Buccellati

The house of highly-decorated jewels, with no surface left untouched

Buccellati packs a lot of heritage. This family-owned Italian jewellery house is powered by its familial heritage and its Renaissance inspirations. For Mario Buccellati (1891-1965), known affectionately as the Prince of Goldsmiths, founding his eponymous house in 1919 gave him the opportunity to revel in his three main loves: the Italian Renaissance, precious metals and gemstones.

Fabled for their transformative works, Mario’s team turned gold into sumptuous fabric and fine Venetian lace, shaped into cuffs. From the outset, and still today, the house’s designers and craftspeople play with textures, chiselling and engraving every golden shape. The signature Buccellati items have "no untouched gold": every part of the surface is engraved to become linen or leaves.

The house still painstakingly hand produces all their collections on site at their Milan atelier, often referencing Mario’s inspirations from Etruscan patterns to plants, insects and animals. In 2004, Buccellati launched their Animalier collection of 28 brooches that all use the wonderful natural shapes of baroque pearls to form different animals.

Some of the most whimsical work dates from Mario’s commissions from poet Gabriele d’Annunzio, for whom he made delightful compact and purse designs for lovers and friends engraved with favourite phrases, such as "Forse che si, forse che no" (Maybe yes, maybe no) and "Impipatene e guarda in alto" (Don’t give a damn and look upward).

Following his father Mario, Gianmaria Buccellati (1929-2015) continued to delight clients with the Buccellati mix of Italian history and wearable fun. His similar dedication to fine gemstones led him to establish the Italian Gemmological Institute in 1973 and design collections of cocktail rings to display his favourite and unusual stones.

Today, the house welcomes its next generation of the Buccellati family tree; the Prince of Goldsmiths’ dynasty lives on.