Since 1884, Bulgari has looked to the ancient city of Rome as inspiration for it's exquisite designs. And now the brand is bringing a big dose of la dolce vita to a new NYC exhibit, "Bulgari & Rome: Eternal Inspiration."
Curated by Lucia Boscaini, the head of the brand's archives in Rome, the installation features over 40 heritage pieces that embody the Eternal City and it's storied history. "We aimed to illustrate how Rome's architecture, monuments, and sculptures have inspired our jewelry in unexpected ways," says Boscaini. From a tiered gold and diamond necklace that echoes the vaulted ceilings of the Pantheon (below) to the geometric designs that were translated from city sidewalks, the exhibit transport visitors with its striking parallels.
Necklace and pendant earrings in gold and diamonds, 1992
In addition to the remarkable archive pieces, there are also creations from the private collections of notables like Italian actress Anna Magnani and Barbara Sinatra, whose gold choker with pearl, emerald and diamond is a must-see (see, top).
Also intriguing is a silver cigarette case that was gifted to Joseph Mankiewicz, the director of Cleopatra, from Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. The piece (below) is adorned with beautiful Roman Imperial coins that date back to the II and III century AD. The front showcases a personal engraving from Taylor herself.
Cigarette case in silver with coins from the II and III century, 1962
Check out all of the pieces at Bulgari's Fifth Avenue flagship now through November 22nd and scroll down to get a peek at a few of our faves.
Sautoir gold necklace with emeralds, rubies, and diamonds, 1969
"This peice recalls the octagonal ceiling coffers of the Palazzo Della Rovere," says Boscaini. "The center of the pendant is set with a 44.6 carat cabochon emerald in a frame of rubies and brilliant-cut diamonds."
Bib necklace in gold with sapphires and diamonds, 2005
Covered in multicolored sapphires, this brilliant stunner was inspired by the Appian Road basalt pavement.
Necklace in gold with Roman Republican coins and diamonds
The Monete collection, introduced in the 1960s, is set with ancient Roman and Greek coins. "Incorporating forms of currency into the designs speaks not only to Bulgari’s heritage, but also its longstanding experimentation with materials," adds Boscaini.
Bow earrings in platinum and diamonds, 1938
"The curved shape of the bow mimics billowing wings of Bernini's angel statues that line the Ponte Sant'Angelo," says Boscaini of the oldest piece in the exhibition.