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Picchiotti

Vivienne Becker


Contents

Foreword  w 6 The Picchiotti Story  w 12 Fifty Years of Style  w 44 Atelier  w 76 Telling the World  w 102 1967–2000  w 110 2000–2010  w 126 2010–2015  w 162 2015–2016  w 204 The Next FiftyYears  w 236 Acknowledgements  w 243 Bibliography  w 244


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he global luxury brand Picchiotti epitomises the essence of exquisite haute couture jewellery. The magnificent designs are created in Valenza, Italy, with time-honoured craftsmanship, using only the finest materials, to produce jewels

that are unforgettably beautiful and treasured from generation to generation.  w  I was fortunate to meet Giuseppe Picchiotti for the first time when I was CEO of Borsheims, in Omaha, Nebraska, in the early 1980s. He had travelled from Italy to the Midwest to visit the store and the Friedman family, and to showcase his incredible jewellery collection that was unlike anything that we had purchased before. From this initial meeting began a long and mutually successful relationship and close friendship with the family and many clients. We would visit Giuseppe and his family at the important jewellery shows, and were always welcomed like family and privileged to share lunch with them in their booth – delicious homemade Italian meals over which we would exchange stories and forge an even stronger relationship.  w   Giuseppe Picchiotti, the patriarch of the

Picchiotti brand, is a perfectionist, and each jewel created by the Picchiotti atelier carries his name and must be perfect in every regard! When you watch Giuseppe show one of his jewels, it is evident that each creation is like his child. He very carefully and tenderly presents the piece and points out the intricacies of the design, the unbelievable finesse of the workmanship, the exceptional quality of the gems – the finest colour and clarity

The signature Picchiotti diamond Rose brooch.

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of perfectly matched rubies, emeralds, sapphires and diamonds – perfectly cut to fit together to create unique and memorable designs. The richness of the colours, the sparkle and brilliance of the gems, the genius of design, all combine to take your breath away.  w   The past fifty years of Giuseppe Picchiotti’s passion, masterful eye and talented creativity have brought exquisite jewellery into our world, and these timeless and classic works of art are sought after by distinguished and discerning clients around the world. I have no doubt that Picchiotti jewels will continue to bring happiness and joy to those fortunate enough to own these treasures today and in the future. They are surely destined to be heir­looms handed down through generations.  w   Congratulations, Giuseppe, on this significant milestone achievement of your fiftieth anniversary! We all wish you and your beautiful family continued success and happiness in the future.

Susan M. Jacques President and CEO, Gemological Institute of America (GIA) Former President and CEO, Borsheims Fine Jewelry

Platinum ring central cushion diamond surrounded by baguette diamonds.

Overleaf: View of Valenza from the Picchiottis’ villa.

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The Picchiotti Story


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taly’s great tradition of goldsmithing is embedded in its long history, engraved in its heart and soul. From the awe-inspiring ancient skills of the mysterious Etruscans in the seventh century bc through the wayward Renaissance genius

of Benvenuto Cellini, to the conceptual artist-goldsmiths of Padua and the ‘Made in

Italy’ style revolution of the 1960s and ’70s, the noble art of the goldsmith and jeweller has always been an essential ingredient of Italian cultural heritage. Today that great tradition continues to thrive and evolve, concentrated in various goldsmithing and jewellery centres across Italy, most notably in Valenza, renowned for its meticulous hand-craftsmanship of precious gem-set jewellery. It is in this quiet town in the province of Alessandria, enveloped in the lush and fragrant vine-covered hills of Piedmont, that the Picchiotti family, two generations and seven family members, quietly, steadfastly and passionately celebrates and perpetuates its rich heritage.  w Picchiotti, today the pre-eminent jeweller of Valenza and a typically Italian family-run business, embodies the classical nobility of Italian jewellery, preserving its essence, dignity and timelessness, and at the same time injects this classicism with a flourish of contemporary Italian fashion flair. In true Italian spirit, the Picchiotti family challenges the conventions they so revere, pushing boundaries of craftsmanship and technology, which in turn liberates design and stimulates creativity so as to reinvent the classics, making

Imposing oak doors mark the entrance to the Picchiotti headquarters in Valenza.

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them modern.  w  This is exactly what Giuseppe Picchiotti did in the late 1960s and ’70s. Having established his own company in 1967, he was instrumental in forging an entirely fresh, exciting and dynamic style of contemporary Italian jewellery design, a style that influenced jewellery around the world, ensuring that Italian jewellers led the way forward into a new era of masterful modernity. Today, as the company celebrates its fiftieth anniversary in 2017, Picchiotti is acknowledged, across the world, as the quintessential, classical Italian jeweller.

AN APPRENTICESHIP   Giuseppe Picchiotti was born in Valenza into a family of phar-

macists, one of the few original Valenza families to remain in the town today. It was always expected that he would follow the family path and study pharmacology at university. Looking back today, Giuseppe recalls that his lack of enthusiasm and aptitude for the family profession disappointed his father. Hard as it is to imagine, talking to this dignified, dapper, impeccably mannered gentleman, he was, he says, the black sheep of the family. Growing up in Valenza, he absorbed, as if by osmosis, the artistic atmosphere of the town, he breathed the air of creativity and craftsmanship, and felt connected in mind and spirit to the jewellery world. Realizing his young son’s reluctance, Giuseppe’s father asked the director of the renowned Valenza jewellery school, a close friend and a

Giuseppe Picchiotti.

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jewellery designer himself, if his son could work in his atelier during his summer holi-

the idea to life. Giuseppe explains, too, that it was unusual for an atelier of this calibre to

days, perhaps hoping that Giuseppe would be dissuaded from jewellery-making and

take on a young and virtually untrained worker. Camurati and Ubertone demanded the

return to the family fold as a medical professional. From the age of just thirteen, and for

highest levels of workmanship, and while they trained a large number of apprentices –

three consecutive years, Giuseppe spent long hot summer days in the workshop, helping,

at least forty by the late 1950s – only eight to twelve artisans were considered sufficiently

watching, practising, learning his craft. ‘When my friends were out playing, I was work-

skilled to be offered permanent positions.  w Eventually, having proved his tenacity

ing seven to eight hours every day, at the bench’, he recollects. ‘Even better, though, I also

and abi­lity to his family, Giuseppe was able to attend the Valenza jewellery school – the

began learning design.’  w  The company, Camurati & Ubertone, specialized in work-

Istituto Professionale Orafo – full-time, studying there for three years. The school offered

ing platinum, and was the first in Valenza to perfect this expertise, a skill demanding the

an exceptional breadth of training: goldsmithing, engraving, stone-setting, design, orna­

utmost precision and finesse. The firm had been established in the post-war years of opti-

mental design, gemmology, every aspect of jewellery-making. ‘I was lucky to have the

mism by Pierino Camurati, an experienced, talented goldsmith, and his nephew, Pietro

best teachers’, says Giuseppe, ‘one from Budapest, one from Prague, both artists, both

Ubertone, a gem enthusiast who was also well versed in modern manufacturing tech-

designers. And I had an art history teacher from Turin. As much as I hated studying

niques. Before long, they had built a reputation as the most sophisticated jewellery atelier

pharmacology, so I loved studying jewellery and I put all my efforts into it.’ w Looking

in Italy, and had attracted a clientele of private collectors from around the world, includ-

back, Giuseppe places enormous value on his training at Camurati & Ubertone. He refers

ing leading Italian fam­ilies, such as the Agnelli and Barilla, and stars including Sophia

to his three summers there as his ‘second school’, adding that the experience revealed

Loren and Maria Callas. Giuseppe says that these discerning clients were drawn to the

and honed his ability and his intent, instilling in him a lifelong dedication to excellence.

company’s philo­sophy, based on a single-minded ‘search for beauty’. Camurati would

‘I had the opportunity to learn skills and artistry I would never otherwise have learnt.

sketch a design, then hand it to his chief designer to perfect and refine the concept and

A third of everything I learnt, I learnt there’, he states. From this time Giuseppe was

plan the con­struction, while Ubertone would search out the perfect gemstones to bring

exactly where he wanted to be: totally immersed in Valenza’s micro­cosmic world of

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jewels, at the heart of a fast-growing, dynamic creative industry that fuses art and craft, and that was, and is still the lifeblood and energy of Valenza.

VALENZA  Valenza is heir to Italy’s ancient goldsmithing heritage that spread from

Etruria across northern Italy. The Etruscans inhabited the central part of Italy, encom­ passing modern-day Tuscany and parts of Umbria and Lazio. It was here that they perfected their ravishing goldworking skills of casting, modelling, and particularly the awe-inspiring technique of granulations. Throughout the ancient and medieval world, gold, gems and jewels were the prerogative of royalty, nobility and the church, but later, after social and industrial revolution across Europe, with the resulting rise of a wealthy merchant class, jewels became prized status symbols, sought after by an ever-widening market. This demo­cra­tization of luxury, combined with increasing industrialization of manufacture, stimulated the expansion of Italy’s small, individual artisanal workshops into a thriving jewellery industry.  w  Each goldsmithing region developed its own spe­cia­lity, and while other centres were increasingly industrialized, producing machinemade jewels, throughout the twentieth century Valenza became known for its fine oldworld hand-craftsmanship of exceptional gem-set jewellery. The industry in and around Valenza can be traced back to the early nineteenth century, to 1817 when Francesco

The Picchiotti headquarters in Valenza.

