Celebrating 100 Years of Buccellati

By Sotheby's

S otheby’s will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Buccellati house with an auction of 26 lots, featuring jewels and accessories, on 29 October in Paris, along with a non-selling exhibition of 16 outstanding pieces tracing the fascinating history of the celebrated Italian jeweler.

This twofold event will be a superb opportunity for collectors and admirers alike to follow a golden thread as it weaves through the history of creations from this illustrious house.

The sale will feature jewels which were designed and created by Gianmaria Buccellati, some of which drew inspiration from original drawings by his father Mario Buccellati.

Among the most important pieces is the ‘Gran Mogol’ necklace from 1992, inspired by the splendor of the great Indian imperial dynasty. It is adorned with seven heart-shaped elements set with aquamarine (totaling 27.61 carats), surrounded by 602 rubies (totaling 14.56 carats). Estimate: €16,000-€24,000.

16 superb examples of the mastery of Buccellati will be on display during the sale exhibition. Among them is a tiara created by Mario Buccellati in the 1920’s which exemplifies his ability to create lacelike designs by piercing the metal, elevating the appearance of the jewel further with natural pearls and diamonds.

Created at a similar time to the impressive tiara, Buccellati’s Tulle bracelet demonstrates again the high level of craftsmanship from the jewellery house, piercing the metal to give the appearance of a delicate lace ribbon.

During the 1930’s Mario Buccellati developed his skills, experimenting with colour, frequently incorporating gemstons to embellish his designs, such as in this bracelet where sapphires have been used, framed by ornate silver and gold metalwork to emphasise the stone’s colour. Mario Buccellati enjoyed studying nature and this was one of his sources of inspiration.

Gold, silver, sapphire and diamond bracelet, Mario Buccellati, circa 1930.

When creating the jewels he looked to achieve a naturalistic quality and to do this he used different styles of engraving: Rigato, which is the process of engraving parallel lines which gives the metal a silky appearance; and Telato, where cross-hatched lines are used to add more of a texture. Both techniques have been employed in this demi-parure along with pearls and diamonds.

Baroque pearl and diamond set, ‘Profumo’, Mario Buccellati, 1960

Another technique Buccellati embraced was segrinato which was the engraving of small, overlapping lines, which gave an almost velvet-like texture.

In this example from 1951 he has employed this skill whilst drawing inspiration from Medieval shields, choosing to decorate the brooch is polished sapphires and emeralds.

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