The main design accomplishments of the Buccellati clan span four decades: from the 1920’s to the 1960’s. The most distinctive aspect of the firm's pieces is their rich textural quality. As one jewellery historian put it, “every bit of surface is worked and finished, whether visible or not, with many different engraving techniques."
When the process is finished, the surface of a Buccellati
piece often resembles a fine fabric: linen, tulle, lace. Piercing techniques recreate the look of honeycomb, lace, or webbing. Use of mixed metals (silver and gold, platinum and gold) is also typical. If gemstones are used at all, they are often unusual: large cabochons
, carved emeralds
, rose-cut diamonds
. Naturalistic motifs are common fare. The pieces are bold and instantly recognizable as Buccellati.
Despite the fact that the firm is effectively split, a distinctive look remains.
In addition to the jewellery created by Mario Buccellati, his compacts from the 1920’s to the 1950’s are particularly fine. Jewelled objects created by his son Gianmaria in the 1970’s and 1980’s including intricate chalices, candlesticks, amphorae, and chess sets, are also exceptional. Buccellati silver
holloware and flatware likewise remain in a class of their own.