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Caramora, a goldsmith from Pavia, moved to Valenza and opened a small workshop. In

new processes and Parisian sophistication and artistry, elevating the quality of Valenza’s

these early decades of the nineteenth century, goldsmithing was very much a cottage

usual production, and most significantly perhaps, introducing the use of coloured gem-

industry, with small, modest workshops, mostly inhabited by indi­vidual artisans, scat-

stones, brought to Europe from the East by gem merchants travelling centuries-old trade

tered through the area. In 1845, a goldsmith called Vincenzo Morosetti arrived in

routes. It was a time of expansion and industrial growth for the town, with the introduc-

Valenza from a sojourn in Argentina where he had spent some considerable time, devel-

tion of electricity, and an efficient railroad network improving transportation and com-

oping both technical and entrepreneurial skills. He opened a workshop and took on two

munication.  w  Like a spreading family tree, Melchiorre’s apprentices went on to

artisans from the area, Carlo Bigatti and Francesco Zacchetti, producing accessible,

found their own businesses, and from these grew the proliferation of small, individual

affordable jewellery that found a ready market far outside of the immediate region

workshops and companies that charac­terize Valenza’s jewellery industry today. In 1850,

of Alessandria. In effect, Morosetti founded the export trade that was to fuel the ind­-

there were just three manufacturers; in 1911, Melchiorre alone employed eighty-six work-

ustry and economy of Valenza.  w  It was one of Morosetti’s apprentices, Vincenzo

ers, in 1914 there were forty-four companies in Valenza, employing some 515 workers

Melchiorre, however, who truly set Valenza on the road to success and international

out of a population of just 5000, and by 1945 there were some 300 individual jewellery

renown. Clearly a young man with big dreams and ambitions, with his sights set way

businesses. With the estab­lishment of the Associazione Orafa Valenzana (Valenza

beyond the close-knit provincial community of Valenza, he left his hometown to train

Goldsmiths’ Association), which developed the town’s huge potential in the boom years

with a prestigious goldsmith in Turin. In 1869 he fulfilled his ultimate dream by moving

of the 1960s and ’70s, this figure was to rise dramatically, reaching 1200 companies in

to Paris, refining his skills and training in the art of High Jewellery. Forced to leave Paris

the 1980s. Today Valenza boasts between 700 and 800 highly specialized jewellery atel-

the following year by the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War, he went on to work in

iers, their style known around the world, their jewels prized for the quality of craftsman-

Rome and Florence before returning to Valenza, where in 1873 he established his own

ship. What is remar­kable about the jewellery trade of Valenza is the quiet, unchanging

atelier, Melchiorre & C. He brought with him his newly acquired technical virtuosity,

modesty of the town, the way in which its companies have retained a distinct,

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enterprising family flavour, each small, self-sufficient, compact, with a close relationship and respect between owners and workers. They operate with an instinctive balance between age-old hand artisanship and innovative technology, and a certain restraint in terms of branding and marketing: quality and integrity, dedication and pride of craftsmanship are what matter most.

PICCHIOTTI, PRIDE, PLEASURE AND FAMILY   Sadly, Giuseppe’s parents died when

he was just sixteen, and he and his brother and sister went to live with their four unmarried maternal aunts. After his three years at jewellery school, when Giuseppe was twenty, he was sent by his aunts to London for eight months to learn English, which proved to be an enormously valuable asset: on his return he was the only man in Valenza to speak English at a time of rapid internationalization and huge increase in exports. He took a job with a jewellery company focused entirely on export, and, aged just twenty-three, he began travelling widely, continuing for several years, building valuable experience and contacts, broadening his grasp of every aspect of the business. So much so, that when he left the company in 1966, he felt ready to embark on his own venture, and in 1967 he set up his own business, Picchiotti, with his sister Annamaria and one fourteen-yearold employee, Agnese. ‘We had money to buy just a few stones’, Giuseppe recalls,

Left: Ruby and sapphire bead necklace with diamond-set eagle. Europa Star 1985. Right: Transformable necklace, diamonds can be swapped for pearls. Brilliance 1993.

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‘especially coloured stones, my first love.’ While Giuseppe travelled extensively, both buying gems and selling his jewels, and finding retail clients, Annamaria supervised the operation in Valenza and young Agnese took care of office work.  w In his quest for the best gemstones he could find, in the early days Giuseppe made adventurous journeys alone to India, Sri Lanka, Burma and Thailand, with the aim of getting as close to the source as possible. He understood the importance of purchasing the right stones at the right price. From the start, his single-minded passion was for the great heritage coloured gemstones – blue sapphires, rubies and emeralds – and he aimed to buy the finest stones he could afford, opting not for size but for quality. He also found stones in London’s Hatton Garden district, and in the rue La Fayette in Paris, buying directly from Armenian, Indian, English and French merchants. Giuseppe explains that he had studied gemmology at jewellery school, and, with his special affinity with coloured stones, he knew how to look for fine crystals, of good, bright, intense colour, and for stones of excellent cut to unleash the light, brilliance and character of each stone. ‘I realized too that I had the chance to buy stones at source, at good prices, and I very soon learnt that jewellery set with these stones sold quickly and easily.’  w  To showcase the beauty and charm of the stones he loved, to allow the stones to shine supreme and reverberate with the heritage of great historic jewels, Giuseppe worked in a classical style, focusing on

Designs for the Flora collection of flower brooches. Left: Orchid, red and pink sapphires, yellow diamond pistil. Right: Tea Rose, diamonds edged with rubies.

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Left: Design for ring, oval ruby and baguette diamonds.

Left: Design for a Knot necklace, 1020 diamonds totalling over 76 carats.

Right: Design for a ruby Cascade necklace, diamonds, cabochon rubies,

Right: Design for a Feather brooch, diamonds and buff-top sapphires.

winner of the 1998 Couture Design Award.

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elegance, sophisticated simplicity, perfect pro­por­tions and refined craftsmanship. The cut of the stones and the way in which they were set were of vital importance to him. He believed, too, that this traditional app­roach would have a universal appeal: it was a style appreciated and understood in many countries around the world, at a time of thriving exports and a growing international recognition of all things Italian. He was proved right almost immediately, as his classic, stately but low-key gem-set jewels began to find eager buyers, jewellery retailers, around the globe.  w  Setting out to sell his jewels, Giuseppe resumed his travels, first throughout Europe where his linguistic ability was a great advantage: as well as English, he was fluent in French, which was spoken at home, and eventually he taught himself German. No-one in Germany spoke English at the time, he says. He would take the train to Germany with his bag of jewels, and once installed in a hotel, he would always ask the concierge where he might buy an expensive watch. Inevitably he would be directed to the best jewellery shop in the city. He remembers, too, changing from one train to another, visiting Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt. ‘People, retailers, were impressed by the quality, of the stones, the settings and the finish’, he says. ‘They only had to turn the jewel over and look at the back to see the quality of workmanship.’ Italian design, style and craftsmanship, he continues, had acquired a very particular prestige, and his new jewels fused Italian design and quality with the timeless

Left: Design for a Peacock brooch, diamonds, 5-carat emerald, pear-shaped emeralds, fancy yellow diamonds. Right: Design for a bangle, haematite, gold-embellished with diamond and ruby motifs.

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classi­cism associated with true heirlooms. It was a winning combination. The essence of Picchiotti style, and the philosophy of the young company, were both perfectly expressed in the company logo, conceived and designed by Giuseppe himself at the very start of the business, fifty years ago, and largely unchanged today (see page 14): the name is spelt out in strong, simple, graphic capital letters, as if it were hewn from stone, architectural and monumental, reminiscent of ancient Rome. The plain rec­tangular linear border was added much later, just a decade ago.  w After his trips to Germany, buoyed by initial success, Giuseppe ventured further afield, to Hong Kong, where the British-owned department store Lane Crawford instantly offered him a lucrative contract, asking for exclusivity for a year. It was worth the arduous journey, he recalls. ‘There were seven stops on the flight to Hong Kong in those days.’ Having conquered Asia, Giuseppe decided to attempt to infiltrate the lucrative but famously impenetrable United States market. This was indeed a challenge, he recalls, but he worked hard, was tenacious and charmingly persistent, and before too long Tiffany & Co. became his biggest customer. At this stage, the jewels made by Picchiotti were generally not branded. This was in line with the overall trend within the international jewellery world at the time; the potential for branded jewellery was only beginning to be explored.  w The recognition and appreciation Giuseppe’s jewels were receiving in America and Asia, in

Sketch of a Peacock brooch, with the wax model, awaiting assembly of gold components.

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particular through the relationship with Lane Crawford, gave his embryonic business the impetus it needed to push forward towards international success. By the early 1970s, his designs had been updated, contemporized, and infused with new-found confidence and a fresh, fashionable dynamism. Now Giuseppe was able to blend an Italian spirit of exuberance with the architectural purity that was becoming his style signature. Picchiotti jewels perfectly captured and reflected the mood of the moment, the climate of social, economic and artistic revolution that was sweeping the world. Giuseppe explains that customers, the newly wealthy, younger, fashion-conscious jet set, were asking for something new, something precious and opulent but with an excitement and informality that broke with the past, broke through social conventions, reflected their values and lifestyle and heralded a new age of adornment. ‘From this time, I closely followed the market, anticipating the trends, and I began to experiment with cuts and settings.’ In this innovation of both design and workmanship, Giuseppe was able to crystallize his clear, single-minded vision for Picchiotti jewels.  w  Then, in 1973, Picchiotti was one of the first ‘foreign’ companies to exhibit at the annual jewellery and watch trade fair held in Basel; the key event of the year, drawing customers from around the globe. Previously, only Swiss exhibitors had been admitted, and Picchiotti’s presence in Basel, at the show that became known as Baselworld, opened a new chapter for the

The skilled hands of a Picchiotti artisan at work.

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brand, establishing the Picchiotti style, backed by its devotion to fine craftsmanship, and introducing it to an appreciative international audience. Since then, every new Picchiotti collection, design or innovation has been unveiled each year at Baselworld.  w  The company continued to go from strength to strength, cementing and reinforcing its relationships with retailers around the world, often through special private client events and exhibitions. In America, Picchiotti was renowned as the pre-eminent Italian jeweller. In Asia, Picchiotti gradually drew a circle of devoted, discerning clients who appreciated the finesse, the quality of the gemstones and craftsmanship, and the uncompromising attention to detail. Meanwhile, then as now, Giuseppe travelled the world non-stop, visiting dealers, mines and markets wherever beautiful stones could be found. When­ever he found himself back in Italy, Giuseppe was able to relax by deepening his knowledge of and love for fine wines, particularly those of his native Piedmont region, Barolo and Barbaresco, and the white wines of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia area, on the border with Slovenia. As ever dedicated to excellence and quality, he visited vineyards and wine­ makers, often, he says, in early November, which is the season for the famous truffles of the Alba region, where the best wines are produced. ‘I know all the wine­makers personally’, he explains with both pride and pleasure. ‘I buy directly from them every year. My favourite wine of all is the white Terlano, from South Tyrol.’ He stores the wines in his

Giuseppe Picchiotti visits the cellar of Il Centro restaurant in Priocca, near Alba, with the owner, Enrico Cordero.

