The Only Italian She Knew Was ‘Bvlgari’

December 6, 2016 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | ART, CRAFT | 1 Comment |

Pain in the asp?

(Bvlgari exhibition, National Gallery of Victoria, November 2016)BvlBand BvlNeck

Bvlgari was on show in a retrospective of necklaces, rings, tiaras, bracelets, watches etc., primarily from the 1940s to the 1970s.

Actually, The Varnished Culture believes the statement headlining this post* to be apocryphal.  No one could spend as long in the Eternal City as Elizabeth Taylor did, making the film (Cleopatra) that almost bankrupted Twentieth Century Fox, without picking up at least a smattering of Italian.  At least the phrase, “Attenzione, Richard, ecco che arriva Eddie!










(What’s that rule against coveting, again?)

Sotirios Bulgari (Σωτήρ Βούλγαρη) 1857 – 1932, was born in Greece but moved to Rome, where he Latinised his name and created his famous jewellery store.

Anticipating Patsy Stone’s famous dictum (at least, what she would have said) that you can never have enough accessories, his burgeoning line of jewels and luxury items made the brand famous throughout the continent, and after WWII, throughout the world.

Bvlgari pieces are amazing, and the selection on display in this NGV exhibition in Melbourne fused diamonds, platinum, rubies, emeralds, gold and other precious gems and metals, but some products, in striving to dazzle, are de trop, too chunky and clunky to be worn with elegance.

That said, some of the pieces would have John Robie, The Cat, or Edward Lytton, the notorious Phantom, drooling…








[*overheard at the exhibition.]

1 Comment

  1. Reply

    Stephen Clark

    December 7, 2016

    I am assuming the gift shop at NGV was selling serpenti bangles?

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