This is an informational website about cymbals made in Italy during the middle part of the Twentieth Century. I am collecting information, researching, the significance of the different symbols. To the extent that I don’t find them well described in English, I hope to generate language to make them significant. Work remains in developing the calculus of how to tell the Italian cymbals apart.
Vintage Italian cymbals were produced by a collective: the “Union of Italian Cymbal Manufacturers” (Italian: Unione Fabbricanti Italiani Piatti). UFIP was formed by 5 Italian cymbal makers in 1931, in Pistoia, Tuscany (Italy). “Est. 1847” refers to the time when Luigi Tronci’s great-grandfather started making church bells.
This stamp is from a cymbal purchased in 1958.
Most old UFIP cymbals were sold through secondary distributors (see below). Some include round “Made in Italy” stamps: engraved stamp | round ink-stamp | square ink-stamp. These most always be traced back, one way or another, to Tuscany.
|15″ UFIP hi-hat (800 grams). Very distinctive hammering. The old UFIP cymbals are rotocast, hand-hammered, B20 cymbals.|
Below, you’ll find several “stencil brands” that UFIP produced for drum manufacturers, several of which try to appear Turkish in origin.
Stanople (1930s – 1960s)
Stanoples were not made in Constantinople, Turkey. They were made in Italy, and they were stamped “Made in Italy“. They were distributed by the Leedy Drum Company.
Zenjian (1940s – 1960s)
Zanchi F&F (1947-1970s)
|The Zanchi brothers were 2 of the original 5 cymbal manufacturers who started UFIP in 1931. In 1947 Fiorello Zanchi started his own operation in Pistoia. The “F & F” stands for Fiorello & Figli (thus it means: “Fiorello Zanchi and Sons”). One of the first line of cymbals produced by Zanchi was called “Vibra”.|
20″ Zanchi ride.
In the mid-1970s the company changed the spelling of their brand to “Zanki” (see below).
Pasha (1950s – 1960s)
|A Pasha cymbal stamp, reportedly from the 1960s, produced by UFIP. The Cymbal Book says that these were distributed by Trophy Music in Cleveland, Ohio.|
I was told this stamp is from the 1960s, which would follow the trend of many other cymbal lines moving toward ink stamping later rather than sooner.
* Today, Pasha cymbals are back on the market! Their website claims they come from a “Turkish” factory! Though this Italian drummers’ website claims Pasha currently has a factory in Abruzzo (200 km southeast of Tuscany, but still in Italy).
|Kashian cymbals were made by UFIP for Slingerland between the 1960s and the 1980s, from B20 bronze. There were also several “economy” cymbals made by machines and from inexpensive metals.|
Made in Italy
|The Italian wikipedia page says that Zanchi changed the spelling to Zanki in the 1970s because he was tired of non-Italians misprouncing the name. It also explains that the cymbals were cast traditionally, though for a brief period the company tried rotocasting. These cymbals were reportedly marked “Zanki Rotocasting”.|
Tosco (1974 – 1985)
|Roberto Spizzichino made handmade cymbals in Tuscany from 1980 to 2011. He formally left UFIP in 1986. His early cymbals were ink-stamped “Spizz”. He used B20 bronze, both Chinese and Turkish Alloy cymbals are out there, in several distinct cymbal styles. Mainly jazz rides. Roberto Spizzichino died on November 22, 2011. He was 67 years old.|
|Spizzichino cymbals are in a class of their own. It is worth your while to web research this guy and the information about cymbal production that he left behind.|