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Unusual filigree necklace

This necklace is as of yet not registered online on It is made of filigree, much like the belt buckle we featured a couple of weeks ago. Stylistically, it is very different. It was made by Kristófer Pétursson (1887-1977) who grew up on the farm Stóra-Borg. He first learned silversmithing in 1908 and practiced it part-time as a farmer. Once him and his family moved to Kúludalsá in Akranes in 1946, he became a silversmith full-time. Shortly after that he applied for a Master‘s licence from the Goldsmithing Assocation of Iceland, and was granted it, having been practicing professionally for almost forty years.
According to Kristófer himself in a magazine interview in 1973, he became interested in silversmithing when he saw a particularly fine silver broach which belonged to one of the farmhands at Stóra-Borg. He learned silversmithing from the craftsman Jón Leví but learned how to make filigree of his own accord. He also made many of his own tools.
Like we covered a couple of weeks ago, filigree is a jewelry technique that is used a lot for the Icelandic national costume. It has been practiced in Iceland since shortly after the country was first settled in the ninth century. However the technique originates at least as far back as Sumeria in 2500BC.
This necklace is in many ways rather unusual, and Kristófer is known for having developed his own style. Hence his work is easy to recognize, because it deviates quite a bit from the classic form of Icelandic filgree. The flower shape is very traditional but the outer wire frame is not. The wire has also been processed in a way that gives it a kind of sawblade texture, which is a characteristic of Icelandic filigree. The wire that frames the flower-shape of the necklace and also the wire which creates the pattern inside have both been processed in this way. In classic Icelandic filigree only the wire that creates the internal pattern has that texture. The texture gives the wire more reflective surface, which makes the silver seem to sparkle more than it would otherwise.
Thanks to Dóra Jónsdóttir, goldsmith, for her expert opinion.

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