Mario Buccellati opened his first shop in 1919 with a shop in the city centre on Largo Santa Margherita, supplying the Milanese high society with diadems and necklaces, evening bags and cocktail rings.
The most distinguishing feature of Mario’s jewelry was his gold work. He researched age old techniques and experimented with antique-style tools in an effort to realize his design dreams. Hugely inspired by the Renaissance era, in particular the opulent fabrics, delicate damasks and fine Venetian laces, he sought to emulate them in his jewels. Every surface would be enhanced with a range of different engraving styles and he sought to create from metal the same lightness, fluidity and textures that were usually the preserve of fabric.
During the war, gold was very scarce but Buccellati carried on working by utilizing materials such as copper which he plated with a gold colored alloy known as ‘Dutch gold’. He was also innovative in his use of gemstones by setting old or chipped stones upside down, thereby creating a similar look to cabochon stones, this proved very popular and was used on both jewelry and accessories such as compacts.
Mario’s son Gianmaria (1929- ) started working with his father when he was just 14 years old, learning both the business and the goldsmiths craft. When Mario passed away in 1965, Gianmaria took over the management of the workshops and the creative side of the business.