Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Art of Filigree

For centuries, the art of filigree has been used to craft jewelry such as pins, rings and pendants, reaching the height of its popularity during the Art Deco period of the 1920's and 1930's.  At the time, this method of producing open patterns was more common than molding or casting. 

Filigree is formed using twisted threads of gold and silver to create delicate, lacy, openwork jewelry. Artists hammer malleable metal into thin filaments, then twists and bends them into intricate designs, and solders them at their overlapping junctures.  Vines, leaves, buds, waving hair, and spider webs are common motifs.  

Many ancient cultures, including Greece, Rome, Armenia, India and China used such delicately woven jewelry to celebrate marriage, birth, as well as fancy ornamentation for royalty. Antique filigree can be found in museums around the world.  

I found this 1930's sterling silver locket is from an estate sale.  The face is matte silver with a clear stone in the center. It has an ornate filigree pattern around the edge of the piece.  This 1930's Silver Filigree Locket Necklace is a one-of-a-kind piece available at Vintage Rehab.

1 comment:

Amy said...

This is absolutely beautiful. Thanks for the background on filigree; I've always wondered what that was called.