Bulgari takes us on an imaginary voyage across the Mediterranean Sea. We are transported through time and space by the dazzling Mediterranea high jewelery and watches launched in Venice in June 2023.
At the crossroads of civilization and the great trade routes of the Renaissance world, Venice has a rich history reflected in the opulence of the Mediterranea jewels. In Venice liberal ideas flow in with the tides and art reaches new heights thanks to enlightened patrons and the great wealth generated by the sea merchants. Channelling this spirit, Bulgari chose the magnificent Palazzo Soranzo Van Axel for the launch.
The Mediterranea is a kaleidoscope of gemstone creations that brings together three themes of Southern Radiance, Roman Splendor and East Meets West. Lucia Silvestri, Bulgari Jewelery Creative Director is not one to shy away from infusing jewels with strong emotions, expressed in bold colors, daring tonal combinations and exaggerated volumes. She says of the collection: “This high jewelery collection is a homage to the Mediterranea beauty and essence in all its forms. For me, being in the Mediterranea region is an awakening of all senses and a real inspirational experience. The architecture, the nature, the people, I am eyeing beauty everywhere. Is an inspiring melting pot, where many different cultures and societies have mingled and enriched each other over centuries. Our hospitality and open-mindedness are rooted in this history.”
Evoking the drama of Southern Italy’s coastlines, an ocean blue, 15.13-carat cushion-cut sapphire sits at the centre of Mediterranea Muse necklace from the Southern Radiance chapter. Alive with the motion of the waves, cascades of diamonds and sapphires roll over the platinum torque structure and give way to aquamarine drops.
A majestic 66.88-carat holds centre stage in the Southern Sapphire necklace surrounded by a lace-like structure shimmering with diamonds. The necklace, which brings to mind the stark beauty of the white villages of Apulia set against the blue of the sea, took 1,650 hours to make in Bulgari’s Rome high jewelery atelier.
In the Roman Splendor chapter, we travel from the romance of the seas to the timeless architecture of ancient Rome. The Roman Esedra necklace effortlessly captures the geometric rigor of Ancient Rome in a sautoir with a hexagonal pendant set with an exuberant combination of a 68.88-carat emerald, diamonds, amethyst and turquoise.
The Ara Pacis or Altar of Peace built by the Roman emperor Augustus is the inspiration for the Acanthus Emerald necklace. The acanthus flowers carved into the white marble façade of the altar are interpreted in over 136 diamonds and seven exquisitely saturated drop-shape emeralds totaling 33.59 carats. The classic beauty of Rome is alive in this meticulously crafted necklace.
Like a protective third eye, the 37.14-carat Maharaja emerald beams out its spiritual force in the Emerald Lotus necklace. The necklace channels the style of Indian jewelery and in particular the lotus flower motif. Ripples of diamonds and bands of emeralds flow around the central stone in this deeply symbolic necklace that took 2,200 hours to make.
Colors explode and dance in the East Meets West chapter that celebrates the lavish silks, rugs and spices of the Orient that made their way to the port of Venice. The Oriental Buds necklace and matching jewelery watch capture the allure and exoticism of the Mughal Empire and Byzantine architecture in luxurious diamond pavés combined with vibrant pink tourmalines, sapphires and emerald beads. The jewelery watches conceals a dial behind a 5.65-carat Colombian emerald.
Another exceptional watch from this collection is the Giardino Marino high jewelery watch that is a window into the wondrous underwater world. The cuff watch is teeming with bejeweled fish, gem-studded starfishes and jewel-tipped sea anemones and sponges.
No Bulgari collection is complete without a snake. The Mediterranean Sapphire Serpenti necklace features nine Sri Lankan sapphires that like scales, sit on the reptile’s diamond-set body. A further 80 oval sapphire beads form a tassel that hangs from the serpent’s mouth in this powerful jewel.
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