In the late 1880’s my great grandfather, Mansueto Chiaroni, immigrated to New Zealand with his brother Ambrogio (Ambrose) Junior.
They were in their early twenties when they left their hometown of Germasino, a small rural village on Lago Di Como in Northern Italy. They went to join their uncle, Ambrogio (Ambrose) Senior, in Dunedin.
Ambrose Senior had established a business in fine art and marble importation, and picture framing in the 1870s.
“A. Chiaroni begs to inform his friends and the public that he has opened his new premises in George Street. AC would respectfully draw the attention of his customers to the fact that the whole of his stock is entirely new, having been recently selected by himself in the best markets in the Home Country.”
This advertisement in the Otago Daily TImes on 4 August 1874 listed items for sale including “drawing room and dining room Gilt Pier Glasses, Chevalier Glasses in walnut and mahogany frames, oil paintings, eleographs and sporting pictures by the best English and Italian artists.”
Eventually Ambrose Senior moved to Timaru and continued the business there. Ambrose Junior took the reigns in Dunedin and Mansueto moved to Invercargill to establish his own business M. Chiaroni & Co. Art Framers, Artists’ Colourmen and Importers.
Ambrose Senior travelled back to Italy twice a year to acquire artworks for the galleries in the three locations. My great grandfather Mansueto never returned to Italy.
Mansueto and Ambrogio Junior were only in their early twenties when they set off on their adventure to build a life, a home and family on the other side of the world.
Welcome to my blog. It’s inspired by Mansueto and his brother Ambrogio. It’s about being brave. It’s about home, family and adventure.
Karen McDonald: email@example.com