Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Article: Filigree


Definition and Characteristics of Filigree

  • Filigree is intricate metalwork used in jewelry and small forms of metalwork.
  • It is usually made of gold and silver.
  • Filigree is created with tiny beads or twisted threads, or both.
  • The metalwork is soldered together or to the surface of an object.
  • It is arranged in artistic motifs, often suggesting lace.

History of Filigree

  • Filigree has been part of the ordinary work of jewelers throughout history.
  • The Etruscans and Greeks used filigree in their jewelry.
  • Ancient Mesopotamians incorporated filigree into jewelry since 3,000 BC.
  • Telkari, a form of filigree, was developed in the 15th century in Midyat, Mesopotamia.
  • Greek and Etruscan filigree reached its highest perfection in the 6th to 3rd centuries BC.

Filigree in Different Regions

  • India, Iran, and parts of Central Asia have a long history of filigree work.
  • Indian filigree workers retain the same patterns as ancient Greeks.
  • Traditional filigree work in Cuttack, Odisha, revolves around images of deities.
  • Silver filigree work is known in Karimnagar, Telangana state.
  • Filigree work in Asia often involves fine grains or beads and spines of gold.
  • Filigree work was introduced by the Moors in Spain during the Middle Ages.

Notable Examples of Filigree

  • The Victoria and Albert Museum and British Museum house examples of Byzantine filigree work.
  • The Cross of Lothair in Aachen is an example of filigree decoration.
  • The Staffordshire Hoard discovered in England contains numerous examples of fine filigree.
  • The Royal Irish Academy in Dublin contains reliquaries and personal jewels with filigree ornamentation.
  • The Tara Brooch, housed in the National Museum, is a notable example of Irish filigree work.

Methods of Fabrication and Uses

  • Filigree is created by curling, twisting, and plaiting fine pliable threads of metal.
  • Flux, such as borax, is used to unite the metal threads.
  • Granulated motifs are made by melting precious metal wire or sheet into small beads.
  • Frameworks of stouter wire are used to protect delicate filigree work.
  • Filigree is commonly used in the fabrication of brooches, crosses, earrings, and buttons.
  • Filigree is metaphorically used to describe intricate ornamental designs and is associated with delicate and artistic design.

Filigree Data Sources

Reference URL
Knowledge Graph

Read more

File (tool)

History and Development of Files Early filing or rasping has prehistoric roots Lapping is also quite ancient Bronze Age and Iron Age had various kinds of files and rasps Files were already quite a...

Read more


Definition and characteristics of femininity Femininity is a set of attributes, behaviors, and roles associated with women and girls. It is socially constructed and influenced by cultural and biolo...

Read more