Captivating Wearable Art From 6 Filigree Jewellers
The intricate art of filigree has elevated the jewellery design for centuries. Precious metals are melted and stretched into ultra-fine threads that are masterfully intertwined and molded into beautiful lace-like patterns.
Filigree jewellery were first coveted during the Art Deco period because of their detailed scrollwork and lacy flourishes. The five international filigree jewellery brands listed below are carrying on this artisanal tradition with captivating creations.
Signature: Royal heritage
Based in: Bairro Alto, Portugal
The history of Casa Leitão & Irmão dates back to the late eighteenth century, when it was appointed Goldsmith of the Imperial House by the emperor of Brazil in 1873, and Jewelers of the Portuguese Crown by the king of Portugal in 1887.
The Casa Leitão workshops were built in the late nineteenth century in the Bairro Alto, employing skilled silversmiths who had previously worked in “back-alley” Lisbon workshops. Since then, the company’s artisans have passed on their knowledge from generation to generation; each adding their own character, and enhanced with modern manufacturing technologies. Traditional patterns remain relevant as they meet contemporary design.
Signature: Latin flavor with silver filigree
Based in: Melbourne, Australia
The concept for Agmia was conceived in 2013, when founder Maria Paula Espinosa designed filigree jewelry while visiting her hometown of Colombia. She was inspired by the filigree technique used by the local artisans. “I have always been connected to my country in many different ways as an artist,” says Espinosa.
Espinosa began working with the artisans to create one-of-a-kind wearable pieces of silver filigree, combining the traditional local methods with her own background in graphic design, and blending Colombian character with a contemporary Australian feel. In 2016, she introduced her line to the Australian market, where the pieces immediately seduced buyers with their delicate nature.
Each piece is handmade by twisting the fine thread of silver, with the designs celebrating the unique beauty of every woman’s individuality. “It’s amazing to see the reaction of people when they see silver filigree for the first time,” says the artist. “They are completely amazed by the intricacy of the pieces and sometimes can’t believe the items are made by hand.”
Signature: Simple elegance
Based in: USA
Founder Liliana OImox was drawn to the realm of art and design from an early age. First introduced to jewelry making at her uncle Solomon’s workshop, she began to study the art of filigree. She has since been refining the technique for over fifteen years.
Fusing the principles of both ancient filigree art and modern aesthetics, she developed her own signature style, which she describes as timeless with a contemporary twist. At the foundation is an air of sophistication and clean, simple design, with the best materials she can find.
Each piece in the collection is carefully handcrafted from super-fine threads of gold and silver and miniature beads, highlighting the intricate scrollwork and floral motifs, along with a deeper meaning.
“I believe that filigree jewelry has a soul,” she says. “There is a special feeling in knowing that something you wear was handmade with love.”
House of filigree
Signature: Classical inspirations
Based in: Porto, Portugal
Now in its fifth generation, the family-owned House of Filigree’s goldsmithing roots go back to the mid-nineteenth century. The great-grandfathers of current owners Luisa and Pedro Rosas once founded two of the most important houses of filigree jewelry in Portugal.
Facing a threat to traditional filigree methods from industrial mass-production, such as replicas made with microcast molds, House of Filigree is dedicated to preserving the slower, highly skilled art of handmade filigree—which they deem as true art, rather than copy.
Their workshop space houses goldsmiths who work while interacting with visitors. “The House of Filigree experience would not be complete without experiencing the art of filigree come to life and being able to engage with the artists,” say the owners, “preserving and showcasing the past while opening the doors to the future.”
Signature: Vibrant character
Based in: Lisbon, Portugal
A family company in its third generation, Portugal Jewels was conceived with the vision of introducing the world to Portuguese jewelry. In their Lisbon headquarters and workshops in Gondomar, the cradle of Portugal’s jewelry tradition, current owners Joana and Alexandre closely monitor every step of the process to ensure quality. Using jewels in red, green, purple and white shades, each piece is curated with authentic Portuguese character, and a timeless design that transcends trends and generations.
Based in: Viana do Castela, Portugal
Highlight: Born from legend
Portuguese jewelry house Viana Heart began with a legend. In the village of Viana do Castela in northern Portugal, the women gather once a year in front of the window of Ana – a former daughter of a noblewoman, who fell in love with a poor craftsman. To win her hand, the young artisan had to design the most beautiful piece of jewelry, which he created from small pieces of gold offered to him by each woman in the village. The symbol of the golden heart is still used in Viana do Castela today to celebrate the couple’s eternal love.
Viana Heart’s jewelry preserves this beloved myth, creating treasures of “wearable love” that capture the Portuguese jewelry tradition. Entirely handcrafted in Viana do Castela by local goldsmiths, using traditional tools and techniques, Viana’s filigree style jewelry weaves fine strands of silver and gold, intricately joined together to create designs that speak of eternal love.