A new book detailing the history of legendary jewelry house Bulgari, Bulgari: Treasures of Rome, profiles a number of the firm’s wealthy and notable clients.
Author Vincent Meylan, who also penned Christie’s: The Jewellery Archives Revealed and Van Cleef & Arpels: Treasures and Legends, among others, was given full access to Bulgari’s image and jewelry archives for the lushly illustrated coffee table book.
Chapters are dedicated to the house’s illustrious customers, but the author also tells stories about some of Bulgari’s iconic gemstones and traces the evolution of a handful of its better known designs through history.
Notable Bulgari clients featured in the book include the Countess di Frasso, who shopped at Bulgari in Hollywood with her boyfriend, movie star Gary Cooper; the Infanta Beatriz of Spain; Princess Maria José of Belgium; rabid gemstone fans Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor; and Tyrone Power and Linda Christian, who bought Bulgari wedding bands.
One of the more theatrical stories featured isn’t of patronage but of criminality—Count Cini of Monselice was held for ransom by the SS and eventually released in exchange for Bulgari jewels.
(Top image: The cover of Bulgari: Treasures of Rome, courtesy of ACC Publishing)