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 identified for its designs. The jewels and baubles had been sought by a few of the world’s main purchasers, 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 need to go away the Gritti Palace, preferring to remain there for a drink, so Codognato made the journey to their suite — and secured the acquisition.
By the years his household had a repute 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 mentioned 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 personal, Codognato was among the many most revered and “mysterious” jewellery designers, whose stage of discretion meant that they solely labored with sure purchasers, she mentioned.
“He had a following that was nearly like a cult following,” Sorokko mentioned. “One of many attention-grabbing issues about him was that he designed jewellery that males appreciated to put on. Alessandro Michele and [the actor] Nicolas Cage purchased rings from him. And the photographer Gilles Bensimon was all the time sporting his rings.”
Sorokko, a former runway mannequin, first met the jeweler in 1992 between Milan and Paris trend weeks. Throughout a getaway together with her husband at the moment, she wandered into Codognato’s San Marco boutique and acquired a chunk of knickknack.
She mentioned, “He all the time mentioned, ‘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 clothier Anna Sui. That appreciation was two-fold, since Codognato began what turned a major 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 modern artwork in a 15th century palazzo within the Grand Canal was all the time so staggeringly lovely and strange. It additionally confirmed that he had such a way of favor. At the moment, he may principally [afford] to purchase from anyone, however he caught with modern artwork. He had [Robert] Rauschenberg and Bruce Nauman in his assortment,” Sorokko mentioned.
Coincidentally, Assouline is publishing a e book, “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.