The Roman Art Company was founded in St. Louis, Missouri, in circa 1905 by Vincenzo Borghesi, his brother, Amerinto Borghesi, and their brother-in-law, Ulisse Barsanti, who was married to the Borhesis’ sister, Pia. The founders immigrated to St. Louis from the town of Bagni di Lucca in the Province of Lucca in the Region of Tuscany, which is famous for the production of statues and figures generally manufactured from Gesso A, a form of chalk.
The Roman Art Company produced a large variety of figurines which depicted religious and other subjects. Roman Art pieces are identified by a small, golden colored paper sticker in the form of a shield, which was glued to the figurine’s base. The sticker provided the company’s name, its St. Louis location, and the catalog number of each piece. Unfortunately, with time, the glue on these stickers tended to dry out and the sticker fell off.
Upon the founders’ deaths, ownership of the company passed to Roy Borghesi, Amerinto’s son. Roy Borghesi died of a heart condition in his early fifties during the mid to late 1960s or early 1970s and the company was sold by his widow, Arnetta Borghesi. The subsequent company discontinued using the name, “Roman Art.”