Among the historic Renaissance streets in the San Niccolò district of Florence, I was attracted to the unusual pieces of jewellerydisplayed in the store windows of the Florentine goldsmith maestro, Alessandro Dari’s workshop. Naturally, I dragged my cousin and we were both taken to a magical, unique and beautiful jewellery paradise. This was jewellery that I had never seen before. With a combined showroom, museum and atelier, the small space is filled with beautiful pieces of handcrafted jewellery.
Alessandro Dari’s work is based on a constant spiritual quest of his own personal experiences, which both nourishes and stimulates him in the creation of his works. He believes that the art of the goldsmith is a sublime art, not inferior to the other great arts, but an art that has yet to find its well-deserved recognition, due to the generally held idea that it is too hedonistic and not at all spiritual.
Self-taught, he has looked closely at ancient goldsmith techniques of the great civilizations and epochs of the past, such as Etruscan and Classical art and the Gothic and Renaissance periods. The outcomes are works of art. With inspiration taken from Gothic art, castles, music, Alchemy and sacred art, there is exquisiteness in design and finishing.
My personal favorites were the intricate detail of the crown rings and the embellishment on other rings with precious stones.
Dari represents the crown in various ways in this collection, created over the two year period 1991-92. Most of the pieces are rings, created principally in bronze and yellow gold and enriched by semiprecious and precious stones.
Ever since antiquity, humanity has been organized into social classes and hence there has been a necessity for the symbol indication position at every different level. The crown is one such symbol-a symbol of power, but also a visual emblem of lineage and social role.
For Dari, the collection is centered on the notion of spirituality found in the highest part of our heads. The crown, in fact, crowns something noble, something impossible to see it with the naked eye, but which exists and is found above all of us. To crown this aura above us, is to recognize the importance and the connection of our body to something divine. Producing a golden crown to place on a head with the tines pointing upwards, signifies, for Dari, the link with the divine and our inclination towards the vertical as a necessary natural journey.