BUCCELLATI BROWN’S HOTEL MAYFAIR LONDON
If you have ever seen a Buccellati creation and the infamous lacework motif with supreme craftsmanship, you will recognize these gorgeous traits instantly! Regardless of the changing trends in fashion, for me, Buccellati will always remain timeless with an identity of it’s own.
Above is the Pendant Earrings created by Gianmaria Buccellati 40 years ago and known worldwide as the ‘rigato’ technique. To obtain this ‘ fabric effect ’ a master goldsmith has engraved, stripe by stripe, the whole precious surface. A technique achieved with the utmost accuracy by hand with burins, by following the same goldsmith techniques of Renaissance times.
Buccellati is a family business at it’s heart, it’s one of the few remaining fine jewellery brands that is. So many jewelry brands are no longer in the hands of their original founders or family members, and often takes on the feel of a brand name only. In jewelry, the power of personality and the creator of the piece counts, take Joel Arthur Rosenthal or JAR as a perfect example. One does not simply ‘buy’ a piece from JAR, instead one actually wears a designed creation made by Joel Arthur Rosenthal, the craftsman. The same goes for jewels created at Buccellati.
Mario Buccellati began his apprenticeship at a young age with Beltrami & Besnati, a renowned workshop at the time. After developing his skill he had gained the experience and business acumen to take over the firm and renamed it after himself. By 1919 he opened the first Buccellati boutique in Milan, then some years later in 1951, the second international boutique opened in New York. Buccellati wanted to satisfy the most fantastic and dream-like ideas of his customers, making them into real jewels created with magnificent craftsmanship. Mario had a rich background in jewelry, the family had a strong link to the trade in the 18th century when goldsmith Contardo Buccellati owned a workshop close to the cathedral in Milan.
Above is the Viscontessa Bracelet – The eight oval-cut sapphires are silent drops in a sea of yellow gold embellished with diamonds.
The firm’s artistic voice and expert techniques took direction by the 1920’s. It was the Italian Renaissance that proved to be a huge inspiration, the rich adornment and jewels seen in classical art created a set framework from which to begin. Buccellati also adored the echoed architectural features such as spirals, friezes, small geometrical patterns through art of this period. See that very same inspiration today in the strong geometric designs of many Buccellati jewels.
The “Lacy” patterning and shapes are so very reminiscent of the jewels, one could consider these as a seal of quality at Buccellati. The idea behind it is a wonderful one- Jewels made from metals that attempt to simulate the lightness and feminine charm of lace. A clever technique is used to create this effect, one that involves a folding of the precious metal.
Modern technology and jewelry design has come a long way since Buccellati first started out. Since then, designers and makers have made huge developments in goldsmithing. Despite this, Buccellati continue using the traditional methods that the brand was built on, even though some of these techniques are difficult and time consuming. To this day, the fourth generation Buccellati jewelers create each and every jewel with the same devotion. Discover the Buccellati craftsmanship video for yourself here.
The strong and distinguished Milanese heritage brings a distinct style that is so charecteristic of Buccellati. There is a real sense of it’s glamorous past, one that can still be worn for an enticing style to this very day.
The Buccellati jewels that resemble lace have become iconic from seeming to be a wonderful mix of the classical and the contemporary. It comes about from an important technique invented by Buccellati himself, to create an elaborate and painstaking tulle or honeycomb effect with the precious metals used. A method that is unique to Buccallati alone.
Despite this modern take on classical jewelry, the art of Mario Buccellati remains, it has been inherited by the future generations of the family run brand. Younger Buccellati family members are taught the same skills and techniques used hundreds of years ago.
“Jewels are of no interest or beauty unless they adorn a woman’s face. The woman must always stand out from the object she is wearing”, Gianmaria Buccellati.
Looking at Buccellati, one will instantly find a whole host of different references. For example, I felt a sense of the European era spanning the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, an Oriental feel in some of the gems right through to the nature inspired, in line with the styles of Art Nouveau and Art Deco. So while there is a signature style, it’s clear that each Buccellati jewel is never the same, the style has developed beautifully throughout the years.
Macri Bracelet, the ‘rigato’ effect, obtained by handmade engraving
Take a look at the Rigato engraved bracelets in the collection. These pieces for me represent the typical perfected Buccellati workmanship, one in which the beauty of the object relies on the simplicity of the burn engraving. A tool used that inscribes lines of gold that speak of beauty and the impression of lightness.
Because we love to have fun, here’s a chance to discover the Buccellati muses though their beautiful videos here.
GEMOLOGUE by Liza Urla features exquisite global discoveries, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews – a celebration of fine jewellery, fashion jewellery and vintage jewellery.
*Photographed by Flit Photography. Styling and Art Direction by Liza Urla
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