Antonino De Simone

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of the National Historic Archive

Precious Mediterranean coral

Precious Mediterranean coral

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The origin of coral has been lost in the mists of legend for centuries.

 

It is not a plant, even though it has branches, and as André Peyssonnel, a doctor from Marseilles, discovered only early in the 18th century, it is not even a mineral, even though it is petrified.

It is in fact the calcareous secretion of a polyp pcolony.

Red Mediterranean coral fascinated all those people who came into contact with it, creating particular links among them, based on its recognized wonder powers.

 

Torre del greco coral

Since 1400 Torre del Greco has been known as a centre for specialists devoted to the art of coral fishing.

Its famous fishermen were so adept at their craft that they ventured as far as the African coasts with their small boats called “coralline”.

Unfortunately their life was made very difficult in the 18th century, due to the dangers of being attacked by Arab pirates and the rivalry and friction with the French Compagnie Royale d’Afrique, who was trying to impose a monopoly on coral fishing.

As a result, in 1780 coral fishers from Torre asked the Bourbon government for more protection and regulation for their industry, and this petition led to the official publication of the “ Coral Code” in 1790.

 

Since then the history of coral in Torre del Greco grows intertwined with the history of De Simone ‘s family in fact an ancestor of his probably worked as an apprentice at Martin’s factory and later in 1830 set up his own business , the same we refer to when we write about our origins.