Before entering the unique studio for luxury articles, you may gasp at the snow-capped majesty of the Vitosha Mountains.
Once you are inside, where they fashion unique items using classical technology, you will notice something else: the feeling of peace and happiness in the family that greets you.
Zografov & Son is a family company: Nikolay Zografov, his wife, Titsiana and their son Lyubomir with his wife Boryana. The whole family has an enthusiastic and somewhat impatient air; typical of people who do what they love and who have never thought that it could be any other way.
A total of five people work in the studio. They design, create, certify and pack luxury vessels and gifts made of precious metals and selected wood from all around the world.
The foundations of the family business were laid in 1991 with the desire to create items somewhere between wrought copper and jewellery, says Nikolay, who comes from an old craftsman family with roots in Greece. The beginning proved to be rather difficult.
Today, the company is well-known among Bulgarian lovers of unique handmade objects and among the protocol departments of the state administrations, because their works are so suitable presents for important guests.
Lyubomir mentioned that their products are owned by people like Bill Clinton, Vladimir Putin, the Kazakh President Nazarbayev, the Prince of Monaco, the Ecumenical Patriarch, Bulgarian former presidents, high-level priests from all over the country, a Jordanian Sheikh, whose name must be kept secret - and the family of the former tsar and Prime Minister, Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.
Clients are important to the image of any company, but the Zografovs are not the kind of people to boast. We believe true passion lies in the DNA of every real craftsman.
This is how Lyubomir describes it:
'Every item we make bears our seal. In 100-200 years’ time, that seal will still be there. Our name will live on in the future and will be connected with something beautiful and unique.'
It is this kind of immortality, transcending evil and transience, which explains the passion of the true craftsman.
To create a unique emotion for your nearest and dearest or to reward your business partner, the desire to leave something for your children, for their children, even for people in hundreds of years, is an irreplaceable feeling and a strong motivation.
The silver and gold-plated phiales, jugs and glasses from the Rogozen treasure, the golden mask of the Dalakova mound, the crown, the kylix and the jugs from Golyama Kosmatka inspire the family and they create their own souvenir replicas.
Zografov & Son have signed copyright contracts with museums where treasures are kept, which entitle them to reproduce the originals in a creative manner. 'We do not make copies - we make objects that are real; that can be used in everyday life', say the artists.
It turns out that quite a few people would like to feel the emotion that guided the hands and minds of the ancient Thracian craftsmen. There is keen interest from abroad as well as within Bulgaria.
'Sometimes, our clients learn about us from our seal at the bottom of each item. For example, a man from the Netherlands ordered gold objects from us online - a wreath and a kylix for his parents' golden wedding anniversary (an interesting story that they promised to share with me next time we meet) - a replica of the Golyama Kosmatka wreath which is unique in the world, says Titsiana.
She also showed us exquisite silver jugs with gold-plated elements that resemble those of the Rogozen treasure. 'Our vessels are made of sheet material, following a technology close to the one used by ancient craftsmen, which will allow them to be used for millennia.'
Depending on the order, the company can produce either silver-coated or solid silverware. The object's value can increase many times; it can be used for hundreds of years, it may serve as an investment or even be used for healing purposes, as silver has a proven impact in this area.
It is extremely difficult and time-consuming to work with noble metals, especially with solid silver. The production of just one vessel can take anything from 4 to 15 days, depending on the material used and the complexity of the workmanship.
Yet, the studio can produce up to 200 items a month - as was the case with the creation of sets to mark the European Presidency of Bulgaria. It meant freezing other orders and working from early morning to late at night. The order also included the manual production of the expensive boxes with inserts, as well as metal plaques with a handwritten message - a Zografov trademark personal gesture to each client.
Finally, each item receives a certificate, and the box is sealed with an excise stamp.
In view of the materials used, the exceptional craftsmanship and the overall uniqueness of the objects, Zografov & Son is definitely a luxury brand. Lubomir admitted that there are clients who merely want to have a unique object to remind them of a special occasion in life - a wedding, a baptism or a significant birthday.
Whether the gifts are for themselves, for their colleagues, loved ones, or are to be presented on official occasions to especially important people - these items are memories and emotions. 'Our clients always start from this point of view. Because these are not everyday objects and, even if they were, they would be part of an extraordinary lifestyle...'
Nikolay, in turn, would like it if people appreciated handmade crafts more and were aware that, in many cases, their precious metal object could outlive them. 'Few people appreciate that the unique craftsmanship and the spirit the artist puts into it can last forever', he says. ‘As they get older, people begin to realise that life may be short, but such objects will remain... And so we write, on the bottoms of the silver cups, messages to their child or grandchild... '
To my question as to whether they have competition in the country, the Zografovs reply in unison, 'None in Bulgaria.'
Who are they competing with then? 'We are competing with ourselves, and our goal is to make better and better products.'
At “Zografov and Son”, we aim to simplify and enhance the gift selection process, making it both easy and enjoyable. Whether you are searching for the ideal gift for a loved one or a corporate event, we have a rich variety of options that will impress every taste and preference. Should you desire, we are available to provide consultations and assistance in choosing the most suitable gift for your specific occasion.
