper sheet.

Byzas, Sikelia and Hagia are the names of three wall tiles from the collection. Byzas in Greek lore was the son of Poseidon and founder of the byzantine empire, Sikelia was the name of the sea surrounding Sicily and Hagia means holy. Here, too, the designer based her work on various Byzantine Mosaics replicated with natural stone.

Lithea, Elena Salmistraro: Bzyzas.Byzas, dimensions: single tile cm 30x8x2, material: bas-relief in bianco Carrara marble, hexagons in pink marble polished finish, rhombus in pietra pece honed finish and copper strip satin finish.

Lithea, Elena Salmistraro: Sikelia.Sikelia, dimensions: single tile cm 14x14x2, material: bas-relief in calacatta marble, circles in verde alpi marble polished finish, triangle in copper feet satin finish.

Lithea, Elena Salmistraro: Hagia.Hagia, dimensions: single tile cm 30x12x2, material: tiles in pietra pece and bianco fenice stone honed finish, circles in pink marble polished finish, rectangle in Azul Macauba polished finish and copper strip satin finish.
 

Lithea, Martinelli Venezia Studio: Tarsie Geometriche.„Tarsie Geometriche“ is the name, Studio Martinelli Venezia gave his drafts for floor and wall tiles. Lava from Mount Etna embellished with geometric patterns was implemented. Tarsie Geometriche. Dimensions: single slab cm 112x64x2, materials: inlaid volcanic stone, geometric decoration with red enamel and resin, honed finish.

Volcano Etna, active to this day: what a rich pool for myths and legends. Hephaistos (Vulcanus), e.g., who fanned the fire whenever his wife Aphrodite (Venus) was galivanting with other men, or the tsunami in the Mediterranean which supposedly took place some 8000 years ago when a mountainside broke off and plunged into the Sea, or the eruption of 1669 when molten lava crept unhindered toward Catania…

Lithea, Martinelli Venezia Studio: VasesLithea, Martinelli Venezia Studio: Vases.The „Etna Collection“ is made of lava for furniture and various vases.

Lithea

Elena Salmistraro

Martinelli Venezia Studio

Foto: Antonino Bartuccio

Styling: Paolo Gagliardi

Lithea, Martinelli Venezia Studio: Coffee tables.Low coffee table, dimensions: cm 67,5x41x40h
materials: iron structure varnished with an opaque black powder, top in volcanic stone honed finish.
High coffee table, dimensions: cm 47x47x61h
materials: iron structure varnished with an opaque black powder, top in volcanic stone honed finish.

Lithea, Martinelli Venezia Studio: Cornel, stool.Cornel, dimensions: cm 42x42x125h, materials: iron structure varnished with an opaque black powder, tops in volcanic stone honed finish.
Stool, dimensions: cm 40×44,5x45h, materials: iron structure varnished with an opaque black powder, top in engraved volcanic stone honed finish.

Elena Salmistraro.Carolina Martinelli and Vittorio Venezia.

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(11.06.2019, USA: 06.11.2019)