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extensive cellar in his beautiful house, a late eighteenth-century neoclassical villa set in exquisite gardens and perched in the hills overlooking Valenza and the surrounding countryside (see pages 10–11). The villa was bought by Giuseppe’s grandfather, Avvocato Mansueto Picchiotti, a lawyer, at some point between 1910 and 1920, for his son Teresio, Giuseppe’s father. Over the years, the expanse of vineyards surrounding the original manor house has been converted into lawns and gardens, with some 1000 trees, four of which are as old as the villa. The interiors of the villa preserve many original and early twentieth-century features, parquet floors and wood- or silk-panelled walls. The house has been the Picchiotti family home for three generations; it is the home in which Giuseppe grew up, and that he later inherited from his parents.  w In 1977, Picchiotti moved its headquarters into an elegant 1950s villa in the centre of Valenza, an imposing building with heavy oak doors, stone balconies and fine interiors with marble floors and wood panelling. Today the villa houses the entire company and its production, with ateliers downstairs, a design studio on the ground floor and the family offices upstairs. Giuseppe works in a wood-panelled office graced with an antique Venetian fireplace and a late eighteenth-century gilt-framed mirror that once belonged to the Savoy family, Italy’s former royal family. A gilt wood and velvet-lined sedan chair, also eighteenthcentury and from the Savoy family, takes pride of place in the office, along with an

Giuseppe Picchiotti with Rodolfo Migliorini, proprietor of La Rocca dei Manzoni vineyard in Monforte d’Alba.

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antique desk and objects that belonged to Giuseppe’s late mother. Here in this office, explains Giuseppe, each morning he studies his gemstones and dreams up new ways of setting them, new designs, so as to reinvi­gorate the Picchiotti style and build on the success he has achieved in the past fifty years.

A FAMILY AFFAIR  Meanwhile, as the company grew in stature and reputation, with a

global reach and economic success, Giuseppe was joined by other members of his family: first by his wife, Maria Matilde, and then in time, one by one, by his children – his daughter, Maria Carola, in 1990, and his two sons, Filippo, also in 1990, and Umberto in 1991. Lastly a niece, Francesca, came to join the company. Giuseppe muses, with pride and pleasure: ‘Since the very beginning, I always cherished the idea that one day I would surround myself with my children and relatives to help me with the business.’ Each of Giuseppe’s children has a well-defined role. Maria Carola, educated at college in the United States, now directs marketing and communications, and organizes trade shows and special events. After obtaining a degree in finance, Filippo spent six months in Tel Aviv, Israel, learning all he could about diamonds, sorting, assessing, buying and cutting them, before joining the family business. Today he is actively involved in stone-buying, tra­velling with his father and negotiating with gem merchants, and he is also respon­sible

The Picchiotti Family: Maria Matilde and Giuseppe seated in the centre, with their children ( from left) Filippo, Umberto and Maria Carola.

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for the day-to-day running of the design studio and atelier. Umberto, the youngest, fol­ lowed in his father’s footsteps, training at the bench as a goldsmith, gaining valuable, expert technical knowledge second only to that of his father. He studied gemmology at the Gemological Institute of America in Vicenza, and today also travels extensively with Giuseppe to purchase stones, as well as helping Filippo in supervising design and manufacture. Umberto has full responsibility for quality control. In this way, Giuseppe, a man with the deepest respect for Italy’s long and rich traditions of goldsmithing and jewellery-making, for the value of Italian family ties and the nation’s network of suc­ cessful family businesses, has begun his very own family tradition, building a legacy through expertise and excellence, through a style of elegant, classical, refined moder­nity that has come to be recognized around the world as instantly and inimitably Picchiotti.

Prestigious awards won by Picchiotti at trade events over the years.

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Fifty Years of Style


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he quietly distinctive Picchiotti style has always been guided by a mix of noble classicism, deep love for coloured gemstones, and a continual, dyna­mic drive towards innovation and perfection. These key ingredients come together with

a particular harmony of design, material and technique, all infused with a powerful

Italian panache. There is an intensely Italian flavour, too, in the subtle and seamless combination of graphic architectural rigour with soft, sensual femininity; a femininity that finds expression in the sinuous swirls, twirls and twists of a silk ribbon, or in the cur­ vaceous shapes and luxuriant forms of nature, flowers, feathers, birds and butterflies. The seemingly effortless elegance of a Picchiotti jewel belies a complexity of both fabric­ a­tion and inspiration.  w The foundations of the signature Picchiotti style were laid down by Giuseppe Picchiotti when he set up his company and created his first designs in 1967. Encouraged by his initial success, in the early 1970s Giuseppe decided to steer the embryonic Picchiotti style in a far more design-driven direction. To do this, he crystallized the driving forces of his creativity, the themes, visions and ideas that inspired him, and influences from both within the jewellery world and outside. First and foremost of his inspirations was the miraculous beauty of the finest coloured stones, for which he scours the world; to this he fused his devotion to craftsmanship, an innate Italian affinity to design, and diverse influences ranging from architecture and exotic birds, to the

Jonquille flower brooch, fancy yellow natural-colour diamonds, square-cut and cabochon emeralds.

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romance of the rose, fashion and femininity.  w Today, half a century later, Picchiotti jewellery remains true to these original values, design codes and inspirations, to the classical roots that are conti­nually renewed, year on year, through artistry, imagina­tion, improved crafts skills and advanced revolutionary technology. In the Imperial collection, the draped and fringed necklaces and chandelier earrings of aristocratic splendour are now light, fluid and flexible and resolutely modern. The rare and ravishing diamonds and coloured stones that form the focal point of the Fine Gem collection are enveloped in gempaved pat­terns of thrillingly refined intricacy, volume and movement. Designs from the 1970s and ’80s that were ahead of their time and not technically achievable are now not only possible, but also produced with a finesse, suppleness and sophistication that could never have been imagined when they were first conceived. Such early designs, selected and adapted from the Picchiotti archive of some 8000 drawings or gouaches and its store of 4000 moulds, are revisited, given new life and new relevance, weaving a thema­tic, stylistic link between the past and the present of Picchiotti’s continuing story. Through its varied collections Picchiotti presents a complete ‘wardrobe’ of jewels: from timeless classics such as supple line bracelets and necklaces; through single-stone rings ‘dressed’ in baguettes, the iconic diamond rose brooch or fantastical birds of paradise; to vibrantly spirited innovations such as the ingenious Xpandable rings and bracelets. Finally, the

A layout of gems in a carefully plotted arrangement of sizes and shapes.

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Left: Design for a Bird of Paradise , diamonds, sapphire, ruby and emerald baguettes.

Left: Design for an exotic Bird brooch, diamonds, oval cabochon emerald, coral bead eye, garnet beak,

Right: Design for a ring, diamonds, waves of square buff-top rubies.

diamond-set branch. Right: Design for a bracelet, diamonds, oval sapphires and emeralds.

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finishing touch to the Picchiotti ‘wardrobe’ is the Caletta collection of jewelled timepieces,

MADE IN ITALY – 1970s STYLE REVOLUTION  The 1970s were formative years for

watches for both formal eveningwear and casual daytime looks.  w This continual

Picchiotti. In the jewellery world, stylewise, the decade was swept by a wave of moder­

renewal of classic themes and design elem­ents; the duality of consistency and change; the

nism: mainstream style was linear, urban, minimal, geometric and strongly inspired by

balance between linear, abstract designs and figurative forms: all are essential elements

art deco, as designers harked back to the original early twentieth-century machine-age

of Picchiotti design philosophy, embedded in the hearts and minds of each of the family

modernists. At the same time, in the heat of social and cultural revolution, the hedonistic

members. Each person is encouraged to bring individual ideas and opinions to the table,

flamboyance of the jet set generated another style of rich opulence in fine jewellery,

in order to keep creativity alive and moving forward, in step with fashion, lifestyle and

extrovert designs and unprecedented freedom in the use of unconventional materials,

advanced tech­nology. Giuseppe likes to emphasize the democratic nature of the family

such as coral and lapis lazuli, and heavily textured gold. Picchiotti’s designs from the

dynamic. Each year, immediately after Baselworld, work begins on the new collection

1970s show Giuseppe’s grasp of the mood of the moment, which he interpreted with both

that will be presented at Baselworld the following year. Each member is invited to con-

audacity and reverence. With his new, design-driven jewels, Giuseppe forged a role for

tribute opinions and suggestions, while Giuseppe works closely with his small team of

himself as a leader of the ’70s style revolution and the ‘Made in Italy’ movement that was

designers, explaining his vision, showing them his sketches, working out construction,

to thrust Italian jewellery to the forefront of world attention. Up until this time, Paris

articulation, materials, colours, details. When the series of different designs – various

had been considered the home of High Jewellery, and the finest work came from French

interpretations of an idea or a theme, or perhaps an updated revival of an earlier design –

ateliers. Now Italy brought together exciting, modern, Continental design with superb

is ready, the images are pinned to a wall in the studio downstairs, and the family members

artisanship, challenging the pre-eminence and superiority of French High Jewellery.

vote by secret ballot on the designs they prefer. Many are rejected, says Giuseppe, and

Italian jewels and jewellers sent shock waves through the world of jewels.  w Giuseppe

often the final choice is the result of lively debate. One thing is certain, however, and

was adept at translating 1970s and ’80s design influences through the most precious

that is that the chosen design will bear one or several of the hallmarks of Picchiotti style.

materials and superlative craftsmanship. For example, he took the ’70s craze for chains,

53


and created a collar of stirrup-shaped links, paved throughout with diamonds and centred at the front with a superb sapphire set into an abstract deco­rative element; on either side of the sapphire ran two horizontal lines of tapered sapphire baguettes, set into a frame of diamonds within a gently undulating silhouette to soften the linear composition. He devised a minimal, geometric arrow-shaped motif for ring and earrings, crisp, sharp but gently curving around a ring and constructed from ruby and diamond baguettes. Anticipating the huge ’80s trend for stiff, torque-like collars, he turned the conventional necklace into dramatic, modernist chokers, reworking the classic threerow necklace into a deep collar of three rolls of haematite and gold seemingly fastened together by architectural elements in gold and diamonds; the centre roll was overlaid with a row of rectangular cartouche-type motifs of invisibly set rubies, as if a second, delicate necklace were embroidered on to the collar. Another deep, taut and tailored collar was centred with a huge, generously proportioned curl of pavé-set diamonds, its 1970s energy rippling out around the neck in curved lines of gold and carved onyx. And another still, with a lighter, more open style, was designed as three rows of diamond braids accented with bright, grass-green tsavorite garnets, which were among the thrilling new coloured stones to be introduced to the jeweller’s palette at the time.

