The Codognato jeweler’s has been a landmark of Venice for over a century.It remains a distinguished island in a city whose heart has tended to erode.
It was back in 1866 that Simeone Codognato decided to open his shop in the very same spot where it stands today. More than a business venture, it was an act of faith. Simeone’s son immediately understood the considerable interest of the jewels unearthed by contemporary archaeological digs in Etruria which inspired him to a revolutionary new jeweler’s art. Attilio Codognato, the current owner, from closely following creative evolutions, and welcomes to his display windows everything which strikes his imagination. For this highly cultured man, a great specialistin contemporary painting, and capable of constructive eclecticism, is also a man of a impeccable taste.
1822: Birth of Simeone Codognato, founder of Casa Codognato, in Venice.
1844: Simeone goes into business as a dealer in antiques, paintings and objects d’art.
1866: Opening of the jeweler’s shop at the current address: San Marco, 1295, right at the time when Venice is annexed to the Kingdom of Italy. Simeone no longer sells objets d’art, but makes and sells his own creations. The “Fenice” theatre reopens after closing for seven years in protest against the Austrian occupation. (the “Fenice” it later burned on January 29,1996).
1867: Birth of Attilio Codognato, son of Simeone.
1895: First Modern Art Biennial in Venice.
1897: Death of Simeone. Attilio pursues his father’s ideas, while finding his inspiration in what would later be known as “Italian Archaeological Goldsmithing.” Following the rediscovery of the Etruscan style through contemporary archaeological digs, the two jewelers, Castellani of Rome and Giuliano of Naples would become the pioneers of “Italian Archaeological Goldsmithing.”
1898: Construction of the Excelsior Hotel, on the Lido, in the Venetian, Byzantine and Oriental style resembling that of the Codognato emporium.
1900: The fame of the Casa Codognato begins to spread around the world. Members of the Russian, English and Italian royal families, as well as such famous dancers, painters and writers as Serge Diaghilev, Auguste Renoir, Eugene Boudin, Edouard Manet, Whistler, Paul Morand and Jean Cocteau, frequent the shop, becoming clients.
1901: Birth of Mario Codognato, son of Attilio.
1910: Attilio is the prime goldsmith to Saint Marc’s Basilica, in a tradition continued by Mario, and today by Attilio.
1928: Death of Attilio, son of Simeone.
1930: Venice is the center for cultural and worldly festivities. Stravinsky and Serge Lifar are Mario’s friends and clients.
1932: August 6th, inauguration of the first international film festival (the Venice Film Festival).
1935: Retrospective of all of Titian’s work in Venice influences a new way of presenting art throughout the world.
1938: January 5th, birth of Attilio Codognato, son of Mario.
1949: Peggy Guggenheim purchases the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni to showcase her collection.
The ensuing economic development allows Casa Codognato to continue business, managed by Uncle Gino between the death of Mario (the same year) and the moment when Attilio is ready to take over.
1958: Attilio serves his apprenticeship in his father, grandfather and great-grandfather’s profession in London and in the shop itself.
1966: Acqua alta (flood tide) makes an unwelcome entry into the shop.
1970: At the demand of his clientele, Attilio, having represented the most prestigious international jewelers, returns to creating and selling the jewels of his own house.
2002: Attilio, current head of the Casa Codognato, remains faithful to his ancestors’ legacy, and like them, attracts a celebrity clientele.