A Century of Goldsmith’s Art from the Gianmaria Buccellati Foundation
This is a sumptuous volume with silky fabric cover and a veritable treasure trove of exquisite jewellery within the pages – and there are a lot of those. It’s a superb gift-quality tome which would make the ideal present for any lover of jewellery, craft, art and all the fine things in life. It’s a coffee-table book but that piece of furniture should be a Chippendale! Gianmaria Buccellati Foundation: A Century of Goldsmith’s Art is a paper representation of the skill and passion of a dedicated dynasty of jewellers.
In 1919 Mario Buccellati opened his original shop and, after establishing in Milan, Rome, and Florence, he began to expand the overseas business by opening a new store on the classy Fifth Avenue in New York in 1954, and then another in Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, Florida in 1958. In 1949 Mario Buccellati had been commissioned to produce an icon by Pope Pius XII for Princess Margaret to mark the first visit of a member of the British Royal family to the Vatican City after hundreds of years.
Then in 1965, after the death of Mario, the management of the company was transferred to four of Mario’s sons. In 1971 the new brand Gianmaria Buccellati was launched by one of the sons, Gianmaria, who had started to step away from the family business. 2011 saw an agreement with his relatives for the brand Buccellati, then Buccellati Holding Italia, to be established.
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Gianmaria had set up shops in Paris, London, Moscow, Japan, Hong Kong, Milan, Costa Smeralda, Capri, Elba, various locations in the USA, and Australia. In February 2014, Buccellati launched a rebranding initiative with a new bridal collection and ‘high-tech’ jewels; and in April 2014 Buccellati presented the world’s most expensive iPhone case! In 2015, Buccellati opened its flagship store on Madison Avenue. The company launched its special Art Collection where five one-of-a-kind pieces were created, inspired by Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artworks. The collection is designed by Andrea Buccellati, and his daughter Lucrezia Buccellati, who is the first female and youngest designer to join the company.
Gianmaria Buccellati Foundation: A Century of Goldsmith’s Art illustrates a century of the history of goldsmith’s art through the treasures of the Buccellati Foundation designed by Mario and Gianmaria Buccellati, who continues the celebrated Italian tradition of fine jewellery and metalcraft which flourished during the Renaissance. But these exquisite jewels are not museum pieces reflecting the sartorial tastes of past centuries. These metallic gems show contemporary style, vibrancy and most of all, the greatest of craftsmanship and elegant good taste.
Gianmaria Buccellati Foundation: A Century of Goldsmith’s Art
Author: Gianmaria Buccellati
Published by: Skira Editore
Book review by Chrissie Walker © 2018