The world-famous Italian brand Picchiotti celebrated its 50th anniversary at the international exhibition, Baselworld. To make this dream a reality, talented maestro Giuseppe Picchiotti had to change the world – time and time again.
The brand’s story begins half a century ago in Valenza, a little Italian village famous for its jewellery, when founder Giuseppe Picchiotti opened the doors of his studio. From early in his childhood, Giuseppe had formulated a unique and clear vision of jewellery, borne from his boundless love for it, but his family had long ties in the medical profession and objected to Giuseppe’s future ambitions.
Nevertheless, aged just 13 he became the apprentice to a jeweller and enrolled in one of the most prestigious Italian institutions for the study of jewellery art. “I founded my company in 1967, but before that I had a very long experience working at the bench. I immediately fell in love with the world of jewellery-making and became fascinated by the beauty of gemstones. I knew I was trapped: that would be my life and my career,” says Giuseppe.
Today, Picchiotti is a legendary, family-owned enterprise and is best known as a brand that produces jewellery with coloured precious gemstones and diamonds. Several generations of its jewellers in the Picchiotti workshop have focused on creating the most distinctive and exquisite pieces possible. Each member of the family – Giuseppe’s sister Anna Maria, wife Mary Matilde, daughter Maria Carola, and sons Filippo and Umberto – controls various aspects of the business and contributes to his success by implementing centuries-old covenants of Italian jewellery masters.
Picchiotti’s miniature masterpieces are created entirely within the company, allowing for the provision of high quality execution and complete control over the process of creation at every single stage. For Picchiotti, it is imperative the jewellery under the brand’s name be made within the highest parameters of craftsmanship and also that the gems used correspond to the fine tastes in jewellery of the elite brand. In order to ensure this, Giuseppe and his eldest sons Filippo and Umberto travel the world over in search of the perfect stones.
One of the most outstanding gems in the Picchiotti collection is a rich red oval 8.05-carat ruby from Mozambique, which has not been heat treated. It adorns the brand’s 2017 masterpiece: a ring, L’Anfiteatro, made from a number of brilliant and baguette-cut diamonds. Giuseppe Picchiotti says it is “the perfect stone, the one I’ve been searching for, for this special piece, that piece for the true connoisseur, an heirloom worthy of an exceptional collection.”
The L’Anfiteatro ring was made especially in order to mark a significant round date, and it is featured on the cover of “The First Fifty Year” book, written by jewellery historian Vivienne Becker. In one chapter she writes: “The 50th anniversary ring, exuberant, exciting yet sublimely elegant, is, Giuseppe feels, the most spectacular illustration of Picchiotti’s refined, rarefied hand-craftsmanship. Inspired by a classical amphitheater, the soaring shape of the three fan elements lined with baguette diamonds evokes the image of rows of seats overlooking the central stage, in which stands the leading actor, the protagonist – in this case a breathtakingly beautiful ruby of 8.05 Carats.”
However, at the mention of the name Picchiotti, you will most likely remember another piece of jewellery: a voluminous rose brooch, which has been the symbol of the company since March 1967. It is composed from several parts: petals the small leaf encrusted in 400 round diamonds, as well as the stem with custom-cut baguette diamonds. The brooch immediately brought the brand to the foreground of exceptional jewellery houses on the world platform, and also served as a stimulus in creating a number of other pieces.
A distinctive feature of Picchiotti jewellery is the use of calibrated stones, above all: baguette-cut diamonds. This is an exceptionally demanding and very expensive aspect of jewellery design, because the technique of working with baguette cuts of any size is as unique as the designs of any pieces themselves. Picchiotti uses a huge amount of gems to achieve the desired results, with some gems re-faceted to fit them into the overall design.
The fusion of a classic, time-tested style with a rather modern design is the formula for Picchiotti’s success, and it invariably moves his customers, press members and judges of jewellery competitions alike. KP