April 2022 – I was very pleased to receive an email from Brenda Little nee Menesini, Leo’s daughter. How happy am I?! Big thanks to Brenda for providing me more information on the family.
Click here for the Menesini collection and information on Lorenzo and Leo Menesini is below.
Lorenzo Menesini was born 25 August 1910 in Lucca, Italy and a Home Office certificate (R1/10459) granted on 30 September 1953. There is also a Home Office reference of M 84190. At the age of 1, the Menesini family emigrated to the USA. Lorenzo had a sister, Delia, but she never left Italy.
Leo David Menesini was born 10 December 1910 in Rochester, USA. He moved to Scotland and in 1943 married Alda Barsotti and some time later, Brenda was born. There is a Home Office certificate number (R1/9722) that was produced on 15 May 1953 (Note: it incorrectly states that Leo was born 1912!). The family eventually moved back to Italy.
Menesini as a business was registered at 21 Pickering Street, London N1, with the family living outside of London. All the design and building of the pieces was done by Leo and Lorenzo with pieces being registered between April 1954 and May 1959.
In August 1959, Leo Menesini applied for the registration of the piece – Standing lady by Menesini – Reg 894287. For this he used the address 15, Corsham Street, London N1. He does not use the old address, which continues to be used by Lorenzo, again who registered a number of table lamps and ornaments between August 1959 and March 1960.
Brenda tells me that she remembers helping out at work by putting a sticker on the base of the pieces made which said “Made and Designed by Leo”. Has anyone got a piece with this on it?
I understand from Brenda that the business did not last long and the brothers went their separate ways. Leo continued with ornaments, however, and also designed and built garden ornaments (see below). The cat is certainly a design that has been copied many times since.
And Brenda also tells me that the pieces the Menesini brothers made were sold at Littlewoods in the UK as well as up and down the country. The hunt is on for an old catalogues as we speak!
Leo Menesini died in 1985 in the district of Waltham Forest, London.