For centuries, Venice has been known for its jewellers and goldsmiths. “In 1225 Federick II of Sicily commissioned a crown from the goldsmith Marino Nadal,” while in the 16th century “a group of jewellers and patricians sold a gold crown that imitated the papal tiara to Sultan Suleyman II,” write art historians Cristina Gregorin and Norbert Heyl in their book Venice Master Artisans.
If you want to see something really different, writes Maria Doulton at The Jewellery Editor, avoid the queues outside the Doge’s Palace and the Basilica and “head for the old-fashioned, wood-fronted shop with the word ‘Codognato’ painted above the windows.” This shop has been here since 1886, “when Simeone Codognato, of longstanding Venetian lineage, set up shop selling precious items to tourists looking for a souvenir on their ‘Grand Tour’.” Another “repository of the unexpected” is Nardi, according to Nick Foulkes at How To Spend It. “It is a beautiful shop, in the old-fashioned way. Venetian velvet covers the walls. The vitrines of brooches, necklaces and cuff links have dignity about them that is enhanced by classical artworks,” he continues. “The charming Alberto Nardi, a gemologist, travels to Colombia, Burma and beyond bringing back stones for his artisans, who work in a small workshop behind the square.”
Then there’s Venetian enamel expert Sigfrido Cipolato, writes Artemest, who “employs authentic 17th-century techniques to craft his jewels” in a style reminiscent of Fabergé. And equally luxe, contemporary jewellers include Antonia Miletto, a graduate gemologist from Venice, whose pieces combine “ebony, rare gems, exotic woods, and of course, diamonds,” according to Luxe City Guides; and Roman-born Palwer, who was “the former creative director at Ungaro and costume maker for Italian Opera productions before opening his own jewellery atelier in Venice,” explains Luxos. “What he brings to the table is nothing short of emotional artistic expression.”
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