A Picchiotti craftsman works on a diamond-set ring.

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THE ART OF THE BAGUETTE   ‘I was, and am still, in love with the baguette-cut stone’,

states Giuseppe. He is explaining what is perhaps the strongest of all Picchiotti style signatures: the architectural silhouettes, graphic mosaics and fluid, ribbon-like streams, all composed of meticulously plotted and expertly calibrated diamonds and coloured stones. It is the baguette in particular that has always fired Giuseppe’s ima­ gination: the small, crisp, rectangular bar of light and lustre that became a defining feature of 1920s jewellery and the perfect expression of cubist-inspired, machine-age moder­nism. The slender baguette, which had been made possible in the early decades of the twentieth century by improved cutting techniques and deeper understanding of optics and the way in which the diamond plays with light, enabled jewellers to create sharp, streamlined linear outlines and geometric designs.  w  The new cut gave rise to the classic line bracelet, so fashionable in the 1920s and ’30s, and reinterpreted today by Picchiotti with a signature touch of immaculately cut, intensely col­ oured rubies, sapphires or emeralds punctuating the flow of diamonds. In the 1950s the baguette again played a starring role in the fashionable all-diamond jewels, adding a new fluidity and movement to abstract compositions, the baguettes tumbling in streams and cascades of light from necklaces and earrings. The sophistication of the ’50s baguette, the couture spirit of the age, the precision and fluidity generated by this

Stack of five line bracelets, three with diamonds, one with rubies and one with sapphires.

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sharp, chic little stone, have all influenced and inspired Giuseppe. The boun­teous baguette appears, re-cut, tapered and tailored to perfection to create ingenious, intricate designs on every iconic Picchiotti jewel.  w  Along with the art of the baguette, Giuseppe brought his own interpretation to the invisible-setting technique pioneered in the 1930s by the great Parisian jewel houses. In this highly specialized technique, small, specially-cut square coloured stones are grooved at the sides and slotted into a gold grid or framework on the reverse, so that no metal setting is visible from the front. The effect is of a mosaic-like singular expanse flooded with intense colour. This recherché process of setting was used for both abstract designs and figurative forms, especially leaves and flowers, and became a feature of late 1930s and ’40s High Jewellery, loved and worn by women of style, including the Duchess of Windsor.  w With his admi­ration for impeccably cut stones and technical innovation, Giuseppe set about indi­vidualising this expert technique, by setting four stones together using just one single gold prong, rather than a grid-like structural support. Sometimes the prong is tipped with a tiny single diamond. The effect strikes a chord of warm familiarity, of a twentieth-century classic, but with a flourish of individuality, richness and texture, and the rhythm created by the intermittent golden granules, the occasional tiny glim­mer of golden or diamond light breaking through the colour. This setting has become a much-loved Picchiotti hallmark.

Skilful hand assembly of complex jewels composed of several elements.

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GEM ARCHITECTURE  Architecture is both an artistic influence and a guiding struc-

round and baguette diamonds, and encircled with very fine lines of rubies. In the same

tural principle in all Picchiotti jewels: there’s an architectural element in the classical

decade, cocktail rings were con­jured from various interpretations of a stylized looped

purity of silhouette and composition, and also in the construction of the jewels, in the

ribbon knot, entwined with vibrantly coloured diamond, ruby, emerald and sapphire

way in which the specially cut, re-cut and calibrated gemstones are impec­cably posi-

baguettes; cuff bangles were imagined as intricately interlaced ribbons or basketweave

tioned to build line, shape, form, fluidity and colour. Giuseppe likes to talk of the inspi-

patterns.  w Today, one of Picchiotti’s most distinctive ring designs comprises a single

ration he finds continually, almost on a daily basis, in Italy’s great architectural heritage.

stone of superb colour and quality, set high into a curvaceous, bombé structure com-

‘Piazzas, palazzos, the churches of Florence and Venice, all influ­ence my ideas, my sense

posed of specially cut and positioned extra-slender diamond baguettes, arranged in an

of proportion’, he remarks. ‘I am particularly fascinated by church floors, with their mar-

unusual, modernist, irregular brick-like design. In this way, Picchiotti gives new expres-

ble inlays and intricate patterns. I try to imagine the artisans who created and crafted

sion to the classic cluster cocktail ring. The continual renewal and rejuvenation of the

these works of art. Their complexity and beauty drive me to distraction.’  w With his

classic cocktail ring, for each decade, each age, is shown to perfection in the dramatic

team of designers and jewellers, Giuseppe artfully plots perfectly proportioned compo-

fiftieth anniversary ring, a unique creation in which Picchiotti’s magnificent gem archi-

sitions of line and form, playing with the stones, with their size and shape, working out

tecture finds its fullest, most daring and contemporary expression.

the calibration of a tapered line, curve, wave or sweep, a ribbon, bow or knot, a sharp, chic arrowhead motif or diamond-shaped frame, the stylized wings or tail feathers of

NATURE, FLORA AND FAUNA   Nature rivals architecture as a vital and vibrant guiding

an exotic bird, or the abstract geometric design paved around a central coloured stone.

influence on Picchiotti iconography and style. Perennial inspiration to artists and gold-

In the 1980s, Picchiotti enjoyed great success with a matching set of collar and earrings

smiths through millennia, nature holds out the challenge taken up by every generation

composed of a three-dimensional motif based on a Roman column, powerfully graphic,

of jewellers: how to capture the power, beauty and marvels of the natural world in the

highly stylized and with lusciously rounded terminals to the columns, set with a mix of

most wondrous materials to come from the earth; how to emulate the poignant fleeting

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beauty of flowers and plants, the earliest of all adornments; how to encapsulate the strength or swiftness of animals and birds, and by some ancient, magical process transfer to the wearer the creature’s prowess. For the goldsmiths of antiquity this talismanic quality was one of the most essential roles of the jewel.  w  From the start, Picchiotti took up the challenge, creating flora and fauna, birds and blossoms: a starfish that seems to morph into a flower, a wispy, curling diamond feather (see page 121), a windblown ear of corn, a luscious orchid, collars wrapped around with leaves or bursting out on one side with an exuberant bloom, a mass of long, slender, lilting petals. A ring is handsculpted in the form of a horse’s head, standing proud high on the finger and completely paved in diamonds – a feat of modelling and gem setting. A very classic, simple yet dignified floral motif, evocative of 1960s diamond jewellery, was composed of round and marquise petal-shaped dia­monds, to link motifs, to float around necklaces of stately grandeur. The butterfly, a favoured motif of neoclassicism, a symbol of the soul and a universal jewellery theme, alights in Picchiotti’s collections with fluttering, undu­lating wings of diamond-set openwork that replicates wing markings, and studded with brilliant emeralds (see page 197). However, for Giuseppe, arch-classicist, the greatest challenge held out by nature to the jeweller lay in the most classic, emotive and allusive of flowers: the rose.

Ring in the Rose collection, diamonds, tsavorites, oval sapphire.

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THE PICCHIOTTI ROSE – A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME   The diamond rose brooch

was among the first Picchiotti creations, designed and crafted in 1967, and has been refined and perfected through the years, so that today the Picchiotti rose is treasured by collectors worldwide as a modern masterwork, one of the most iconic of Picchiotti jewels.  w Evoking the traditional rose buttonhole or corsage, pinned to a lapel or a bodice as a love token or for a celebration, the original 1967 brooch was pavé-set with more than 400 brilliant-cut diamonds. It captured, as it still does today, the velvety perfection of the young rose as it slowly unfurls, caught midway in its blossoming between a tightly curled bud full of promise and a luscious, voluptuous full-blown bloom. The design possesses the striking balance of dignity and sensuality that is so characteristic of Picchiotti style.  w  The exquisite diamond rose brings to mind the great naturalistic diamond-set jewels of the mid-nineteenth century, and in particular, perhaps, the famed Vanderbilt rose corsage ornament, made in c. 1855 and owned originally by the Italian-born Princess Mathilde Bonaparte (1820–1904), daughter of Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother Jerome. After the death of the Princess, when her jewels were sold off, the brooch was eventually bought by the wealthy American Cornelius Vanderbilt III and worn with great pride and to dramatic effect by his wife, Grace. Pinned to her corsage the softly scintillating rose formed the dramatic centrepiece to her dazzling

Iconic Rose brooch, diamonds.

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array of diamond jewels, befitting a leader of Gilded Age society.  w The allure of the

cascade of Burmese rubies on the other, their radiance pinned back at the throat by a

Picchiotti rose lies in the sculptural, three-dimensional modelling of the sensuously

huge and lustrous diamond rose, a towering presence (see page 129).  w  The thrilling,

curling petals. The brooch is made up of fourteen components, including seven petals,

naturalistic beauty of the Picchiotti rose jewels, their classicism and emotional impact,

each of which is individually sculpted, cast and hand-set separately before being lov­-­

along with the flower’s profoundly personal associations, have generated a number of

ingly assembled. The long stem of the rose – a long stem reinforces the flower’s romantic

bespoke commissions. Perhaps the most dramatic of these was a diamond rose hand

message – is set with specially re-cut diamond baguettes; a single leaf grows to one side

ornament, a conjoined ring-bracelet exuding a touch of exoticism: its two simple dia-

of the slender curve, creating a ravishingly romantic work of art.  w  The immediate

mond band rings and a similar linear diamond bracelet are linked by diamond-set

success of the rose brooch has bred a flourishing Picchiotti Rose collection, a bouquet

chains to the magnificent, sculptural diamond rose and leaf arrangement that spreads,

of rose jewels that includes a range of spectacular, conversation-piece rings added in

as if it were growing over the back of the hand.

