╳ Memento Mori

 ╳ The concept of ‘vanitas’ or the transitory nature of life has served as inspiration for artists and artisans for millennia. Skulls chained to ivory caskets, draped in gold leaf, buckled to diamond dice, eye-sockets spliced with angry snakes: these are all the fashion nowadays and Codognato has played a big part in elevating these symbols to iconic status. In the words of Attilio Codognato, the famously charming scion-in-residence: “They make me think of what I will be one day and so I try to be nice to people and live my life with that in mind.”

Codognato jewelers has been a landmark in Venice for over a century. In 1866, Simeone Codognato decided to open his shop in the very same spot where it stands today. With its ‘vanitas’ themes and elaborately detailed confections, including baroque Blackamoor brooches, antique cameos, gem-encrusted skulls and glittering serpentine rings, wearing Codognato is like an ode to tongue-in-cheek gothic horror, a toothless smile at those who take its dark metaphor too seriously.  

Drawing from the ‘Memento mori’ genre, these words are a Latin phrase which translate literally as "Remember your mortality” and although artistic interpretations vary widely from one another, they all share the same purpose: to remind 'us' of own mortality.