The decorative technique of the filigrana was used in the goldsmithery of the old mediterranic civilizations, nominated for the Greeks and Romans and later for the gaulese and visigotic artists.
Maria Jose de Carvalho de Sousa, author of an intitled work “the Art of the Gold”, published for the Chamber of the Póvoa de Lanhoso, relates that the northwestern auriferous wealth of the Iberian Peninsula was confirmed by the archaeological vestiges of old mining explorations of the north of Portugal and the Galiza.
The goldsmithery appears in Portugal in the ends of III the milénium before Christ, as it seems to prove the appearance of an account in gold in the fortified town of the Zambujal, in Torres Vedras.
The first object in gold, without any decorative element, had appeared in the Age of Copper for the simple ones to hammer of the metal. Already between 1800-1700 B.C. the gold started to be worked through the annealing, a process of heating of the metal that allows to work it more easily.
Maria Jose advances that enter 1300 and B.C., would jewellery it received new impulses, nominated “with the biggest social structure of the society and an increase of the weight of jewels”.
In this phase, the molds and the techniques had appeared of weld.“Wires hammered of square shaped section appear for the first time, twisted on itself same.
All these technological advances will go to facilitate the assimilation of new techniques brought for the fenician settling in the Iberian Peninsula”, explain.With the fenician people, the goldsmithery started to have more quality technique, the objects had become lighter and started to use filigrana it (fine cross wires of gold) and the granulated one (smallest gold spheres).
Later they had appeared you collect them, diadem, as one that is displayed in the Museum of the Gold of Travassos, necklaces of articulated plates or accounts, decorated with vegetal reasons.The author designates that from century XIV the decoration and the drawing of the parts had become more complex. “The filigrana one passes of garrison the integral form and uses diamonds, rubies, chorales, pearls and enamels”, advancing that in century XVIII it limits it the traditional use.
In the history of the goldsmithery of the north of Portugal, the branches of the filigrana always occupied a relief place, being recognized the filigree that had served Royalty and the Church during centuries.In century XIX, beyond bourgeois jewels the traditional ones existed, the hearts and necklaces of accounts in filigrana.
Source: Diário do Minho
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