2005. To the classic diamond single rose ring have been added a double rose ring that seems to grow across the fingers, rings embedded with a single centre coloured gem,

PICcHIOTTI’S PARADISE OF BIRDS   Each year, on the drawing boards of the design

or sumptuous roses in shades of pink, a delectable rubellite, for example, nestling in

studio and workbenches of the atelier, an exotic bird brooch takes flight. The bird, symbol

the centre of petals smothered in rubies and pink sapphires. Necklaces are the most

of enlightenment and messenger of love and it too, like the rose, a much-loved perennial

theatrical divas of the collection: the stem of the Masterpiece Rose necklace, paved in

jewellery classic, has been an essential part of Picchiotti iconography since the com­pany’s

brilliant green tsavorites and scattered with diamond dewdrops, entwines around the

foundation in 1967. In the archives of thousands of hand-painted gouache designs is a

neck; the cut end of the stem twists around itself, pulled down by the weight of a lush,

charming, plump little baby bird, taking to the skies with diamond wings edged in ruby,

full-blown diamond rose that dangles seductively in the décolletage (see page 165). The

sapphire and emerald baguettes, the vibrant gems repeated on the tail feathers. By the

Tower Rose necklace trails two streams of diamonds on one side of the neck and a

1980s, the toucan had appeared, highly stylized, with its huge, arched gold beak, a

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diamond head and carved onyx body, and folded wings of shaded, carved coral and tail feathers of tapered diamond baguettes (see page 113). This charismatic character, with its echoes of the 1940s cocktail style of jewellery, was to become a favourite in the Picchiotti aviary.  w As the Picchiotti style has evolved, becoming ever more refined, so the birds have become more adventurous in their exoticism, use of materials and com­bi­nations of gems, in their three-dimensionality and movement, and perhaps especially in their characterization. So closely associated are birds of paradise with the Picchiotti style that in the mid-1980s Giuseppe was asked by his distributor in Japan, one of his best customers, to create ten exclusive, one-of-a-kind bird jewels for him.  w Colour, as is always the case at Picchiotti, plays a central role in the creative expression of these fabulously feathered jewelled birds. In 1985 an awe-inspiringly predatory eagle alighted on a lavish necklace of draped ruby and sapphire beads. Today the same eagle is reprised, refined and perfected in a demonstration of extraordinary modelling skills, as it swoops down, wings still lifted ready to escape again, with its prize of a monu­mental emerald-cut aquamarine seized in its pink gold talons (see page 196). Today too, the parrot is still perky, brilliantly hued, radiantly gem-set, showcasing Picchiotti’s art of gem-cutting; a diamond duckling, innocent and unsure of its first steps, has wings edged with specially cut rubies and sapphires; a peacock spreads its magnificent gem-set tail feathers (pages 30, 32 and 215); the body

Covers of Eclat International magazine, April 1990 (left) and April 1987: Toucan and Parrot brooches.

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of a diamond cockatoo, perched on a branch, is embedded with a cabochon emerald (page 217), in the manner of Renaissance figurative jewels.

RIBBONS AND BOWS   The essence of femininity and the spirit of couture, expressed in

themes and motifs of ribbons and bows, add verve to the vigour of Picchiotti’s classical, architectural style. A sense of movement, sensuality, Italian voluptuousness all run counter to, yet harmonize perfectly with graphic abstraction, while the ribbons’ lilting fluidity offers up opportunities to showcase the company’s expert gem-cutting and setting. Like the rose, the bird and the butterfly – perhaps even more so – the ribbon bow is a true jewellery classic, a seminal baroque ornament, reprised time and again in different ages and in different styles but always an evocation of femininity, a connection between jewels and fashion, and very often an emblem of the unbreakable bonds of love. In the mid-seventeenth century, the fashionable silk ribbon bows that had ornamented women’s gowns or fastened jewels to them, were being transformed into precious jewels themselves. The looping double bows were wrought first in gold and enamels in the late sixteenth century, then in gold and New World emeralds for the Spanish court, and then later in France and across Europe in diamonds, newly discov­ered in Brazil. In the eighteenth century matching sets of bejewelled bows, graduating in size, covered the bodice,

Intricate details of precision hand-craftsmanship are defining features of Picchiotti jewels.

71


to glint seductively in candlelight.  w  At Picchiotti, the ribbon bow, knot and twist

gems – a polka-dot pattern of sapphires and diamonds, for example, the centre knot rep-

came into their own as motifs during the 1990s, with tech­nical advances that enabled

resented by a marquise dia­mond (see pages 166–67), or a diamond- and sapphire-dotted

new volumes and lightness, as well as more accurate plot­ting of calibrated gemstones,

bow centred with a round green tourmaline. Beauty and the bow.

to achieve the effect of rippling silk. A group of gouaches in the company archives presents a series of spectacular ribbon-themed neck­laces: an undulating all-diamond rib-

PICCHIOTTI TIME  By 2014, the Picchiotti family felt the time had come to develop

bon woven from a line of baguettes edged, lace-like, in round diamonds, encircles the

their first watch: a timepiece that would complement Picchiotti jewels, complete a jew-

neck and twists and curls into a luscious loop at the throat, revealing the inside and

ellery wardrobe and take its wearer elegantly from day to evening. A watch that would

reverse of the ribbon lined with more baguettes and round diamonds. Another design,

also tell the Picchiotti story and speak of the art of the baguette, of specially cut gems, of

a clever version of the fashionable ‘Y’ necklace, shows the impact of 1990s minimalism:

dedication to supreme craftsmanship. The Picchiotti Debut watch, launched to great

a slender ribbon composed of a double line of round diamonds and calibre rubies,

acclaim at Baselworld 2015, took the shape of Giuseppe’s beloved baguette: a rectangular

that seems to twist casually and overlap at the front, hanging in a spontaneous silky

case and dial of two-tone mother-of-pearl, in which a black panel housing the round dia-

squiggle. Another still is more generously pro­por­tioned, with a curvaceous fullness, as

mond numerals is inset into white mother-of-pearl, the whole framed in baguette-cut

if a silk handkerchief has been rolled and twisted, knotted at the throat, to show the

diamonds with a pear-shaped stone and a diamond flourish at 12 and 6, the upper and

draped corner of the silk square; the entire necklace is paved in square-cut diamonds

lower ends of the case. The watch was to be worn on either a black leather strap or a

(see page 29).  w Threading its way through the years, this enchanting theme has devel­

glamorous diamond bracelet with a row of twin-marquise diamonds placed like petals,

oped into a collection called Fiocco, inspired by ribbons: lively, youthful diamond silk

in a version of one of Picchiotti’s most classical design elements, edged with square-cut

strands that ripple, loop and twist effortlessly into sparkling ribbons, plus a beautifully

diamonds.  w  So successful proved the Debut watch that Picchiotti immediately

modelled double bow ring, with wide, open, velvety loops paved inside and out with

started work on an even more sophisticated model. Spring 2016 saw the launch of the

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Caletta timepieces, a collection of eight individual watches of different permutations of gems, colours and combinations, with exquisite details: one featuring pear-shape emerald accents; another, specially cut and tapered sapphires; another still, an all-diamond model, with the sides of the case set with round diamonds; while for daytime, a rose gold model was designed with gold ‘stitches’ linking the case to the strap. In these watches, Picchiotti told of the timelessness of gems and the preciousness of time.

Detail of ring in the Bow collection, sapphires spotted with diamonds, marquise diamond.

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Atelier


I

n the world of High Jewellery, artistry and artisanship go hand in hand, one nurturing and stimulating the other. At Picchiotti they are intimately, inex­tricably connected, joined in a vital, symbiotic relationship. It is through this relationship,

a profound understanding between creator and craftsman, developed through decades,

that Giuseppe Picchiotti’s ideas and visions are expressed and the romance of gems and jewels brought to life. The quintessential Picchiotti design – elegant, refined, dignified – revolves around the most highly skilled and specialized craftsmanship, particularly when it comes to cutting and setting diamonds and coloured stones. The distinctive gem architecture of the jewels, the crisp precision of their construction, their supreme comfort, the integration of design and tech­nique, all rely on absolute perfection of craft performance: an unsurpassed excel­lence that is Giuseppe’s ultimate mission today just as it was fifty years ago when he embarked on his own adventure.  w Every aspect of the creation and fabrication of a Picchiotti jewel – with the exception of highly specialized stone cutting – is carried out in-house, in the design studio and atelier housed in the Picchiotti villa in the centre of Valenza. To emphasize the attention to detail on which he prides himself, Giuseppe points out that even the smallest components of every jewel, every clasp and link, are made by Picchiotti; nothing is industrially produced, or purchased from outside of the workshop. Picchiotti has a very particular way of working,

The precision of Picchiotti designs relies on impeccable stone-setting.

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with both precision and sensitivity, and the equally particular philosophy of a small fam­ ily business dedicated to producing modern classic High Jewellery of superlative quality for an international clientele of sophisticated, discerning collectors. The family spirit pervades every aspect of the business, the design studio and the atelier, every room and department. For this reason, most of the twenty artisans, gold­smiths, model-makers, stone-setters and polishers have been part of the loyal Picchiotti team for years – from twelve to forty-five years, explains Giuseppe. One craftsman, Ennio, their master stone-setter, now in his seventies, has been with the company for more than forty years. At the same time, Giuseppe is always look­ing out for new talent, for enthusiastic apprentices who are eager to learn, to whom he can teach the skills of Fine Jewellerymaking. In true family spirit, the trans­mission of these skills to the next generation is of prime importance to Picchiotti.  w Giuseppe and his family associates oversee and supervise every asp­ect of the creative and craft process. Quality is checked, down to the minutest detail, at every step of the way. ‘Every piece of jewellery goes through six different controls’, states Giuseppe, ‘and five different pairs of eyes check each and every jewel that leaves the workshop.’ Likewise, Giuseppe asks his sons, Umberto and Filippo, to examine gemstones with him, so as to have ‘six eyes’ to look deep into each gem, searching for the beauty, quality and character that are the hallmarks of a Picchiotti gem.

Ring, fancy yellow cushion-cut diamond, diamonds.

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When he is not travelling, searching the world for gemstones or attending a special client event, Giuseppe might still put on his pristine white coat and take a seat at one of the workbenches in the atelier, to practise his skills, to immerse him­self in the zen-like atmosphere where time seems to slow, to take on a different meaning, an extra dimension.  w A new design, once it has been agreed upon by all members of the family, or a signature design, perhaps revisited and reinvigorated, may go through several stages of planning and detailed refinement before Giuseppe is entirely satisfied. Typically, he says, early on a Monday morning he will sit at his vast desk in his splendid wood-panelled office, and spend time looking deep into a special gemstone. Once inspired, he will dream up an idea, conjure up a design, for which he makes two or three rough sketches. These he gives to his designer, Sonia, and, having discussed and explained his ideas, he will leave her to develop the con­cept into some six or seven designs. This is the point at which the family will gather round, have a look and discuss the ideas. ‘Sometimes’, says

Giuseppe Picchiotti sketches each idea before passing it to the design team.

