The Lost Art of Filigree

Apr 22, 2022 211

BY: Chiara Dalessio

Filigree is magic: gold or silver threads, twisted together to create ephemeral shapes and delicate patterns. There is something so incredibly alluring in filigree jewelry, perhaps because it is such an ancient tradition and one so strongly tied to our peninsula, too. 

However, today, the art of filigree has almost disappeared, and only one center remains in Italy, the small Ligurian village of Campo Ligure, to keep it alive. The word filigrana (filigree) appears in the Italian language in the 17th century, probably thanks to a Florentine literary man called Lorenzo Magliotti. Very likely, the term comes from the Latin filum (thread) and granum (granule, or grain), which well describe the texture and look of filigree objects.

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