Saturday, 16 August 2008

The Bvlgari story

The Bvlgari family descends from ancient Greek silversmiths. Founder of the family business, Sotirio Bvlgari was born in 1858 in the small village of Epirus, Kalarites in Greece. He began by making the silver objects thus renewing the ancient local art of engraving. He emigrated to Italy at the age of 21, settling in Rome where in 1884 he opened the first Bvlgari shop in Via Sistina. By 1905, he had moved upmarket to the famous Via Condoti.

His two sons, Constantino and Giorgio were privy to the family secret of silver craftsmanship but they became interested in gemstones. Giorgio spent much time in France searching and perfecting a Bvlgari style in gold and silver. Constantino assembled his knowledge and research to produce the book, "Argentieri, Orafie Gemmari d'Italia", which has become the most authoritative work on Italian gold and silver-smithing.

By the end of World War II, the Bvlgari name became more prominent as a jeweller with a unique style. By 1960, Bvlgari had shops in New York, Paris, Geneva and Monte Carlo. By 1980, the Bvlgari style was available - at a price - in London, Milan, St. Moritz, Munich, Hong Kong, Singapore, Osaka and Tokyo.

Just what is the Bvlgari style?

Permeating the entire production line of watches, pens, lighters and bibelots are unmistakable Bvlgari hallmarks.

* The tubogas, a technique of workmanship used in the 1800s and introduced by Bvlgari into jewellery making. Gold or steel are bent and wound like a spring to hug the wrist or neck.
* The parenthesis theme, consisting of different combinations and aesthetic variations.
* The jewels are made with ancient coins where the coin becomes a natural part of the gold chain.
* In recent years, the most important are pearl jewels where pearls alternate with gold briolletes and boules of coral and turquoise, carre cut stones applied to rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces and brooches, the tubino theme, the doppio cuore, gancio and alveare motifs.

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