Flavio Santos - Joalheria Adamo: a maior da América do Sul

Joalheria Adamo: a maior da América do Sul

Fruto do esforço e da perseverança do italiano Umberto Adamo, com a ajuda de seu irmão Eugênio, sua joalheria foi sinônimo de requinte na antiga capital da República e um dos símbolos da Belle Époque carioca. Umberto chegou ao Brasil ainda jovem, no final do século XIX, apenas com o ofício de relojoeiro. Tudo começou em Minas Gerais, na cidade de Uberaba, região do Triângulo Mineiro, onde se instalou, provavelmente em 1885, e abriu uma pequena oficina de relojoeiro na rua do comércio, n.o 49.

Vitrines da Adamo da rua do ouvidor. Revista Fon Fon. 1915. Acervo da BNRJ

Em 1909, Adamo resolveu abrir uma loja na capital do Brasil. Registrou sua firma na Junta Comercial do Rio em outubro, a Umberto Adamo & Cia, e abriu sua luxuosa casa no número 98 da rua do ouvidor. O lugar escolhido era um dos melhores, o ponto comercial da antiga joalheria Worms & Irmãos, em frente à casa Torre Eiffel. A rua do ouvidor foi a rua mais elegante do Rio de Janeiro até a abertura da moderna avenida central, em 1904, o que fez o comércio de luxo migrar para nova artéria.

Um dos concursos da Adamo. Jogo de toilette. Jornal Gazeta de Notícias. 1915. Acervo da BNRJ

Entretanto, por 10 anos, na loja da velha rua ouvidor, a Madame, o dândi e o cavalheiro poderiam encontrar o que havia de melhor em Paris, Londres e Viena, fruto das viagens recorrentes de Umberto e seu irmão Eugênio: serviços de chá, de toilette, feito de casco de tartaruga, bomboniere confeccionada em prata e esmalte, relógios de algibeira, joias finas, troféus, pérolas, pedras preciosas, objetos de arte em mármore e bronze, carteiras de couro e ouro de lei, pendentifs etc.

Reinauguração da Adamo na rua do ouvidor. Jornal Gazeta de Notícias. 1930. Acervo da BNRJ

Umberto manteve a loja de Uberaba, tinha uma filial na rua de São Bento, n.o 25, em São Paulo, sob comando do irmão Eugênio e outra em Paris, na rua Lafayette, n.79. A casa do Rio estava no mesmo patamar de luxo das concorrentes de São Paulo, de Buenos Aires ou da rue de la Paix, de Paris. Nos anos seguintes, Umberto Adamo ampliou e melhorou a sede carioca, inaugurando o relógio da fachada do prédio, em fevereiro 1914, conseguindo ofuscar as novidades que vinham da avenida Rio Branco.

Propaganda na revista Careta. 1914. Acervo da BNRJ

A joalheria já praticava o hábito de distribuir mimos. O gesto era retribuído com agradecimentos nas páginas dos periódicos. Umberto tinha o bom hábito de participar de ações beneficentes, como na campanha para construção do Retiro dos Jornalistas, que seria erguido em Heliópolis, em 1915, obra do então presidente da ABI, João Guedes de Melo.

Loja da Avenida Rio Branco esquina com rua da Assembleia. Revista Careta. 1920. Acervo da BNRJ

A grande vitrine da casa era ponto de encontro, servia de local de exposição de troféus – em sua maioria confeccionados nas oficinas da Adamo – dos concursos carnavalescos, das batalhas de confete entre carros de corso, dos campeonatos esportivos e do Derby Club. Em março de 1924 foi organizado o grande Match Internacional de Xadrez Argentina-Brasil, promovido pelo jornal Correio da Manhã e realizado no Clube de Xadrez Guanabara. O detalhe é que os lances do team portenho eram transmitidos pelo cabo de telégrafo Rio-Buenos Aires da firma All America Cables, intermediada pelas linhas instaladas no salão de eventos pela Companhia Telephonica do Rio de Janeiro. A casa Adamo ofereceu um troféu de prata de lei, a Taça Adamo.

