The Municipality of Nove is a commune of about 4.940 inhabitants situated in the north east part of Veneto Region.
The origin, the economic life and the history of the village are closely linked to the Brenta River, which flows at the East side of the village and for its whole length. Part of this village was founded on the drifts and river stones, as a result of the overflows (the so called "brentane") and the deviation of the river itself. The current square and the east part of the village were once part of the wide riverbed.
The characteristics of the place favored many craft activities which exploited the driving force of water.
The Terrae Novae (news lands) anciently were owned by the close Municipality of Marostica, which later gave them to new families interested in settling there.
In the 14th century some families already lived there. The most ancient family is the Tomasoni family who owned cultivated land and exploited the water of a ditch for the running of a mill wheel and a saw to cut timber. This was the starting point of a pre-industrial activity that create wealth and many settlements.
Around 1443 Nove obtained the independence from Marostica for what concerns the organization of the religious life. In 1453 the inhabitants started to build a church dedicated to the Apostle Saint Peter. Nove became an independent parish the 4th December 1453.
In 1602 Nove, which had become an active and prosperous centre, asked for the separation from Marostica: this independence lasted just 30 years. In 1632 the two communities rejoined. In 1701 Nove finally obtained the administrative autonomy from Marostica.
The ceramics tradition
Nove is well-known at national and international level for its ancient ceramics tradition due to its good geographical position and the creativity of its inhabitants.
In pre-industrial times the Brenta river and the minor waterways helped the village to take off, giving to different activities driving force and raw materials for local building and for ceramics. It was relevant the transport of wood from the mountains to the plain through the river, because the wood was necessary for the working of the kilns for the ceramics production. Moreover the current of the river was exploited for the working of the mills to crush the stones for the production of earthenware and majolica.
The first important production dates back to the beginning of the 18th century with the Antonibon manufactory: in 1722 Giovanni Battista Antonibon obtained the licence to built a new mill for the crushing of the stones and grinding of the colours and in 1728 he began the manufacturing of earthenware and fine majolica.
In the 18th century the Antonibon manufacture was considered the most qualified and prosperous ceramics industry of the Veneto Region. The Antonibon manufacture included also the so called "deft design" (white and light blue majolica): consequently the importation of majolica from Deft in Holland diminished.
In 1732 the Antonibon family had the opportunity to open a shop in Venezia too. Thanks to Giovanni Battista's son, Pasquale, the Antonibon manufacture reached high production levels between 1740 and 1754. Around 1752 Pasquale Antonibon started a new experimentation for the production of porcelain and in 1762 he obtained the licence to produce porcelain. From 1782 to 1802, under the management of Giovanni Maria Baccin - who bought the whole Antonibon production - in the factory great artist were working, such as the modeler Domenico Bosello and the painter Giovanni Marcon.
The Antonibon family returned to manage the ancient family manufacture from 1825 till the end of the nineteenth century: the production was concentrated above all on pottery characterized by simpler forms and decorations, so that they could produce low-costs products in a period of serious economic stagnation.
In the nineteenth century Nove was famous for having given birth to renowned artists such as the neoclassical sculptor Giuseppe De Fabris (1790 - 1860), who bestowed his wealth on charitable works and for the promotion of schools for the religious-artistic education of the youth of Nove.
The Antonibon manufacture availed itself of talented artists such as the sculptors Girolamo Bortotti and Giuseppe Lorenzoni, "the father and the master of everybody in Nove" Bortolo Cavazzon, the delicate creator of flowers Edoardo Tommasi and the painter Antonio Bianchi.
At that moment the Mayor of Nove, Pasquale Antonibon (1828 -1905) carried out the will of the sculptor De Fabris, founding the so, called "Opera Pia" and the Drawing School applied to ceramics (1875). Since 1881 the school received awards at various national exhibitions. In this school of drawing, which later became "De Fabris Royal School of Art", generations of ceramists and artists were educated, ceramists who found a job in the local manufactories. In 1896 the secular Antonibon manufacture closed.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, a young generation found the way for the renewal: the way of the modeler Demetrio Primon, of the sculptor Antonio Zen, of the partners Zanolli, Zarpellon and Sebellin.
After 1955 the electricity arrived in the factories for the heating of the ceramic kilns, so that craftsmen abandoned the old factories, the mills, the sawmills and the hammers. Even the trunks stopped flowing on the Brenta river. In the mid of twentieth century Nove was well-known for its artistic and luxury ceramics industries, thanks also to the foreign trade and the opening of new international markets.