posted at 23:50
Author Name: Ella Ide
Jewels no money can buy on show in Florence
Mario Buccellati founded the company in 1919, drawing inspiration for his designs and gold-working techniques from Roman and Renaissance period artworks, creating a wealth of unique pieces sought after by popes and princesses alike. "I have designed over 200,000 jewels in my life. Which is the most interesting or beautiful? Which represents me the most?" Gianmaria Buccellati, 85, said as he unveiled the exhibition in the Tuscan city on Monday. Each of the pieces on show is unique and was designed as part of his personal collection, not to be sold. Buccellati came up with the idea in 1968 when he saw the collection of Lorenzo il Magnifico - a member of the powerful and immensely wealthy Medici family - who in the 15th-century boasted an impressive assortment of amber, ivory, sapphire and diamond chalices, medals as well as rings. "Gianmaria began to design chalices for his own pleasure, to be presented to the world for all to enjoy," said Gianfranco Grimaldi, vice president of the Gianmaria Buccellati foundation which owns the collection. He would not say how much the collection is worth, but Buccellati jewels start at around 1,500-3,000 euros, and can top hundreds of thousands of euros. Dazzling viewers at the show's entrance is a 1929 tiara made by Gianmaria Buccellati's father, Mario, which was worn by Italian nobility and features 570 diamonds. "The Treasures of the Buccellati Foundation" runs until February 22.

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