Venice’s Prized Jeweler Attilio Codognato Dies at 83 – WWD

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Italian Atillio Codognato, whose household has had a namesake jeweler operation for greater than a century in Venice, Italy, died Sunday.

Codognato, 83, had been in “frail” well being in latest weeks and had not been going into the household’s retailer, based on Tatiana Sorokko, a good friend of 30-plus years. She was knowledgeable of his dying by an organization consultant on Monday.

Executives on the firm and Codognato’s family members couldn’t be reached Monday for remark.

A fourth-generation jeweler, Codognato drew upon Byzantine, Roman, and Renaissance influences. Established by Simeone Codognato in 1866, close to Piazza San Marco, the vacation spot was recognized for its designs.  The jewels and baubles had been sought by a number of the world’s main shoppers, together with Hollywood actor Richard Burton, who bought a golden gem-eyed snake with a crown of diamonds for his then-wife Elizabeth Taylor in 1973. However Burton reportedly didn’t wish to depart the Gritti Palace, preferring to remain there for a drink, so Codognato made the journey to their suite — and secured the acquisition.

By means of the years his household had a popularity for catering to their well-known and luxury-minded clients together with the Duchess of Windsor, Jacqueline Kennedy, Lee Radziwill, Diana Vreeland, Coco Chanel, Grace Kelly, Maria Callas and others. Having championed Codognato’s designs within the U.S., Sorokko stated she did so as a result of he was a hidden treasure in Venice. She organized an exhibition of his work at her San Francisco gallery and had a hand in a presentation devoted to his prized work at Bergdorf Goodman.

Elusive and extremely non-public, Codognato was among the many most revered and “mysterious” jewellery designers, whose stage of discretion meant that they solely labored with sure shoppers, she stated.

“He had a following that was nearly like a cult following,” Sorokko stated. “One of many fascinating issues about him was that he designed jewellery that males preferred to put on. Alessandro Michele and [the actor] Nicolas Cage purchased rings from him. And the photographer Gilles Bensimon was all the time carrying his rings.”

Sorokko, a former runway mannequin, first met the jeweler in 1992 between Milan and Paris vogue weeks. Throughout a getaway together with her husband at the moment, she wandered into Codognato’s San Marco boutique and purchased a bit of bijou.

She stated, “He all the time stated, ‘I don’t design jewellery as a result of my father, my grandfather and nice grandfather left such a legacy of design,” including that Codognato was actively concerned with the enterprise previous to his dying.

Artists additionally appreciated the craft in every bit with Damien Hearst, Cindy Sherman and Jeff Koons among the many followers, as was dressmaker Anna Sui. That appreciation was two-fold, since Codognato began what turned a big artwork assortment by opening an artwork gallery in Venice within the ’60s. His first present was for the Argentine artist and sculptor Lucio Fontana and Cy Twombly.  

“The juxtaposition of that up to date artwork in a 15th century palazzo within the Grand Canal was all the time so staggeringly stunning and strange. It additionally confirmed that he had such a way of fashion. At the moment, he might principally [afford] to purchase from anyone, however he caught with up to date artwork. He had [Robert] Rauschenberg and Bruce Nauman in his assortment,” Sorokko stated.

Coincidentally, Assouline is publishing a guide, “Codognato Masterpiece,” this month.

Codognato is survived by a son, Marco, a up to date artwork curator who’s the director of the Anish Kapoor Basis, and a daughter, Kika.

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