Display of historic Bulgari jewelry alongside traditional Emirati crafts in Sharjah

Jewels from the Bulgari archives were on display in Sharjah yesterday alongside traditional handmade Emirati items.

The unique one-day event was created by the Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council and was held under the patronage of Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Founder and President of Irthi, and wife of Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, ruler of Sharjah. .

At the Chedi Al Bait, the Irthi-Bulgari exhibition showcased Bulgari’s heritage jewelry of the past 50 years, with 41 pieces that represented some of the jewelry house’s signatures, from its mastery of colored stones to patterns inspired by its hometown of Rome. Classics such as Serpenti and Tubogas were reminders of why the brand was a favorite of celebrities such as Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida, Anita Ekberg, Claudia Cardinale, Ingrid Bergman and Elizabeth Taylor.

They were placed alongside a curated collection of items made from local crafts and weaving practices, including Sayr Yaay, Al Leed and Talli Netted Macrame, underscoring Irthi’s mission to preserve traditional craft techniques and recontextualize them for a contemporary audience.

For example, Talli Pearled Macrame is a hybrid weave and it takes 99 hours to create one yard of fabric. Another technique, Janah, which refers to the winged fringes created by leather straps, incorporates beads into the design.

“Today’s exhibition, which marks our second collaboration with Bulgari, is the result of our efforts to push the boundaries of the diversity of our businesses in the region and open the doors to international collaborations to broaden the universe of our craft heritage and its vocabulary. said Reem bin Karam, director of NAMA Women Advancement, of which Irthi is a subsidiary. “It is an honor to host an exhibition that firmly imprints the cultural imprint of the UAE alongside a global brand known for the excellence of its exquisite craftsmanship.

The jewelry was showcased alongside traditional Emirati crafts.  Photo: Irthi Contemporary Craft Council

“Talli was chosen for its central position in the cultural history of the UAE and because of its historical significance in supporting Emirati women artisans and communities. Contemporary interpretations of Talli developed by the Bidwa artisans of Irthi ensure continuity of craftsmanship in contemporary markets. Bulgari’s jewelry collections and Irthi’s Talli craftsmanship pay homage to the artistic heritage of our distinctive cultures.

The jewels were presented under four main themes: Master of Colours, Timeless Sparkling, Roman Heritage and Inspired by Nature. Notable items in the Master of Colors section included a 1959 Giardinetto brooch in gold and platinum with sapphires, emeralds, rubies and diamonds. A selection of 1973 Carré brooches in gold with tourmalines, topazes, rubellites, amethysts, sapphires and diamonds were also part of this segment.

A star attraction in the Timeless Sparkling section was a 1970s Melone fluted oval evening bag, with a silk drawstring and gem-set thumb that opens to reveal a velvet interior and mirrored lid. The Roman Heritage section paid homage to the Italian city, with jewelry inspired by the obelisk in Piazza del Popolo and the pentagonal design of the monumental Castel Sant’Angelo.

For the first time, a gold Naturalia necklace and bracelet were on display.

Lucia Bosciani, Curator of Brand and Heritage for Bulgari, said: “As a brand invested in protecting our Italian heritage to ensure our future growth, we are happy to cooperate with Irthi, a brand that protects and supports the artisans in the creation of handicrafts is part of the local heritage and, in doing so, brings traditional crafts back to life.

“It fits perfectly with what Bulgari does. We share common values ​​such as the love of tradition, but we are always moving forward, always looking to the future.”

Updated: November 18, 2022, 03:19

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