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For over a century, Buccellati jewels have been the symbol of creations of unparalleled beauty and quality. They have drawn inspiration from the thousand-year heritage of craftsmanship and goldsmithing traditions that Italy has gifted the world.
Our story begins with Mario Buccellati, the brand’s founder and a visionary; a man who was able to understand and interpret his own times, to the point of outdoing them. In the process, Buccellati succeeded in forging a style that still bears his name, over a century later.
“The Buccellati style is an evolution born from its originator, from my grandfather, Mario, who, left a very strong imprint on it. Subsequently, each generation has applied the working techniques, the design and the Buccellati style, reworking them in their own way while fully respecting the soul of the brand.”
Model Iryna Rozhiyk wearing a regal drop-shaped pendant with aquamarine and diamonds, photographed by Vincent Alvarez for Soon Magazine (2007).
Door and side rose window of the church of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, a source of inspiration for countless Buccellati creations.
A sketch by Mario Buccellati (1960s) for a cuff bracelet with simple instructions which the craftsmen interpreted with their experience and mastery.
Mario and Gianmaria Buccellati working side by side, as is often the case today, so that the creative legacy is passed on from father to son.
Iconic pieces from the 1950s: a cocktail ring, a cuff bracelet and a hard make-up bag with coloured cabochon stones.
The façade of Mario Buccellati’s boutique in Via de’ Tornabuoni in Florence, especially adorned for the occasion of the wedding of His Royal Majesty Umberto II, King of Italy, on 8 January 1930.
An envelope from the long correspondence between Mario Buccellati and Gabriele d’Annunzio: exchanges of artistic visions which led Mario towards new stylistic experiments.
Mario Buccellati was born in Ancona on April 29, 1891. Following the death of his father, Mario moved with his mother, Maria, and his brothers to the grande Milano of the early 20th century.
As soon as he arrived, he secured an apprenticeship with the goldsmiths Beltrami and Besnati, whose business at Via Santa Margherita 5, between La Scala and the Galleria, lay in the heart of the city.
It was here that the young Mario learned the best in Italian goldsmithing traditions, its thousand-year-old techniques and its materials. Mario also became schooled in workshop management and how to select craftspeople, while also gaining an insight into the customer’s tastes. Above all, Mario, the attentive and curious observer that he was, grasped the “Milanese spirit”. That air of discreet, dignified elegance: Mario would come to be the leading interpreter of la milanesità in the goldsmith world.
A UNIQUE JOURNEY At the end of the First World War, Mario decided that the time was right for him to set up his own venture. And with that, Mario took over Beltrami and Besnati’s business, and opened his first store at Via Santa Margherita 5. One of Mario Buccellati’s greatest challenges was transferring lace weaving onto the gold plate. His work using lace, tulle or honeycombing would soon make Mario famous all over the world. In 1925, Mario, alongside his brother, Carlo, opened a second store at Via Condotti 30–31, Rome. A third followed four years later at Via Tornabuoni 71, Florence, with Mario supported this time by his brother, Melchiorre.
The Doge collection marries sterling silver with semi-precious gemstones, including lapis, malachite, carnelian and Osmenia pearls. As such, a sculptural flair illuminates the collection’s centrepieces, vases, candelabra and frames. The Milanese photographer Maria Mulas signing one of the brand’s first advertising campaigns, in which a barely visible female figure leaves room for the jewels. The image is in a timeless black and white that also gives it an ultra-modern feel. 1971 Gianmaria Buccellati opening his first boutique in the famous Cala di Volpe hotel, the pearl of the Emerald Coast, at the start of its extraordinary development. This hard necklace in gold worked with feathers, emeralds and sapphires was created in the same year. It was designed and made for the French architect Jacques Couelle, a frequent visitor to the Cala di Volpe boutique. 1972 Gianmaria signed an exclusive agreement with WAKO Co. covering all of Japan. Based in Ginza, Tokyo, the Japanese company was the leading importer of luxury products from Europe. 1973 Gianmaria’s love of stones, born and nurtured during the years of apprenticeship with his father, Mario, led him to found the Italian Gemological Institute (IGI) with some of his colleagues. Gianmaria would preside over the organization for 25 years. When he was 16, Andrea, Gianmaria’s second son who was especially gifted at drawing, joined his father in the company as an apprentice. Andrea occupied himself with any task in order to practice and gain experience. 1979 Buccellati, the only Italian amidst a global elite of jewelers, opening the Paris boutique at Place Vendôme. Jacques Chirac, Marcello Mastroianni and Anouk Aimée, among other big names, attended the inauguration.
Gianmaria dedicated one of the brand’s iconic collections, La Macri, to the sophisticated grace of his daughter, Maria Cristina. La Macri, an abbreviation of Maria Cristina, is where the virtuosity of the rigato technique reaches its peak. In 1984, Gianmaria put management of the Clementi company and its production of silver cutlery in the hands of his eldest son, Gino. This is how many of the brand’s iconic objects are born: leaves, flowers, shells, that become silver objects for the home.
2000 The Smithsonian Institution of Washington dedicated an anthological exhibition to Buccellati called “Buccellati: Art in Gold, Silver and Gems”. Gianmaria donated the Smithsonian Cup to the museum for the occasion, which is now on permanent display. In 2000, Gianmaria extended the Maison’s offer, creating a line of watches in typical Buccellati style. The watch-jewels are conceived in Italy and made at our site in Switzerland. In 2004, inspired by the bizarre shapes of some baroque pearls, Gianmaria designed the Animalier collection: 21 brooches that reproduce marvellous animals. In 2006, the Huntsville Museum of Art held “A Silver Menagerie”, displaying the collection of life-size furry animals donated by collector Betty Grisham and to this day produced by Buccellati in the typical “furry” fashion. In 2008, the Moscow Kremlin Museums dedicated to the Maison a large anthological exhibition called “Buccellati, Arte senza Tempo” which boasted the most significant works of the three creative Buccellati generations, Mario, Gianmaria and Andrea. Then, in 2008, Gianmaria instituted the foundation that bears his name. Now led by his wife, Rosa Maria, the foundation aims to safeguard Gianmaria and Mario’s heritage through exhibitions, lectures and collaborations with different museum institutions. In 2009, Buccellati presented the Cocktail Ring collection, a tribute from Gianmaria to his passion for stones, for matching studied cuts, shapes and colors and carefully mounting them in rings to bring out their beauty and uniqueness.
To celebrate its 60-year presence on the US market, Buccellati presented a collection of cocktail earrings that recall the Maison’s iconic designs developed around central stones of unusual and varied shapes and colours. The Chicago boutique opened in 2013, introducing a new architectural concept conceived by Andrea Buccellati: warm and inviting shades, essential and simple lines, minimal decoration and furniture. The Romanza collection presented in 2013 marked the beginning of Lucrezia’s apprenticeship at her father Andrea’s side in the creative activity of the Maison. In 2015, Buccellati launched its Opera collection, whose floral motif took inspiration from the Maison’s logo and Renaissance architectural motifs. In the same year, the magical eye of photographer Peter Lindbergh gave life to the Maison’s first lifestyle campaign, portraying model Elisa Sedanoui in iconic venues in elegant Milan. In 2017, in line with the expansion plan developed with the new Chinese investor Gangtai, Buccellati opened its first shop in China, in Shanghai, Plaza 66. In 2018, the Maison’s journey continued with Peter Lindbergh for Italy in its search for “timeless beauty”: this time, Florence was the backdrop for the magnificent shots of model Carolyn Murphy and actress Zhang Ziyi.