MILAN — Gucci announced Friday it has offered to take control of Italy’s historic luxury tableware and ceramics firm Richard Ginori 1735 SpA.

This story first appeared in the April 8, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Gucci has made an offer of 13 million euros, or $17.7 million at current exchange, and pledged to keep 230 employees.

Based in Tuscany’s Sesto Fiorentino, not far from Gucci’s headquarters, and founded in 1735, Richard Ginori, which specializes in handcrafted and decorated porcelain tableware, was declared bankrupt in January. It is understood Gucci is the only company that has offered to help preserve the company. The state court has already accepted the offer, but others can potentially be submitted though a public auction until April 22.

In a statement, Gucci said it plans to launch its own luxury tableware line leveraging the Richard Ginori know-how in the short-medium term. At the same time, it plans to contribute to support the company’s growth in the long term “with the goal to protect and relaunch a historical Florentine brand, synonymous [with] quality and craftsmanship.” This is also in line with Gucci’s efforts to preserve and enhance the Made in Italy production in the world.

Gucci collaborated with Richard Ginori in the late Seventies, and a number of the pieces they created together at the time are on display at the company’s museum in Florence.