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Silver box by Mario Buccellati

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Sterling Silver716 of 13031825 Sampson Mordan Dip Pen & Pencil:Georg Jensen silver pill box, designed by Henning Koppel
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Posted 2 years ago


(42 items)

Silver box by Mario Buccellati. Marked with 0.800 standard and engraved M.Buccelatti,Italy - g.b. (possibly the engraver).Hand engraved motif after an old engraving of Milan. It was made in the early 50’s.The engraving is called “Il Laghetto”.
Mario Buccellati launched the family brand throughout Italy after the First World War.Today, Buccellati Holding Spa is one of the most important names in the world of international luxury jewelry and silverware.
Some of the most typical Buccellati creations are boxes with engraved images. The decoration of every box is the work of two engravers; the first covers the entire surface with a dense underlying texture, the second engraves the image using a burin.The motifs vary from box to box.Fine examples are kept in Milan,Via Montenapoleone in the family museum (personal communication with Mario`s grandchildren).
Newer production seems to be directed to wealthy Arab buyers; motifs of important Moslem places (e.g. minaret and domes of Medina)
Christie`s Sale 7801,The Dubai Sale 28 April 2009
Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel: Price Realized $22,500


  1. vetraio50 vetraio50, 2 years ago
    Now that is a name! Buccellati!
  2. vetraio50 vetraio50, 2 years ago
    Hi Ivan! The box has had me enchanted. I went looking for information about the scene on the lid. The Italian text that Buccellati has added suggests that it is just outside the Ticino Gate.
    Vecchia Milano Porta Ticniese vista dall'esterno - da un dipinto di P. Calvi.
    Old Milan - the Ticino Gate seen from the outside - from a painting by P. Calvi.
    Milan is not exactly my favourite city in Italy after my experiences of the 'strage di stato' in the late 70's. But I am strangely attracted to it as a centre of Italian history and culture.
    I went looking for the painting by P. Calvi on the net. The name itself was a bit of a problem. There is the historical character of Pietro Fortunato Calvi. He is best known as a revolutionary patriot and one of the Martyrs of Belfiore. There is also a Pietro Calvi (1833 - 1884) who is best known for his work as a sculptor and his work for his Orientalist figures in bronze and marble. And some amazing banjo players!
    P. Calvi is still a bit of a mystery to me. But I think I have found the painting. On the net it is hidden, but you can see it if you use Google Images.
    Type in Porta Ticinese...."Milano antica" and you will see it. Then there are a series of other images that are important too about the gate that led into city from the south.

    I was led astray by the term "il Laghetto". The little lake. I read with interest the conversation on the web you had with the representative from Buccellati. In Milan there are two areas that are referred to as 'il laghetto'. But this one is called il Laghetto di San Stefano. It is part of the canal system that ran through Milan and which linked up with the river Ticino to the south West of the city. The spot which you have on the box-lid looks down towards the 'Laghetto'. This was a wide area of water where the canal boats were moored and unloaded - a mini harbour just outside the walls of the old city.

    From there the stone and marble that was used in construction of the Milan cathedral 'il Duomo' went on its way through the Ticino Gate and up to the building site.

    "Once Milan was a city of waters. Even if today it doesn’t seem that similar to Venice, in the past it was just as rich of canals as Venice is.
    The majority of these canals were drained and covered, while a few ones were left untouched, and are visible today mainly in the area of Porta Ticinese, where the two great Navigli start: the Great Naviglio and the Naviglio Pavese.
    Two long streets run along the Navigli, with their not so clean waters, but with that something that makes the whole area very characteristic. Walking along the banks of the Navigli is certainly worth it, and the visitor will have the feeling to be walking down the streets of Venice."

    The canals of Milan remained until major changes in 1928.

    The gate itself also has a nickname the "Porta Cicca". It was one of the six major gates into the old city of Milan. The area around is is called the Sestiere Porta Ticinese. This gate led south to the city of Pavia. The gate itself I think goes back to the twelfth century. This is the time of the construction of the canal system and the beginnings of the Duomo. The two concepts are linked inextricably in the development of the city. The canals and the cathedral. You can see the top parts of the of the Duomo just peeking above the top of the gate. On the right hand side is the cupola of another important Church in this 'sestiere' the Basilica di S. Lorenzo.
    The road through the gate is called the Corso di Porta Ticinese. But I think I have found the spot where P. Calvi painted his picture of this gate. If you go to Google maps and type in this address you will be able to see the gate on the right as you move up via Molino delle Armi towards via Edmondo de Amicis as the two road are known today. The road seems to have been built over the canals.
    So try this address: 48 via molino delle armi milano
    Tap on the A flag and go to "street view".
    Turn around 180 degrees
    and advance up the street "via molino delle armi" towards the Corso di Porta Ticinese on the right.
  3. vetraio50 vetraio50, 2 years ago
    One thought I've had is that they mentioned that this was a box from a series. Perhaps they were scenes of the gates of Milan?
    Six gates - six sestrieri - six boxes?

    The other thought about g.b.
    Could it be the signature of Mario's son Gianmaria?

    This is an interesting article on Gianmaria Buccellati and the sons of Mario B.
    It is quite an involved story in itself. Well worth the read.
  4. IVAN49 IVAN49, 2 years ago
    Thank you so much, dear vetraio50.I managed to find the painting; L'ARCO DI PORTA TICINESE; La vecchia Porta Ticinese con il suo naviglio. AUTORE: CALVI.
    They were good engravers. I think it is much easier to engrave after the print (the same technique) than after a painting. Many details were added. This surprised me because, to be honest, I suspected some kind of ``transfer`` technique was used to facilitate engraving but it seems I was wrong; not only hand engravers but real artists if they could ad so many details. I suppose records about the engravers are still kept by the family; we will probably identify them. In old prints one can tell precisely who painted ``pinx`` and who engraved after it ``sculpt``. As for ``g.b.`` I still have no idea. Expanding the business it was more important to engrave ``Milano, Roma, Firenze, New York`` Not many boxes emerge and I have not been in Milan for decades to visit the shop. All boxes made in 50`s are strikingly similar with external part worked to burin effect satinato (satin) and small roses to the inside.
    Thanks again.
  5. vetraio50 vetraio50, 2 years ago
    I had thought you must have spoken with Luca some time ago. Pre 1985.
    Pinx is short for pinxit. My Italian is not bad and so far I've not found 'g.b.'. But i'll keep looking. Mind you a trip to Milan might be worthwhile.
  6. IVAN49 IVAN49, 2 years ago
    Right,kind people.Silver overpriced,though.And not my taste to be honest, but would not mind having their leaf dish.When I first saw the box with rock crystal I suspected it would tarnish and get stained under it and now one emerged on eBay with exactly the same flaw.
    ``The rock crystal sheet on the cover is slightly chipped at the top corners.
    We will gladly polish off the chips to make them less noticeable.``
    The frame was not soldered to the box for sure;glass or rock crystal sheet would crack. I wonder whether the frame can be safely removed and set back - have never had one in my hands; everything is in theory;too expensive.

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