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Renewed elegance in decorative filigree pieces

Renewed elegance in decorative filigree pieces
© House of Filigree, Porto, Portugal

The art of filigree was not limited to jewellery, but extended to various decorative and personal objects.

From the late 19th century onwards, filigree was reinvented in artistic objects, often in silver filigree combined with enamels. Some creations reflect the luxury and refinement of the arts of the table. As is the case with this jardinière, a flower vase used as a table centrepiece, in silver filigree and cut crystal, from ca. 1919-1937, with a hallmark by the Porto goldsmith Joaquim Bento da Fonseca.

© Cabral Moncada Leilões, Lisboa, Portugal

Also interesting is the pair of small crystal flower boxes, in which the filigree can be seen in the hollowed-out lids, with circular holes to support the flower stems. A work with Gondomar hallmarks, dating from ca. 1913-1937. The body is cut crystal, probably from Bohemia.

In another piece in the museum, a small vase in the neo-Gothic/Manueline style, the revivalist taste combined enamel work on the heraldic elements with silver-gilt filigree, by the goldsmith António Moreira Martins Cardoso, from Gondomar, dated ca. 1913-1937.

© House of Filigree, Porto, Portugal

This revivalist decorative trend was common to other civilian silverware from the first decades of the 20th century, with more or less imposing pieces celebrating the Age of Discoveries, in a profusion of elements such as the Cross of Christ, the enamelled Portuguese coat of arms or the caravels and armillary spheres.

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