Could you guess what Angelina Jolie, Grandmaster Anatoly Karpov, Klaus Meine from ‘Scorpions’, the Austrian skydiver and daredevil Felix Baumgartner (who jumped from the ‘edge’ of the cosmos), Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Albert II and the presidents Georgi Parvanov, Bronislaw Komorowski, Nursultan Nazarbayev, Bill Clinton and Vladimir Putin all have in common? They all own an art piece by Zografov & Son, the Bulgarian family enterprise for luxury presents made of noble metals, spreading the name of their country around the world.
The Bulgarian brand is a byword for exquisite pieces of beauty, style and uniqueness Silver cups, vessels of exotic woods, replicas of Thracian treasures: for over 30 years, the luxury items with the brand Zografov have been the best choice to make gifts that impress, inspire and speak of beauty, power and craftsmanship.
A client asked us once, ‘Which wooden whiskey cup should I choose? You have various types of wood, colour and metal - silver or gold plating. Which combination would be best for me?’ The answer depends on many factors: what wood you like, what colour would fit best to the setting in which the cup will be, etc. etc.
Walnut is a broadleaf tree widely distributed in the Balkans. Whiskey cups made of walnut have a rich, dark colour and a smooth texture that feels comfortable in the hand. The combination of materials, the warm and natural beauty of the walnut and the soft shine of the gold, attracts attention, magically enhancing the aesthetic, adding a touch of luxury and sophistication.
Cherry whiskey cups have a warm, inviting look and are often used for special occasions. The combination with gold or silver accents completes the aesthetics of the wood.
The preference of the colours and the wood from which the cups are made depends on our current mood. Just like listening to music or our desire to go out and meet friends or stay at home with our favourite drink depends on our current state of mind.
Most people like to make a unique and remarkable gift. They are looking for one that makes the recipient feel special. An item which can relate to a memory of a friend or an important moment in someone's life, a gift made of quality materials, which will not be put on the shelf and forgotten, but will be given a special place so that it can always remind, who gave it.
The special day of a loved one, a friend, a relative or a colleague is approaching. You have chosen a wonderful present from 'Zografov & Son'. It comes in luxurious packaging and a beautiful branded envelope, ready to be presented. You are happy and you think that the preparations for the event are complete. But do you know how important it is to add a personal message to your present?
If you wish, we can take care of your items. Give us a call and we will not only restore the silverware, but we will also apply an additional gold coating. The fee for the service is negotiable. Thus, you will have your favourite cup or jug in its original state once again.
In this article, we will tell you what the different types of trees symbolize, how wooden items are made, and in what package you will receive them from our studio. This will help you choose the most suitable ones for you or for the person you want to give them to.
According to recent research by American biologists and epidemiologists, silver is able to cope with new viruses and bacteria, unlike most known antibiotics and antiseptics. It is therefore no surprise that silver water is set to become an antibacterial miracle.
When you want to surprise your loved one, friend or colleague for their celebration, you could give them something original, memorable, personal and luxurious - something unique. The gratitude you will see in their eyes will make you happy.
We at 'Zografov & Son' offer you luxurious gifts, full of spirit, emotion and sentiment which, we promise you, cannot be found anywhere else! CHOOSE A PRECIOUS GIFT What gift to choose for a 50th birthday?
It is interesting and remarkable how much history and how many artifacts there are in a territory as small as Bulgaria. During each excavation, archaeologists find a piece of the life of our ancestors. We are a nation with a rich past, and that is priceless. All these discoveries made by archaeologists are changing scientists' perceptions of the oldest centers of human civilization. The historical artifacts prove that a civilization flourished on the territory of Bulgaria long before the Hellenic one. A culture existed which created items of high artistic value.
‘There are two very real reasons to buy business gifts that are not necessarily warm and fuzzy. One is obviously to thank someone for their business for the year. The other is to make sure you remain top of mind, and to get your name in front.’
If you have the chance to visit the museum in Vratsa, you will come upon an incredible sight: dozens of small dishes, placed in special chambers, as if telling you their own story. Their splendid detail sparkles in the dark, and we can only marvel at how they were made by the ancient craftsmen
Did you know that there are people who prefer their name days to their birthdays? Our name day symbolizes the energy that is encoded in our name. It is part of our individuality and, like the birthday, defines us in the world. Even if we regard this day as a celebration of many people with the same name, it is also an occasion to unite with them and experience a common emotion of the positive energy and good wishes we receive. When choosing a name day present, you need to bear in mind the following....
When 26 years ago Nikolay Zografov decided to dedicate himself to his fine art, he did not anticipate that years later his creations would belong to presidents, diplomats, aristocrats, artists, and famous personalities from around the world. His talented hands sculpt perfect compositions from noble metals and exotic wood, transforming objects into true works of art.
Lubomir Zografov to Bulevard.bg - about the inherited craft of creating gifts for connoisseurs, the Holy Grail as inspiration, and the skill to impress even Bill Clinton