Portuguese Filigree History
The Portuguese filigree is the ancient art of "golden" the women from the minho region of Portugal, particularly the ones from Viana do Castelo. The exquisite jewelry pieces created with this technique have long been used as valuable accessories for special ocasions, being an integral part of and enriching the traditional Portuguese costumes of Minho and Douro Litoral, beeing the most famous ones from Viana do Castelo.
The Heart of Viana, seen in pendants and earrings, is the "mythical" and most recognized piece of the Viana tradition. As other traditional pieces, it is highly worked in filigree, and is so meticulous and delicate that almost looks unreal.
Portugal's filigree unique look comes from its people's temperament - representing themes close to their heart, as religion and love, nature and sea - having become an important part of the country's luxurious heritage jewelery, as it represents its history, culture and tradition.
Filigree is a purely manual art, that requires a very patient work, imaginative and great dexterity from the artisans. This art works delicate braided metal strands (gold, silver, or other metals), placed near a source of heat so that they soften and are able to be worked by the craftsmen, who create elaborate and elegant art pieces such as pendants, earrings, bracelets, rings, necklaces and others.
This technique is a very meticulous art and the artisans who are capable of mastering it, enclosure a great pleasure in every piece they conclude.
The main poles of manufacture of the Portuguese filigree, are located in the proximity of the city of Porto - Gondomar and Póvoa de Lanhoso (Braga).
Beeing such a important part of Portugal's history and cultural heritage, filigree jewelry can be found all over the country, even in most distant cities as the counstry's capital Lisbon, or in Algarve, as Faro and Portimão.