Antonio Celi, 83, renowned for his personalized jewelry creations | Featured Obituaries
May 18, 1938 – February 20, 2022
Antonio Celi was a jeweler. He has not only created a new line of ring designs and other items every year, but has also been sought after by other jewelry makers from across the country.
“If a jeweler had a piece that was difficult to make, that was the one to go to,” said his wife, Martha. “If they had a special stone that no one else could make into a piece of jewelry, they could.”
Mr. Celi, who came to the Buffalo area in 1980, maintained a workshop and retail store on Transit Road in Depew. He died Feb. 20 at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital in Amherst after a period of declining health. He was 83 years old.
Born in Palermo, Sicily, the fifth of seven boys, he moved with his family to Florence, Italy after World War II. Recognized for his artistic talents, he began his apprenticeship with a goldsmith at a very young age.
“He became very, very good and opened his own shop on Ponte Vecchio,” his wife said. “He taught his younger brothers.”
In 1970, Mr. Celi joined his brothers in Toronto, where they opened a boutique and a jewelry factory. He quickly gained recognition for his designs and made the cover of Canadian Jeweler magazine.
Martha Sage, a multimedia artist from Buffalo, met him in 1970 when she visited a club in Toronto with a friend from McMaster University and he asked her to dance. They married in Las Vegas in 1973 and initially lived in the Los Angeles area, where Mr. Celi made designs for his brother Domenico’s jewelry-making business.
Moving to Miami, Mr. Celi was based for several years in the 10-story Seybold Jewelry Building, home to hundreds of jewelers. He and his wife moved back to Buffalo in 1980 to be closer to their family. She helped him with the business operations of his store on Transit Road. He retired about three years ago.
His artistic talent also extended to music and fine art. A pianist, he wrote the music and lyrics for hundreds of compositions, including an opera, but performed them only for friends. He also created many oil paintings and sculptures, but did not exhibit them publicly.
In addition to his wife, survivors include a son, Shaun; one daughter, Leah Celi; and four brothers, Joseph, Domenico, Philip and Ugo.
A memorial visitation will be held from 11 a.m. to noon on May 5 at Zurbrick-Amigone Funeral Home, 5615 Broadway, Lancaster.