Marty buys Peter Macchiarini Earrings

Marty wearing 1950 Peter Macchiarini earrings_ Dan Macchiarini_

Marty wearing 1950 Peter Macchiarini earrings beside Dan Macchiarini

Yes friends and collectors, I too have an addiction for jewelry and often buy and wear jewelry other than my own.

Over the years I have made many a pilgrimage to the Macchiarini Gallery on Grant Ave in North Beach, San Francisco. Peter Macchiarini, one of the pioneers of the modernist movement, had a tiny shop on upper Grant Ave. Years ago, when in the area and after gazing at the minimal display through the dusty glass, I would timidly ring the bell and gain entry. On several occasions I had the pleasure of meeting Peter personally but regretfully, I never purchased a piece of his work during his lifetime.

Display of Peter Macchiarini Jewelry

Display of Peter Macchiarini Jewelry

Iron and pearl Pod Broach_Peter's work 1960

Iron and pearl Pod Broach_Peter’s work 1960










Last weekend when my husband and I were in San Francisco celebrating our anniversary and after Sunday morning coffee at the Caffe Trieste we strolled to the Macchiarini Gallery. The gallery had moved to a larger space across the street from its previous location but didn’t open until noon.

At noon, we return and Art drops me off at the corner and drives off in search of parking. I ring the bell and Dan Macchiarini, Peter’s son, unlocks the door and I step into the remarkable showroom and back in time. A collection of Peters work is showcased along one wall, each shelf representing a different decade. Sculptures adorn the walls and mobiles rotate from the ceiling. After admiring the not for sale collection of Peter’s work I gravitate to the front showcase and admire the many designs within. Most are made by Dan who has followed in his fathers footsteps and is a talented and prolific designer with a style similar to his fathers. Dans daughter is also a jeweler so this studio shop showcases the work of three generations as well as guest artists. A few of Peter’s designs, re-purchased from the “Meredith Davis collection” of are for sale and I ask to look at these pieces.

Marty and Dan Macchiarini - North Beach Shop

Marty and Dan Macchiarini – North Beach Shop

Inside the Macchiarini Gallery - North Beach

Inside the Macchiarini Gallery – North Beach










I have only been in the gallery a few minutes when my cell phone rings and my husband’s exasperated voice informs me that he cannot find a parking space. He urges me to hurry but I have fallen in love with a pair of gold Peter Macchiarini earrings and entreat him to find parking.

Gold and Pearl Macchiarini Earrings 1950's

Gold and Pearl Macchiarini Earrings 1950’s

Through the window, I spot a vacant parking space across the street and dash outside in an attempt to hold it just as my cell rings again. Art tells me that he has found a space but has no money for the meter and I walk down the street to meet him, scrounging in my purse for change. As we walk back towards the gallery, I tell Art about the gold earrings; that they are original Peter Macchiarinis with a “Calderesque” feel and that I think we should consider purchasing them. My husband has very discerning taste and is often difficult to please but when I hold up the earrings, he tells me that they are lovely. They are masterfully articulated and the etched gold rectangle and the pivoting drop with the pearl swing freely.  I try them on and the liner effect is precise and elegant.


Macchiarini workshop - burn out kiln

Macchiarini workshop – burn out kiln

Marty and Dan Macchiarini -Back room workshop

Marty and Dan Macchiarini -Back room workshop








Thirty minutes later, after a tour of the back workroom, I leave the shop wearing the coveted earrings.



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