ZANETTO ARGENTI WAS FOUNDED BY BERNARDO ZANETTO IN 1963.
A man whose life story is intertwined with a passion for artistic metalworking, Bernardo Zanetto successfully passed down this enduring love to his son Enrico, the current head of the company.
This family business is moulded by the hearts and souls of the people who, day after day, have shaped the various stages of its history through their painstaking work, the result of mastery and dedication.
Bernardo Zanetto is proof that it is possible to learn by watching. At the young age of 14, he was taken on by the workshop where he had watched through the windows, and within just 3 years he became head of the silver beating department. Bernardo was little more than a child when he discovered an interest for working silver. In fact, he spent his afternoons standing outside the windows of a historic workshop in Padua, watching as the silversmiths worked. Thus he began to learn the trade.
Bernardo Zanetto is proof that it is possible to learn by watching. At the young age of 14, he was taken on by the workshop where he had watched through the windows, and within just 3 years he became head of the silver beating department. These were fundamental years in which he gained important experience in all of the sophisticated techniques of the art of silversmithing, until he decided to open his own workshop.
After opening a workshop devoted to the traditional Veneto canons of silver, Zanetto unleashed his remarkable creative gifts, thanks in part to the inspiration of working with a few fellow artists.
These were experimental years marked by changes in production – there was a shift to avant-garde and design objects, and even objects made with metals other than silver.
Zanetto was the first to offer hammered polished brass objects, achieving considerable success and starting what quickly became a trend.
The company received recognitions and awards, most importantly the Gold Medal at the International Handicrafts Fair in Florence in 1973.
By this time, several master artisans and apprentices were employed by the workshop. In addition, Bernardo’s son Enrico joined the company in 1983. Driven by passion and enthusiasm, Enrico Zanetto expanded the sales network, entrusting distribution on the Italian market to the prestigious B. Morone agency.
Offering a new collection of hammered polished copper objects featuring captivating designs, Zanetto products became available in the finest shops in the sector.
During this decade, the production focus was tableware and serving ware, with silver-plate and sterling silver collections featuring an austere modern design or relaxed reinterpretations of classic styles.
In 1993, the company introduced itself to the international public by participating in an international fair in Frankfurt. The results were immediately encouraging and the company’s reputation in foreign countries continued to grow. Today, more than 75% of the products are exported.
Designs became more innovative during this decade, beginning with the Africa collection, introduced in 1999. Extraordinarily original, it featured captivating shapes and workmanship and enjoyed international critical and public acclaim, receiving the Form and Argò awards.
With the same spirit of breaking away from the traditional concept of silver, other novel collections were added that contributed to creating the distinctive and unmistakable Zanetto style – a unique style in which mastery, art and beauty combine to become the standard-bearer for an elegant concept of luxury Italian craftsmanship.
The creative evolution of Enrico Zanetto gave new stimulus to the workshop’s production with the creation of “Zanetto Arte”. The most sophisticated production skills were put to the test in this ambitious project to give shape to true works of art.
Zanetto Arte is a conceptual space, the stunning result of the magical alchemy that arises from a meeting of pure creativity and masterful craftsmanship. Enrico Zanetto’s first work, “La Femme”, was selected and admitted to the Asolo International Art Biennale.