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Jewelry

Spectacular Bulgari Jewel Bought at Sotheby's Is Exhibited in Rome

By Sotheby's

A Bulgari masterpiece, bought back by the Italian brand's archive in a Sotheby's sale last year, is currently featuring in a stunning exhibition in Rome that celebrates the Bulgari story and quintessential style.

BVLGARI. THE STORY, THE DREAM runs until 3 November in two renowned museums, the Palazzo Venezia and the Castel Sant'Angelo, and will display a spectacular gem-set and diamond sautoir – one of Bulgari's most famous jewels – that was purchased by the brand in Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale last November for CHF 1,035,000 to be part of its Heritage Collection.

Made in 1969, the necklace is 860mm long and can also be separated and worn as two bracelets and a shorter necklace. The emerald pendent weights 127.35 carats while the links are set with cabochon rubies, amethyst, citrines, topazes, turquoise, emeralds and brilliant-cut diamonds. At the time it was made, Bulgari was heavily influenced by Indian and Egyptian designs, which can be seen in this piece as the upper left corner of the emerald is carved with a shape Indian traditional boteh motif.

Vogue 1970
Model, Veruschka, wearing the Bulgari gem set and diamond sautoir in a 1970 issue of Vogue. (Photo by Franco Rubartelli/Condé Nast via Getty Images) Franco Rubartelli

It was famously featured in an iconic image in a 1970 issue of Vogue when it was worn by the German fashion model Veruschka and photographed by Franco Rubartelli. It made for a striking picture as Veruschka wore a bright pink headscarf with the necklace draped down the side of her face.

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The private collector wearing her Bulgari gem-set and diamond sautoir in a portrait, in an illustration in Bulgari by Amanda Triossi and Sotheby’s Senior Director Daniela Mascetti.

After this, the jewel was bought by a private collector and disappeared from public view until 1996, when it was featured in a drawing in a retrospective book on Bulgari by Amanda Triossi and Sotheby’s Senior Director Daniela Mascetti.

And now, as part of the brand's archive and new exhibition, it can be seen in the flesh once again alongside other iconic jewels, including pieces that previously belonged to Elizabeth Taylor, Ingrid Bergman and Audrey Hepburn.

BVLGARI. THE STORY, THE DREAM
26 June – 3 November 2019
Palazzo Venezia and the Castel Sant'Angelo, Rome

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