When, in 1905, the founder of the Maison, Sotirio Bulgari, opened the prestigious store at no. 10 Via Condotti, he chose to call it the “Old Curiosity Shop”, referring to the famous novel by Charles Dickens to attract a clientele of rich English-speakers passing through Rome. The assortment of products in this artisanal boutique lived up to its name: from jewels to embellish traditional dress, to ancient objects with Byzantine or Islamic motifs, to the neo-Hellenic metal buckles, to little perfume bottles or silver buttons, the shop was a window onto Mediterranean inspired creativity for the international visitors to Rome.
The Old Curiosity Shop 1905 © Bulgari
Welcome in the temple of creativity
In this new curiosity shop, an imaginary line separates the rooms in warm tones, precious woods, enveloping velvets, retro-style finishings on one side, and minimalist lines, ethereal marbles, bright tones, ultra-white leather on the other. The surreal world of creativity meets the real world of space in a pairing in which white enhances colour, the ancient celebrates the modern, and everything can be different from its appearance. Every detail is designed for interaction with visitors, offering an experience in which the only rules is to allow oneself to be guided by one’s imagination.
New Curoisity Shop © Bulgari
The cabinet of curiosities : the entire world in a room
The innovative concept behind the shop is inspired by the universe of the cabinet of curiosities, a concept that was born in northern Europe in the late Renaissance before being adopted by the Sicilian and Tuscan nobility in which people exhibited collectable objects from the world of science or nature, the two poles of ancient knowledge. They held naturalia – rare, precious or bizarre finds from the natural world -, and mirabilia – wonderful and surprising man-made creations-, a diversity of objects that concentrated infinite intriguing stories in a single room.
Like an art exhibition, the New Curiosity Shop will periodically change its appearances, always addressing new themes. The first will be the world of Mirabilia, and the time when man started to question the nature of the universe, with ancient globes, telescopes and binoculars or maps from olden times when Earth was, perhaps, still flat.
Bulgari’s cabinet of curiosities will also exhibit various creations of different artists. The visionary theme will be explored through paper works by artist Mauro Seresini and a collection of creations by the famous decorative arts Maison Fornasetti will be shown.
The collections of curiosities
The selection, that will only be available in this modern boutique, is defined by its personalisation and exceptional nature. In the universe of jewellery, a selection of Mirabilia is presented: extravagant pieces that tell of boundless creative experimentation, with bold exploration of materials, colour and design.
From the secret vaults of Bulgari, tubogas Serpenti will emerge in white gold, with diamond pavé and onyx inserts, voluminous rings in blue china, crowned with cabochon-cut peridots, Parentesi bracelets in pink gold and jade. Absolutely unique pieces that reveal different stories behind the symbolic collections of the Maison.
Taking this new opportunity to celebrate the city of Rome, the mini collection of Condotti 10 jewellery will be launched in an international premiere: two sets of bracelets with matching ring, the first in pink gold and diamonds, the other in pink gold, diamond pavé and with malachite and mother-of-pearl inserts. Translating the origins of the brand in a contemporary design, the perfect alternation of circles, squares and eight-branch stars creates a geometry that reinterprets the motif of the floor of one of the world’s greatest architecural masterpieces, the Pantheon in Rome.
La collection Condotti 10 © Bulgari
Time is not only precious but it becomes joyful and fun with the special creation of Serpenti Twist Your Time. The limited edition of 20 pieces, with exchangeable watch straps in pink or blue metallic calf leather, was created exclusively for the New Curiosity Shop to express the rock and roll vibes of the snake with vivacity and a glamorous touch. The case in pink gold and diamond pavé surrounds a heart in mother-of-pearl and guards a small secret that only the most curious will notice: the engraving “Only in Rome” on the back.
You might be familiar with Bvlgari watches, if only due to the awkward name. It is really “Bulgari”, but they spell it using that old-school Latin alphabet. It surely makes the business name memorable, though that is hardly necessary, as their products are pretty memorable, also. The business was established in 1884 as a jewellery business in Italy, and today they create many different fashion accessories, including some fairly amazing timepieces. For a company that has been around for more than a century, they’re actually fairly new in the luxury wristwatch match, as their timepiece division wasn’t created until 1980. Their Swiss-made timepieces are amazing and include great layouts, amazing features, and a great deal of bling, for those who are so inclined. If you prefer quality, design and good build quality, Bvlgari watches might be a fantastic selection for you.The build grade of Bvlgari watches is very good, which isn’t surprising. They’re a luxury brand, and they create high quality mechanical watches in Switzerland. They have a lot of competition, even at their budget, and they would not be quite successful if they did not make a good item. Cases are available in stainless steel, silver, gold and higher tech ceramic. They use clear and rock-hard sapphire crystal. Water resistance varies by version but extends around 300 meters for a number of their sports models. Overall, these are well-built, quality timepieces.Movements used in Bvlgari watches are Swiss-made; they use mechanical and automatic motions for men’s versions and automatic and quartz movements for ladies’ models. A number of the models for women are in fact elaborate jewelery that includes a watch; it is simpler to incorporate a quartz movement from these products. Bvlgari watches aren’t just about timekeeping, but; the firm also takes pride in their watchmaking abilities, and they have many high-end watches which feature grand complications. If you enjoy sophistication, Bvlgari watches may be a good selection for you.
Serpenti Twist Your Time © Bulgari