That’s how they started out. Two brothers…Constantino and
Giorgio. Their father was a Greek chap by the name of Sotirios.
Sotirios was a silversmith, and in his small shop in Rome, he
taught his two sons the trade of engraving. Now…it’s my
experience that when an heir to a business takes over…one of
two things happen. Either the old man’s business goes straight
down the tubes…or it takes off…often to astronomical
We start off circa 1920. Constantino and Giorgio take over
papa’s business. And it grows…as they switch their focus from
engraving to the design and creation of fine jewelry. By the
1930’s…things had gone along so well that our two brothers
decided to open a store and close the shop. They studied the
history of Italian art and they revived the styles of the
Italian Renaissance. They used geometric forms for their
creations. They relied heavily on cabochon colored stones for
their jewelry. They decided to go the Classical route, and they
stuck by their decisions.
They were the forerunners of their day. And though they began by
selling and dealing in antique and silver jewelry, they quickly
expanded their wares to include objects of art, jade carvings,
and snuff boxes. The two brothers combined four qualities that
led to their immense success. They had good taste, they had
tremendous knowledge in their field, they had the foresight to be
able to judge public tastes, and they had unparalleled shrewdness
in their business dealings. All this folks, without losing
exceptional warmth of heart.
Our two jewelers, aside from plying their trade and giving the
elite the finest creations available, were active, during World
War II, in helping the Roman Jewish community and the Allied
troops. At the end of the war, they were awarded–for their
help–certificates by Field-Marshal H.R. Alexander–the British
Supreme Allied Commander, and by General J.T. McNarney,
Commanding General of the U.S. Army in the Mediterranean.
- The years flew. Business expanded.
New stores were opened. Other family members took their places as
runners of the family empire. Their directions changed…their
demand for quality did not. Today they count the world’s elite
as their clientele. Some of them are and weRe: Sophia Loren.
Tyrone Power and Linda Christian. Clare Booth Luce. Elizabeth
Taylor. Her Majesty Queen Anne Marie of the Hellenes. Her Royal
Highness, Princess Irene of Greece. Kirk Douglas. Merle Oberon.
It’s a list without end. The name of this establishment which is
so revered in our industry is–for those of you who have not yet
guessed–BVLGARI–a firm brought to fame by two
brothers…Constantino and Giorgio Bulgari. I’ve chosen one
piece of their work for all of you to see. It’s available from my
home page. For those of you new to Tidbits–I can not believe I
have not yet culled the world as avid readers–to those of you
new to Tidbits…scroll down my home page till you get to the
table menu and to the Tidbits section, then click on the link
that says Brothers.
And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
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