Pestelli's Magic Silver Creatures

Discover the Florentine workshop of Pestelli founded in 1908: silversmith Pestelli quickly became a mecca for the international upper middle class and aristocracy; ancient notable customers included the royal houses of Italy, Egypt, and Romania.

More than 100 years have passed since Edoardo Pestelli started his jewelry apprenticeship in Florence in 1908. His experience at the renowned Marchesini Jewelers formed the bedrock of a successful artistic enterprise, success that helped Pestelli quickly become a mecca for the international upper middle class and aristocracy. Among its long-standing customers are the Savoy Family, the viceroy of Egypt, and the Romanian royals. The historic family heritage, passed down from father to son, continues today with Tommaso Pestelli and his wife Eva. The Pestelli creations can be found in the permanent collection of contemporary jewelry making at the Museo degli Argenti of Florence. In 2011, the Pestelli Company was recognized as a Historic Italian Business. 

What is the secret behind a family business?

The secret behind a family business is all in the generational change: in the continuity that is maintained even in spite of that change. It is impossible to always do things in the same way; rather, it is important to accept small changes at the right time, particularly when it comes to taste, all the while maintaining the original stylistic identity. That is what my father did, when it was my turn to take over: he gave me the space I needed with my ideas - moved by the typical youthful desire to get things done - to reinvigorate the “family endowment”. 

In your opinion, what is the most fascinating stage in the creation of such particular and elaborated objects?

My wife and I have both the privilege and the burden of being able to create each new object entirely by hand from beginning to end: from its conceptualization on paper, all the way to the last brush stroke to give it the perfect polish. However, the most exciting moment is when the idea we want to realize becomes crystal clear in our minds. That is the “Aha, we can do it!” moment when all is clear and all the technical stages are resolved to make an object come to life.

How important is tradition for you?

It’s an essential, inescapable bond that is intrinsically tied with to our art. Italy, and Florence in particular, are a land of great artistic traditions. People come here from all over the world to admire what other artisans before our time have created. It is in our DNA, everything is bound by continuity and renovation. Being able to discern the contemporary and evocative elements in the artistic creations of the past and innovate them following one’s emotions rather than trendy fashion is the key.

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