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Giuseppe, ‘none of them meet our joint approval.’ So it’s back to the drawing board

planned by Giuseppe, will have been undertaken by master stone-cutters in Valenza, in

for Sonia who will pro­duce perhaps another eight to ten designs; and from these, with

a small, specialist workshop some two minutes away from Picchiotti’s premises.

the stone in question in front of them all, they will look at, discuss and finally vote on

Giuseppe has worked with the same stone-cutter for over twenty years; they collaborate

which interpretation is best, which will be selected for production.  w The chosen

closely and understand each other, so that the cutter can translate and visualize exactly

design, once it has been approved and given a number, is handed over to the workshops.

the ideas, lines, shapes and forms that Giuseppe carries in his imagination. As well as

Giuseppe personally takes the design to the goldsmith, sits with him, explains his

having regular meetings to check on progress of the work, they will discuss a design on

thoughts and visions, how the jewel should look, feel, move, and together they develop

the phone, even several times a day. Here too, the profound, intuitive relationship

the concept and construction. ‘I am the ambassador’, explains Giuseppe, ‘between Sonia,

between creator and craftspeople is crucial to the success of the jewel, and to the identity

the designer, and the goldsmith.’ It is the goldsmith who gives the jewel its shape, its form,

of Picchiotti.  w The much-loved baguettes, in diamonds, sapphires, rubies or eme­

its fluidity, who distils the essence of Picchiotti style. After this initial discussion,

ralds, have to be re-cut or trimmed with absolute precision. There is no margin for error

Giuseppe will go back to Sonia with the details. If the jewel is a ‘repeatable’ model, one of

if they are to fit each design precisely and immaculately, to create crisp linear silhou-

a small series, then Sonia may transfer the design to the computer to refine and clarify

ettes or the ribbon-like flowing streams of light and colour. The stones also have to be

details of fabrication, proportions, settings, arti­culations. After this stage, the family

perfectly matched in colour and brilliance. This highly specialized, highly skilled work

members will again be asked to give their opinions. Only then will the design, or model,

is done entirely by hand: colour is assessed and matched by eye, expertise and experi-

be passed to the appropriate specialist artisan. One jeweller, for instance, specializes in

ence; the tapering and tolerances of the stones are judged by eye and instinct. The pro-

the Picchiotti rose jewels, setting each of the fourteen separate components, including the

cess of re-cutting can be very expensive, in loss of weight and therefore value, but for

seven curling petals, by hand before assembling them into a brooch.  w Meanwhile,

Picchiotti, this consideration is secondary to the design, to the beauty, symmetry, lyri-

the all-important work of stone-cutting or re-cutting, which has been painstakingly

cism of the finished jewel.  w Similarly, little square-cut stones of the same precision

Overleaf: Traditional crafts skills go hand-in-hand with advanced technology.

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87


are needed for Picchiotti’s proprietary version of the invisible-setting technique, along with the recherché little buff-topped rubies, with their sugarloaf shapes and soft, secretive sheen, all immaculately matched and calibrated, to form the border to the magnificent diamond and ruby ring and ear­rings that are highlights of the Imperial collection. Other fancy-cut stones are also required, either sought-after ready-cut or specially re-cut for a particular design, as in a sleek, modernist ring in which a central emerald is flanked by half-moon-cut diamonds, the stones fitting exactly side by side with virtually no metal setting visible. For Giuseppe, the perfectly cut gemstone is the ultimate fusion of art and science, man and nature. ‘The precision and finesse and artistry of the stone-cutting is what makes Picchiotti different, and immediately recognizable’, he adds.  w At its best, the discipline of craftsmanship liberates design and sets the ima­ gi­nation free. At Picchiotti, crafts skills and techniques, innovative technology and materials are all at the service of art and design; conversely, skills and especially advanced technology so often stimulate new creative ideas. With a deep reverence for the age-old skills and techniques of hand-craftsmanship that are rooted in Italy’s ancient past, Giuseppe has also always embraced new technology. He explains that the refinement of today’s jewels, their lightness and slender suppleness, the articulations, volumes and forms, have all been enabled over the past decade or two by advanced jewellery-making

Reverse of a Rose head, hand-pierced and hand-polished.

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techniques, such as the use of lasers for soldering, for example, or the art of micro-pavé, setting tiny stones under a microscope for the finest of work. Computer-aided design has brought unprecedented precision and consistency to jewellery-making, clarifying the most intricate detail. The computer is able to plot the exact curvature of a line, to work out and ensure the most seamless, precise settings, to create new volumes or fine-tune the way in which a jewel will sit and move on the body; all are valuable tools for the designer, aids to imagination and visualization. On the computer, every aspect of the jewel can be visualized and perfected, from every angle. The technical design for a bird brooch, for example, that will be set with a 20-carat emerald, is transferred to the computer in order to work out exactly how to set the stone from underneath, so that it fits immaculately.  w At Picchiotti, advanced technology works in perfect harmony with traditional skills, and even when the computer has played a part, each jewel is hand-finished, each bears the human imprint of a master artisan who adds his or her own subtle interpretation to a design. Giuseppe’s daughter, Maria Carola, explains: ‘The human aspect is vital at Picchiotti. The artisans are trained to “feel” the jewel, to interpret each piece with a human touch. This makes all the difference.’ Wedded to technology is this human aspect that is embedded in the spirit of Picchiotti, from the involvement and passion of the family, to the ‘family’ of designers and craftsmen and women, and the indi­viduality

Flower brooch, diamonds, pear-shaped rubies set ‘en tremblant’. Overleaf: H-shaped elements of an Xpandable™ bracelet, ready to be assembled.

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of hand-craftsmanship.  w The most important, one-of-a-kind Picchiotti creations, however, are made entirely by hand, with no computer intervention, wrought only by human touch and skill, imagination, instinct and intuition. These are the jewels that are conceived, crafted and perfected by Giuseppe and his gold­smith, together. A proud horse’s-head ring, for example, is first sculpted in wax entirely by hand, in minute, expressive detail, the model capturing the animal’s muscu­lature, character and nobility; the ring is set throughout in diamonds (see pages 200–201), a feat of masterful gem-setting that is particularly challenging on the curved surfaces, in nooks and crannies. The finished jewel, a unique creation, is deeply infused with the spirit of Picchiotti.  w To celebrate Picchiotti’s fiftieth anni­versary, to mark this momentous milestone, Giuseppe wanted to create a jewel that captured the essence of Picchiotti style and craftsmanship, spirit and philosophy but that also kept the soul of innovative creativity very much alive and moving forward. The fiftieth anniversary ring, exuberant, exciting yet sublimely elegant, is, Giuseppe feels, the most spectacular illustration yet of Picchiotti’s refined, rarefied hand-craftsmanship. Inspired by a classical amphitheatre, the soaring shape of the three fan elements, lined with baguette diamonds, evokes the image of rows of seats overlooking a stage, in which stands the leading actor,

Xpandable™ bracelet, white and rose gold with diamond-set links.

95


the protagonist – in this case a breathtakingly beautiful ruby of 8.05 carats, bathed in

to offer sublime ease and comfort, without clasps or fastenings to the bracelets, or any

the diamond limelight of row upon row of specially re-cut baguettes, meticulously set

need to resize or alter the rings (see pages 226–35). ‘After years of observing many of my

on the curving fan-shaped motifs (see pags 239 and 241). Giuseppe searched far and wide

best customers struggle to fit diamond rings over their knuckles’, Giuseppe says, ‘we

for the ultimate gemstone to cele­brate half a century of Picchiotti gem artistry and

developed an elegant solution that is invisible to the eye. We consider it a proprietary

craftsmanship. He found just what he was looking for in this exceptional ruby : a bril-

triumph of High Jewellery design and technology, and I am happy to say it has been

liant new stone of extra­ordinary vivacity and intense colour, with a light, bright and

wonderfully received.’ He adds, with pride: ‘It really is revolutionary.’  w The research

clean crystal structure. Even more remarkable, the ruby has been classified as entirely

and development of the miraculously stretchy Xpandable jewels began in 2013 and took

natural, with no heat treatment or colour enhancement – very rare for a ruby of this size.

almost a year. Always driven to innovate, to renew its classicism, Picchiotti pushed the

It is a gems­tone with a strong person­ality and an imposing presence, with charm, grace

boundaries of the latest tech­nology to come up with a solution that would allow the rings

and charisma: a true connoisseur’s gem, a natural treasure, a future heirloom, worthy

and bracelets to stretch, like elastic, without compromising the preciousness, sophis-

of a princely collection, and now at the heart of a dynamically different Picchiotti crea-

tication and refinement of a Picchiotti jewel. Giuseppe had in mind an ingenious engineering

tion that honours the past and looks to the future.

solution, strong and durable, that would be totally invisible, supple and compatible with Picchiotti’s art of goldsmithing and stone-setting. The team worked on the chal­lenge for ten

the xquisite xpandable The synergistic relationship between design and

months, finally coming up with a groundbreaking hidden mecha­nism that allows the

technology has found its most perfect expression – so far that is – in Picchiotti’s 2016

ring or bracelet to stretch and expand easily over knuckle or wrist and then snap or

innovation, the Xpandable collection, launched at Couture, the boutique, invitation-only

contract back into place. It was at the time, Giuseppe believes, the first of its kind in

trade show in Las Vegas, as Giuseppe likes to say, on the eve of its fiftieth anni­versary.

the Fine Jewellery arena and has since led the way forward, sparking an inter­national

This capsule collection comprises rings and bracelets that stretch to fit the wearer, so as

vogue for stretchable gem-set bracelets.  w Xpandable proved an immediate and

97


overwhelming success. From the start Picchiotti decided to make both classic, diamondset Xpandable eternity rings and line bracelets, as well as more fashion-led, colourful versions, set with coral, turquoise and mother-of-pearl. The collection was extended, by popular demand, into a panoply of per­mutations of design, materials and colour. Wider rose gold band rings, with an appealing curved silhouette, are designed as a circle of H-shaped elements con­nected by diamond ‘stitches’; there are bands with centre stones, white or coloured diamonds, framed in contrasting diamonds or black mother-of-pearl; rings set with diamonds and a line of buff-topped sapphires; bangles stacked with three rows of diamonds set in rose, white and yellow gold.  w For a more casual, daytime look Picchiotti emphasized the technological character of the bracelets by adding high-tech ceramic, as well as slender laser-cut slices of turquoise, coral, onyx and mother-of-pearl in different shades, light and dark, green or pink-tinged. These youthful, glossy, colourrich Xpandable bracelets, with their geometric silhouette, softly chamfered edges and gold smoothly inset with slices of hardstone, ceramic or mother-of-pearl, can be layered in different colours, or with classic diamond or gold bracelets, to build a totally individual bracelet stack, varied daily, or for each occasion or time of day.  w  For Giuseppe, the Xpandable is a triumph, embodying all that Picchiotti stands for, innovation, craftsmanship, stone-cutting and setting, colour, Italian style and the

Xpandable™ bracelet, diamonds, buff-top sapphires.

