Based in Venice, he was the favorite jeweler of aesthetes and initiates with his snake rings and memento mori brooches. Designer Francesca Amfitheatrof will take over the torch together with her two children and perpetuate her brand and heritage.
Attilio Codagnato was a jeweler like no other, absolutely deaf to the laws of marketing, with a single point of sale in the world, in Venice, where he sold exclusively unique pieces, and above all adopted an inimitable style – although widely imitated – and recognizable – for insiders – at first glance. All these elements have contributed to the success and appreciation of this family business for four generations. Codagnato jewelry has been attracting the world’s chicest women for decades, from Louise de Vilmorin to Kate Moss, from Coco Chanel to Jeanne Moreau, from Diana Vreeland to the Duchess of Windsor, as well as men such as Cocteau and Orson Wells, Andy Warhol and Visconti, Karl Lagerfeld and Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, Alessandro Michele and Nicolas Cage. Born into a family of Venetian goldsmiths and jewelers, he succeeded the family of his father, his grandfather and his great-grandfather in the early 1970s by giving his small shop a stone’s throw from St. Mark’s Square a global image that attracted collectors visiting during the Art Biennale has not missed a visit to his store for anything in the world.
Attilio Codagnato, who died earlier this week in hospital in Venice after an illness, was a very cultured man, spoke fluent French and was a passionate reader of Proust. He was himself a great specialist in contemporary painting, collector of paintings by Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol (who made a portrait of him), but also of Robert Rauschenberg, Bruce Nauman, Lucio Fontana and Cy Twombly. However, this fan of Marcel Duchamp, like his ancestors, was more inspired by Byzantine art and Etruscan excavations, the Italian Baroque and the productions of Caravaggio. While his grandfather made waves with his Moorish brooches with ebony heads, he concentrated on luxury jewelry, snake rings, cameos, pieces with secrets and enamel decorations. “Jewelry is an art of thefthe said recently,Years ago, the most important thing is that we draw inspiration from what surrounds us, to transform it“.
Attilio Codagnato had two children, a son Mario – exhibition curator and director of the Anish Kapoor Foundation – and a daughter Cristina. They announced that designer Francesca Amfitheatrof would, sooner than expected, and at the initiative of their father, take over the artistic direction of the brand alongside them, while retaining her positions within Louis Vuitton’s jewelry department. “They spent a lot of time together and shared a fascination with the art and alchemy behind jewelry. Our father believed that Francesca was the only jewelry designer who could enter his world and take over with enthusiasm and taste.“.
Franscesca Amfitheatrof for her part told the Figaro : “ I first met Attilio when I was twenty and his son Mario organized his first exhibition in London. We immediately got along well and developed strong bonds, both with us and with his family. Like all art and jewelry lovers, I dreamed of what Attilio had in store for us. His magic and spirit were always the highlight of every Biennale. I am honored to be given the responsibility to continue his legacy and participate in the‘The history of Codagnato began in Venice in 1866.»