The art of filigree
The intricate art of the Filigree has added a gentle touch to the Maltese local market. Not only is it inimitable but it adds value to Malta’s heritage.
The art of filigree can be traced back to ancient Egypt and can be found throughout the Mediterranean and Asia. Filigree is a delicate art of jewellery that involves the use of fine threads of gold or silver, woven together to create ornate motifs.
More than most other types of jewellery, filigree is valued more for the artisan’s skill than the actual material used. The more intricate and ornate the design, the more valuable the object.
Malta’s filigree legacy dates back to the Phoenicians who spread this technique throughout the Mediterranean and beyond. However, local artisans have made it all their own, with the most prominent motif being the eight pointed cross. This ubiquitous symbol is found in different variations, with or without gemstones, gold or silver, and on bracelets, earrings, and brooches.
While filigree can be purchased at most jewellery shops around Malta and Gozo, the experience of watching the jewellery being made there and then is not one to be missed. Whether at the Ta’ Qali Crafts Village, or at any obliging jeweller, this delicate and fascinating process is worth watching.
While modern pieces with varying motifs, materials, and quality make an excellent gift, it is the antique pieces that represent the most value. If you’re lucky enough to come across these rare pieces, don’t pass up the opportunity to purchase a piece of Maltese heritage.