99


continual renewal of classic design. He notes: ‘The artisans who created the Xpandable collection are the same artisans who, over the years, have taken the world by storm with other exquisite creations, including the iconic rose brooch, and the luxurious Caletta timepieces. This is the aspect of my busi­ness that I wish to preserve forever: specialist artisanship that is passed on by experienced masters, through education, to the next generation. Everything we do at Picchiotti is done with passion.’

The age-old tools of the master-craftsmen alongside the high-tech ingenuity of the Xpandable™ bracelet.

101


Telling the World


G

iuseppe Picchiotti, the founder and president of his family business, is the active figurehead and spokesperson for the brand, taking an intensely personal hands-on approach, travelling the world, sharing his vision and telling

his story. As a vibrant new Italian jewellery house in the 1970s, spearheading a designdriven Italian Fine Jewellery movement, Picchiotti captivated the press, par­ticularly the business press, and the company and its jewellery were written about and featured in international jewellery magazines. To reinforce the message, Picchiotti began to advertise – in the earliest advertisements diamond line bracelets were photographed on fur, exuding an air of glamour and luxury. Giuseppe under­stood the power of communication and its importance in building a strong brand identity as well as a desire for the jewels, and from the start his adver­tisements set Picchiotti apart from the pack.  w The 1980s were boom years for Picchiotti and Valenza’s Fine Jewellery industry, and the company embarked on a series of adver­tisements, while its designs and innovations continued to attract media attention. The advertisements emphasized the classicism of the jewellery, which was allowed to shine alone, one necklace or brooch at a time, on plain, glossy or subtly textured backgrounds. In 1986 the international jewellery magazine Europa Star included an advertorial feature on Picchiotti. On the opening page a Picchiotti rose brooch in full bloom shimmered against a dark, reflective, text­ured background,

105


giving the impression of earth slick and shiny with rain. The advertorial was titled ‘The Dashing Air of Picchiotti Jewellery, Valenza’, followed by the message, ‘One does not fall every day under the charm of a jewel. But it happens more often when the jewel is signed Picchiotti, Valenza.’ Over the next few years the most striking Picchiotti jewels – including the parrot-head brooch, its neck wreathed in calibre rubies and sapphires – appeared on the covers of the jewellery magazine Eclat. During the 1990s, both the advertisements and the editorial coverage demon­strated the prevailing trend for minimalist, black-and-white jewels, for example with a set of curling black and white diamond stylized snails, or an op-art-inspired neck­lace.  w By the mid-1990s, as Picchiotti was enjoying fast-growing success in the USA, the company began working with the US-based boutique advertising and creative agency Padulo Privé to consolidate and increase Picchiotti’s profile and presence in America, to commu­nicate the Picchiotti story and style. Working closely with Giuseppe, Joseph Padulo created and directed a series of compelling portrait advertisements that were pho­to­graphed by leading art and fashion photo­grapher Victor Skrebneski. Padulo explains, ‘Skrebneski sees beauty very differ­ently from other photographers. He knew how to choreograph the images, made it look simple, effortless and very low-key.’ This was perfectly in tune with Picchiotti’s style, and resonated with American jewellery lovers. The images evoke a dreamy, Hollywood,

107


1940s glamour, drawing on the classic movie still, hinting at the relationship between Hollywood stardom and jewellery, between a woman and her jewels. In this way, Skrebneski brilliantly defined Picchiotti’s own classic glamour, added romance and nostalgia to moder­nity, and subtly suggested that Picchiotti jewels are the coveted heirlooms of the future. The models’ black clothing fades into darkness, highlighting only the beauty of the jewels and of the woman wearing them. In one Garbo-esque pose, the model gazes wistfully upwards, the hand touching her face covered in a fistful of rings, the trail of their diamond light running through to the bangle and earrings (see page 104). At the turn of the millennium a new image of femininity crept in, younger and more contemporary, a model with punk-inspired platinum blonde hair wearing a suite of pink-and-white dia­mond jewellery. In the first decade of the twenty-first century Picchiotti initiated a different series of adver­tise­ments, more classic and restrained but in a similar spirit, the model photographed in black-and-white, the jewels superimposed in vibrant gem colour and pristine precision. These images, as ever, brought Picchiotti jewellery, style and tradition to life through the light and colour of perfect gems.

109


1967 2000


Toucan brooch, different shades of coral, baguette diamonds, onyx head and gold beak.

113


Burma Star ring, diamonds, rubies.

Ruby Cascade necklace, diamonds, rubies.

115


Ring, fancy intense yellow radiant-cut diamond, buff-top rubies, diamonds.

Detail of 1980s necklace inspired by Roman column, diamonds, square-cut rubies, onyx, showing refined goldwork.

117


Opposite and above: Classic suite, exceptional, perfectly matched emeralds, diamonds.

119


Feather brooch, diamonds, buff-top baguette sapphires.

121


Flower ring, diamonds, pear-shaped rubies.

Starfish brooch, diamonds, pear-shaped rubies.

123


Detail of Ribbon bangle, baguette rubies, diamonds.

125


2000 2010


Rose earrings, diamonds.

Tower Rose necklace, diamonds and rubies.

129


131


Ring, fancy yellow cushion-cut diamond, diamonds.

Flower brooch, diamonds, rare fancy coloured diamonds.

133


Fan brooch, diamonds, cushion-cut emerald.

Earrings, rubies, diamonds.

Orchid brooch, diamonds, cushion-cut sapphire.

Ring, diamonds, oval ruby.

135


Opposite and above: Sapphire Cascade suite, diamonds, sapphires.

137


Opposite and above: Art deco-inspired Unique Art suite, diamonds, sapphires, emeralds.

139


141


Rose ring, diamonds, oval emerald.

143


Opposite and above: Emerald Cascade suite, diamonds, emeralds.

145


147


Opposite and above: Modernist Diamond suite, diamonds.

149


Necklace and pendant, diamonds, pear-shaped rubies.

151


Above and opposite: Art deco-inspired suite, diamonds, coral, onyx.

153


Necklace from the Unique Art collection, diamonds, oval-cut rubies.

155


Opposite and above: Ring, 20.62 carat fancy intense yellow cushion-cut diamond, diamonds.

157


159


Bracelet, diamonds, heart-shape sapphires.

Earrings, diamonds, oval-shape sapphires.

161


2010 2015


Rose necklace, diamonds, tsavorites.

165


Opposite and above: Ring from the Bow collection, marquise diamond, sapphires, diamonds.

167


169


Opposite and above: Ring; diamonds, ruby.

171


Detail of precision baguette work on a bangle, diamonds, rubies.

173


Above and right: ‘Toi-et-moi’ pendant earrings and ring.

Marquise diamonds, baguette buff-top rubies.

Above and right: Matching earrings and ring.

Diamonds, baguette-cut buff-top rubies.

175


Necklace and pendant, pink tourmaline, diamonds.

177


179


Opposite and above: Suite from the Unique Art collection, emerald-cut diamonds, buff-top sapphires, diamonds.

181


Opposite and above: Set of earrings and ring, fancy yellow heart-shaped diamonds, diamonds.

183


Opposite and above: Ring, 7-carat pear-shaped diamond, buff-top emeralds, diamonds.

185


Ring, oval sapphire, diamonds.

187


Opposite and above: Ring, heart-shaped emerald, diamonds, emeralds.

189


Rose ring, diamonds, oval sapphire, sapphires.

191


193


Opposite and above: Ring, octagonal sapphire, diamonds.

195


Eagle brooch, diamonds, aquamarine, black enamel beak.

Butterfly brooch, diamonds, pear-shaped and oval emeralds.

197


Ear of Corn brooch, marquise and baguette-cut diamonds.

199


Opposite and above: Horse-head ring, fancy yellow cushion-cut diamond, diamonds, ruby eyes.

201


203


2015 2016


Necklace from the Unique Art collection, diamonds, heart- and pear-shaped rubies.

207


Ring, oval ruby, half-moon diamonds, baguette-cut diamonds.

Earrings from the Unique Art collection, diamonds, heart- and pear-shaped rubies.

209


Earrings, diamonds, emeralds.

211


Ring, emerald, diamonds.

Ring, emerald, triangular diamonds, diamonds.

213


Peacock brooch, diamonds, fancy light yellow pear-shaped diamond, 5 carats, fancy coloured diamonds.

215


Exotic Bird brooch, diamonds, oval cabochon emerald, black-rhodium plated red gold branch, coral beak, garnet eye.

217


Earrings, sapphires, diamonds.

Fringe necklace, diamonds, sapphires.

219


Ring, cushion-cut sapphire, diamonds.

Ring, sapphire, trapeze-cut diamonds, diamonds.

221


Necklace and pendant, pear-shaped cabochon tanzanite, diamonds.

223


Earrings, sapphires, diamonds.

Necklace (matching earrings opposite, top), sapphires, diamonds.

Ring, sapphire, diamonds.

225


Bracelet from the Xpandable™ collection: diamonds, green mother-of-pearl.

Bracelet from the Xpandable™ collection, diamonds.

227


Above and opposite: Xpandable™ bracelet and ring, diamonds, rubies.

229


Xpandable™ ring, emeralds, diamonds.

Xpandable™ ring, sapphires, diamonds.

Xpandable™ ring, diamonds.

Xpandable™ ring, fancy yellow diamonds, diamonds.