Interior do 1.o andar da Adamo da avenida Rio Branco. Revista Vida Doméstica. 1924. Acervo da BNRJ

Os malandros do Rio de Janeiro também adoravam a Joalheria Adamo, local onde se poderia comprar um colar de brilhantes pelo preço de cem contos de réis. Em 1914, um sujeito “bem trajado” pediu para ver algumas joias, nada comprou, mas levou várias pra casa. Anos depois, um cidadão trocou um anel de platina com brilhante por outro, falso. Em outra ocasião, um ladrão tentou negociar um colar de pérolas, os funcionários desconfiaram da procedência e a polícia foi acionada.

Interior da Joalheria Adamo da rua do ouvidor. 1913. Jornal A Época. Acervo da BNRJ.

A joalheria resistiu o quanto pode aos encantos e novidades da avenida Rio Branco, mas em outubro de 1919, Umberto Adamo arrendou por 10 anos, pelo aluguel de 6 contos e luvas de 300, o antigo prédio da Pharmacia Orlando Rangel, na avenida Rio Branco n.o 140, esquina com rua da assembleia. Na tarde do dia 31 de agosto, os fregueses, transeuntes e curiosos puderam apreciar a fachada do andar térreo em mármore negro e as grandes vitrines com espelhos e cristais, todas recheadas de joias, utensílios e obras de arte. Aos convidados foi oferecida uma “rodada” de champanhe e os jornalistas foram só elogios em suas crônicas, mostrando que a abertura da nova casa era a prova do progresso contínuo da antiga capital.

Inauguração do novo relógio da fachada na Adamo na rua do Ouvidor. 1914. Jornal Correio da Noite. Acervo da BNRJ

Se a casa suportou bem o aumento de preços dos produtos europeus durante a Primeira Guerra Mundial, quando se comprava jóias em francos, o mesmo não se pode dizer sobre os problemas advindos da crise de 1929 da bolsa de valores de Nova York. A realidade brasileira, um país pobre e agrário, com uma pequena elite econômica urbana, atingiu o comércio de luxo em cheio. Acabado o contrato de arrendamento do imóvel da avenida Rio Branco, agora com ajuda dos filhos Francisco e Adolpho, reabriu a joalheria na rua do ouvidor, agora no n.128, em 23 de janeiro de 1930, mas o ramo de atividade não era mais o mesmo.

Aspecto externo do antigo prédio da Joalheria Worms & Irmão da rua do ouvidor. Revista O Malho. 1908. Acervo da BNRJ.

A rua do ouvidor dos anos de 1930 já estava bastante modificada. Em outros tempos, a rua abrigava o comércio elegante da capital, a loja Tour Eiffel, a Casa Dovizi, os magazines A Capital, a Casa Oscar Machado e a loja Castro Araújo. Agora, ainda mantendo certo ar aristocrático, começava a ser dominada por lojas de tecidos, preconceituosamente chamadas de “lojas de turcos”. Entre os meses de agosto e dezembro de 1931, os sócios resolveram fazer uma grande liquidação dos produtos. Ao final, a joalheria considerada uma tradição, um patrimônio, uma das jóias Art Nouveau da cidade, foi substituída pela Casa Neder, mais uma “loja de turco”.

Andar térreo da Adamo na avenida Rio Branco. Revista Fon Fon. 1924. Acervo da BNRJ

Umberto ainda continuou no ramo, agora com uma loja menor, no 3.o andar do edifício Portella, na avenida Rio Branco, esquina com Ouvidor. A joalheria de São Paulo funcionou até o final da década de 1950. Seu filho Adolpho foi sócio de outra joalheria, a Confiança, na rua Uruguaiana, centro do Rio, na década de 1930. Umberto morreu em 10 de abril de 1936, em São Paulo, era casado com Dona Anna Vieira Adamo.

Adamo reinaugura sua loja na rua do ouvidor. Revista FonFon. 1930. Acervo da BNRJ
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