The Italian fine jewellery firm of Carlo Illario e F.lli was founded in 1920 by three brothers – Carlo, Vincenzo and Luigi Illario. They established their manufacturing business in Valenza, an area of northern Italy, south-west of Milan, that is renowned internationally for its fine goldsmiths and quality jewellery.
The brothers gained a reputation for the fineness of their craftsmanship and their development and use of innovative goldsmithing techniques. Their work caught the attention of leading Italian retail jewellers such as Fasano and Faraone but most significantly Bulgari, who recognised the quality of their pieces and began working with the firm.
Illario created many pieces for Bulgari during the 1950s, 60s and 70s including their now iconic Serpenti watch bracelets which were worn by many of the world’s most glamorous women including Elizabeth Taylor, whose love of Bulgari is well documented.
As well as manufacturing fine jewellery for other firms, Illario also designed, made and sold jewellery under their own name. They were known for using not only fine gemstones but also more unusual materials such as polychrome enamel, tortoiseshell and mother of pearl and using techniques suchmas black rhodium plating to provide bold contrasts to their pieces.
The quality of craftsmanship isnclear in all jewels that bear the Illario name, making them highly desirable to the discerning collector.