231


Xpandable™ ring, rubies, diamonds.

Xpandable™ ring, diamonds, buff-top sapphires.

233


Detail of an Xpandable™ band ring, diamonds, sapphires.

235


The Next Fifty Years


T

oday, fifty years after Giuseppe Picchiotti set out on his own path with a parcel of gemstones and a bag of jewels, the two generations of the Picchiotti family are fully and actively involved in every aspect of the business, propelling it

steadily forward into a brilliant future. As it has done since 1973, Picchiotti continues to

launch new collections each spring at Baselworld. For more than fifteen years, Giuseppe has served on Baselworld’s Comité Consultatif. Picchiotti also exhibits at the Couture Show in Las Vegas, an invitation-only boutique trade fair with an empha­sis on design-driven brands. The company participates twice a year at VicenzaOro, the trade fair in Vicenza, Italy, and also twice a year at the impressive Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair, a major hub for buyers from all over the world and particularly from South-east Asia. In the United States, Picchiotti’s retailers host regular, much anticipated trunk shows, while in Asia, where the brand has a fast-growing following of devotees, the family organizes glam­orous special events and private exhibitions, where Giuseppe and family members personally unveil exclusive collections of unique jewels that have been created especially for these discerning clients. Over the years, the company has won several prestigious industry awards, inclu­ding the Basel Design Award, Couture Design Award and the Platinum Guild International Best of Show Design Award.  w The beating heart of the company remains in Valenza, in the industrious, ideas-filled design studio and the serene light-filled atelier,

The Picchiotti Fiftieth Anniversary ring, baguette diamonds, ruby, diamonds.

239


with its daily routines and rhythms. Today, both are perfectly poised between old-world crafts­manship and advanced high technology, between tra­di­tion and innovation. Style and artistry con­tinually evolve, and the ingenuity and mod­ernity of designs such as Xpandable are taking Picchiotti into new worlds, new markets, connec­ting to a new, younger clien­tele. In a striking parallel to the 1960s and ’70s, today’s buyers are looking for jewels that are relevant to their lives, that are casual and com­fortable yet also exciting, precious and personal; jewels they can make their own, wearing them in individual style; jewels that reflect the ‘magic’ and wizardry of technology but also have the continuity, charm and human touch of age-old hand-­craftsmanship.  w Of course, at the same time, Picchiotti today remains true to its classical roots, to the pursuit of per­fection, to the impeccable, virtuoso crafts­man­ship that has set the company apart from the beginning. Each year, the Picchiotti arti­sans craft some thirty to fifty excep­tional one-of-a-kind jewels: seductive emeralds con­­jured into suites of regal splendour, ravishing rubies enveloped in dia­mond baguettes and embedded in dazzling dress rings and lavish diamond roses, their sweet beauty ageless and undimming. All these rare and precious gemstones and the perfection of calibration and stone-setting – the defining features of Picchiotti style – take centre stage in Picchiotti’s theatrical fiftieth-anniversary ring (page 238 and opposite), or are carried like treasure by fantastical, vibrantly bejewelled birds of paradise as they fly into the future.

241


Acknowledgements On behalf of the Picchiotti family, I would like to thank everyone who made this book possible, helping us to celebrate this significant milestone for us all, both personal and professional. Our special thanks go to Mrs Susan Jacques for her valuable contribution in writing the preface of this book. She has been an ardent supporter of Picchiotti, and her knowledge is a continual inspiration. We are enormously grateful to Joe Padulo of Padulo Privé, who has been at our side, guiding us in so many ways, at key moments; his experience, advice and creative ideas are invaluable. We owe him thanks, too, for introducing us to Vivienne Becker, the author and jewellery historian, who has told the Picchiotti story with such sensitivity and insight, capturing the essence of Picchiotti, the heritage and the values that have guided us throughout our first fifty years.  w Thanks to Misha Anikst of Anikst Design, for his superb job in conceiving and designing the book, and for overseeing special photography; to Ben Strachan of Anikst Design for his help with photography; to our friends and colleagues at Close-Up Studios, Valenza; and to Marion Moisy for her sensitive editing. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the celebrated master photographer Victor Skrebneski, who, together with Joe Padulo, created advertising images that look as fresh and dynamic today as they did when they were created ten and twenty years ago. And finally, a personal heartfelt thanks to my family, loyal employees and craftsmen for their continued dedication and their unwavering commitment to the success of the company.

Giuseppe Picchiotti

243


Bibliography The following is a chronological list of publications in which Picchiotti jewels have appeared, both in editorial features and in advertisements or advertorials.

AOV Notoizie – Premi Sant’Eligio, November– December 1997, p. 9 Architectural Digest, November and December 2000, page not numbered

Arte Orafa Valenzana, 1974, pp.109, 150 18 Karati International, May–June 1975, p. 57

Departures, November/December 2000, page not numbered

Jewels Fashion & Watches, April 2005, page not numbered Vogue Gioiello, July–August 2005, 2 pages, not numbered Vogue Gioiello, September–October 2005, page not numbered

Nile’s Nile, November 2011, pp. 100–102 Vogue Gioiello, June 2012, p. 80 Waraku, October 2012, pp. 163–170 Vendome Square, No. 33/2012, pp. 42–43 L’Orafo Italiano, April 2013, pp. 62–63 Chocolate, April 2013, page not numbered

Europa Star, March–April 1977, cover, p. 79

The Basel Magazine, November/December 2000, p. 41

Fujingaho, December 2005, pp. 132–135

Baselworld Daily News, 27 April 2013, p. 58

18 Karati International, June–July 1977, pp. 4–5

Vogue Gioiello, March 2001, p. 86

Departures, August 2006, pages not numbered

Chronograph, October 2013, page not numbered

Europa Star, September–October 1978, 2 pages,

Veranda, March–April 2001 , p. 26

Vioro, September 2006, p. 301

Robb Report Russia, October 2013, p. 58

Robb Report, May 2001, p. 84

Arabian Watches & Jewellery, May 2007, p. 107

Professional Jeweller, June 2014, p. 43

Europa Star, March–April 1979, cover and pp. 33–38

Elegance, September 2001, p. 15

China Gem & Jewelry, No. 63/2007, pp. 112–116

Jewellery News Asia, June 2014, p. 52

18 Karati International, No. 68/1984, pp. 4–5

Vogue Italia, September 2001 – page not numbered

Couture International Jeweler, Spring 2007, cover and

Jewel, Autumn 2014, page not numbered

18 Karati International, No. 69/1984, p. 14

Town & Country, October, November and December

not numbered

Europa Star, No. 5/1985, cover and 3 pages, not numbered Europa Star, No. 115–2/1986, cover and 3 pages, not numbered

2001, page not numbered W, November and December 2001, page not numbered International Who’s Who of Entrepreneurs, 2002–2003, pp. 1–29

1 advertising page, 2 editorial pages, not numbered

L’Orafo International, Year Report 2015, p. 111

Day & Night, June–July/August 2007, p. 222

Professional Jeweller, June 2015, p. 45

Day & Night, November–December 2007/January 2008,

Casa & Giardino, June 2015, p. 94

p. 132–133 Jewels Fashion & Watches, No. 02/2008, p. 78

Neiman Marcus Italian Jewelry Festival, October 2015, p. 4

Eclat Paris International, April 1987, cover and p. 125

Jewels & Watches, January 2002, pp. 3, 132

GZ European Jeweler, October 1987, pp. 62–63

Vogue Deutsch, November 2002, p. 292

Eclat Paris, September 1988, p. 94

In Sync, November–December 2002, pp. 37–38

Robb Report Russia, February 2009, p. 43

Les Joyaux, March 1990, p. 125

Vogue UK, December 2002, page not numbered

Day & Night, May 2009, p. 128

Eclat Paris, April 1990, cover and p. 97

Jewel, January 2003, page not numbered

Robb Report Russia, May 2009, p. 36

La Stampa, 16 September 2016, p. 61

Eclat Paris, April 1991, pp. 1, 89

Vogue Russia, January 2003, page not numbered

Nile’s Nile, November 2009, pp. 64–67

Garden & Gun, October/November 2016, pp. 74, 80

Europa Star, No. 191-2/1992, p. 1 and 4 pages,

The Basel Magazine, April 2003, p. 94

Fujingaho, December 2009, pp. 222–223

Il Piccolo, 21 October 2016, page not numbered

Robb Report USA, November 2003, p. 101

Arabian Watches & Jewellery, June–July 2010, p. 112

Il Monferrato, 21 October 2016, p. 13

Valenza Gioielli, No. 3/1992, p.141

Nile’s Nile, November 2004, pp. 40, 44–49

Robb Report Russia, July–August 2010, p. 97

Financial Times How To Spend It, Festive Edition

Brillance, V-1993, cover and pp.136–140

Robb Report USA, November 2004, p. 113

Robb Report Russia, October 2010, p. 80

Europa Star, No. 197-2/1993, p. 1

W Jewelry, Holiday 2004, p. 38

Daily Telegraph, 20 November 2010, page not numbered

JSH, No. 2/1993, p. 1

Jewel, January 2005, page not numbered

Nile’s Nile, November 2010, pp. 38–52

Architectural Digest, December 1995, page

Dizionario del Gioiello Italiano del XIX Secolo

Qatar Today, March 2011, p. 70

not numbered

not numbered Departures, November–December 1996, p. 45

Couture International Jeweler, No. 286/1 Baselworld 2009, cover and pp. 12–13, 49

(Dictionary of 19th-century Italian Jewellery),

Baselworld Daily News, 27 March 2011, p. 24

2005, p. 219

Jewellery News Asia, June 2011, p. 31

Sposa Book, No. 46/2015, page not numbered Baselworld Daily News, 19 March 2016, p. 50 Town & Country, June, October, November 2016, December 2016/January 2017, p. 115

2016, p. 61 Elite Traveler, November/December 2016, inside back cover

245


First published in 2017 by Picchiotti S.L.R.

No part of the contents of this book may be reproduced,

Corso Giuseppe Garibaldi, 137, 15048 Valenza AL, Italy

stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or

www.picchiotti.it

by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the written permission

Š 2017 Picchiotti

of Picchiotti S.L.R.

Š Text 2017 Vivienne Becker Text by Vivienne Becker All rights reserved

Designed by Anikst Design Copy-edited by Marion Moisy Printed in Italy by Graphicom


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