Now that we’ve covered the main jewelry eras and precious gemstones, it’s time for us to dive into famous, world-recognized jewelry designers. Signed jewelry has always been desirable due to its credibility, top quality materials, and exquisite craftsmanship. The industry's famous jewelry names include Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Tiffany & Co, Bvlgari, David Webb, Boucheron, Graff and many others. This week we will be discussing “The Prince of Goldsmiths” - Buccellati.
In this blog post you will learn:
- Buccellati History
- Interesting Facts
- Vintage Buccellati Jewelry
- Modern Buccellati Jewelry
When Mario Buccellati was only 28, he opened his first store near the famous La Scala opera house in Milan. His debut collection of one-of-a-kind creations made a huge impression on Spanish aristocrats during the 1920 Madrid Exposition, all pieces were sold out. Buccellati’s craftsmanship became recognizable across Europe for its textural gold jewels and intricate silverware. Mario Buccellati was referred to as “The Prince of Goldsmith”, truly the highest praise, considering that he is from Italy - a country where precious metal work can be traced for centuries. The Buccellati maison continues to capture the spirit and elegance of Renaissance and classicism to this day.
In 1949, Mario Buccellati gained his royal acceptance and fame when Pope Pius XII commissioned Buccellati to create an icon for Princess Margaret. The icon symbolizes the influence of the first visit of a British Royal to Vatican City in hundreds of years. This masterpiece is currently being held at the Chianciano Art Museum in Tuscany, Italy.
During the 1940-1960s, The House of Buccellati had a major expansion outside of its native Italy. Buccellati opened their first 5th Avenue New York flagship store in 1954, and another in Palm Beach, Florida in 1958.
As the company expanded and gained international popularity four of Mario's sons got involved in the business. After his death in 1965, his son Lorenzo took over maison in Florence and Milan. Federico led the Rome boutique; Luca and Gianmaria took over the US operations.
Gianmaria Buccellati built an enormous empire in the ‘90s. He ran all of the US business affairs, managed the boutiques in Milan, Sardinia, Beverly Hills, New York, Paris. He also established the franchises in Capri, Venice, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Osaka.
Buccellati’s creations are known for their intricate designs and textured metalwork. The ideology of designs are deeply rooted in the brand’s heritage, the honor of traditional handmade Florentine metalworking techniques. One jewelry historian once said: “Every bit of surface is worked and finished, whether visible or not, with many different engraving techniques.”
Vintage Buccellati Jewelry
The surface of Buccellati creations often resembles luxurious fabric: lace, tulle, linen. The house uses piercing techniques to create a look of webbing, honeycomb, lace and other textures.
Check out these gorgeous Buccellati pieces that came across Jack Weir and Sons and are available for sale:
In 1973, Gianmaria Buccellati and his gemologist colleagues founded the Italian Gemological Institute (IGI). In 1995, the exhibition “The Art of Buccellati” was held at the San Francisco Academy of Sciences. Next year, the exhibition traveled to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.
Modern Buccellati Jewelry
In 2001, Buccellati launched their first watch collection in Switzerland, during the SIHH exhibition.
Buccellati presented the world their Animalier collection, composed of 28 animal brooches created around extraordinary baroque pearls. In 2008, Gianmaria created the “Gianmaria Buccellati Foundation”, which features his private collection of ornamental cups, jewels, his father’s creations and some of the drawings made by him and his father.
During the 2010s, the company had significant international growth combined with the entry of Lucrezia Buccellati, Andrea’s daughter, as the first female designer of the house.
The Bottom Line
Favored by the royal families, and true appreciators of Italian Renaissance, Buccellati has established themselves as a pillar of the jewelry world. Highest quality craftsmanship, intricate designs, and intricate metalwork, Buccellati will always be at the heart of the jewelry world.
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