In 1807 Emanuel Pioté, a Frenchman and the original founder of what is known as A.E.Köchert, arrived in Vienna. By 1811 he was in the position to consider setting up his own workshop and soon started to receive orders from the Court. Jacob Heinrich Köchert joined Pioté’s workshop, was soon in very good terms with the entire family and eventually married Piotés sister Dorothea. In 1825 Köchert entered in partnership with Pioté. The brothers’-in-law success in the jewellery field was crowned in 1832 by the acquisition of the title of ‘Imperial Court Jeweller’. The fame of Köchert started to expand throughout Europe at a time when the reputation of Austrian jewellery was spreading far beyond the boundaries of the Empire.
The business was passed on in the Köchert family over several generations. By the end of the century Heinrich Köchert (1854-1908) was in charge. He surrounded himself by brilliant collaborators and designers and excelled in the creation of lavish fin-de-siècle jewels set with important gemstones. Empress Elizabeth of Austria and Queen of Hungary became one of his most loyal patrons.
Heinrich was succeeded by his son Theodor (1859-1936), who then was succeeded by his two sons Erich and Wilfred who led the company through the stylistic developments of the 1930s and the difficulties brought about by the Second World War.
After Erich Köchert’s death in 1949, his son Gotfrid inherited a half-share in the firm and carried on the old tradition of his forefathers, just as his cousin Dr Dieter Köchert, Wilfried’s son, was to do later.
In 1971 the firm was granted the right to use the national coat of arms in reward of the invaluable services to Austrian economy and culture. After the death of Wilfred and Gotfrid in 1981 and 1986 respectively, the firm remained in the hands of their descendants and is presently run by the brothers Christoph and Florian and their cousin Wolfgang Kőchert.
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