This year the jewelry label from sunny Capri turns 70. It shares a history with the Mediterranean island, whose story also began in the 1950s when Europe’s bohemia – film stars, writers, artists and aristocrats - fell in love with it. Among those enjoying a bon-vivant life on Capri were friends: Pietro Capuano and Salvatore Aprea, two very different and colourful characters.
Pietro Capuano, heir of a family of Neapolitan jewellers and infamous dandy, held thunderous parties on the island of Capri. His habit of turning down as the sun rises earned him the nickname Chantecler (in English - Singing at Dawn) – like the fictitious rooster character from the play of the same name by French dramatist Edmond Rostand.
Salvatore Aprea was a native of Capri and at that time he abandoned his law studies to pursue his passion and apply his creative potential to the art of jewelry.
Salvatore’s rich imagination and taste for luxury combined with Pietro’s professional knowledge led to the birth of Chantecler in 1947 and the cocky rooster became a token and signature piece of the brand, along with the Campanelle pendant - a symbol of Peace and Fortune on Capri. For seventy years this piece of jewellery by Chantecler has been recreated in thousands of gemstone combinations and each year takes everyone by surprise. Once upon a time, the bejewelled bell was a must-have for devotees such as Jackie Onassis, Ingrid Bergman, Maria Callas, Audrey Hepburn, Liz Taylor and Grace Kelly.
Aprea and Capuano skilfully embodied a dolce vita philosophy in their jewelry, which is maintained today by Salvatore’s three daughters who manage the brand. One of them – Maria Elena Aprea – inherited her father’s artistic talent and in her role as Creative Director at Chantecler, she crafts pieces from gold, coloured precious stones, diamonds, coral, pearls, and grand feu enamel with an an intensity of colour and in vibrant forms, reflecting the Mediterranean spirit.