According to Portuguese tradition when Queen Maria II (9 December 1810 – 28 March 1835) visited Viana do Castelo in the north of Portugal she was gifted a pair of earrings in this exact same style. Today the beautifully detailed design is replicated with pride and always referred to as the "queen earrings." Many brides wear this special design. You will be mesmerized by the labor intensive detail.
- 1.75" L x .75" W
- Gold plated sterling silver filigree with latch hooks - light weight
- Handmade in Portugal in Viana do Castelo
While I was in Portugal I didn't have the opportunity to visit the north were they have a strong tradition in the art of filigree jewelry. But even in Lisbon the pride of this craft was overflowing. The stunning art of Portuguese filigree has remained important over the years and is a distinct symbol of the northern regions of Gondomar, Viana do Castelo and Póvoa do Lanhoso. Every piece due to the rigor of creation, assembly and finishing requires a large amount of manual labor.
In Portugal, filigree is an essential accessory and a mark of social distinction. It is mostly used in special events such as weddings or popular festivals. The pieces we feature were made in Viana do Castelo by skilled artisans. In this region a bride wears not only an astonishing pair of the iconic sterling silver "Queen Earrings" (rumored to have been gifted to Queen Maria II during her visit to Viana and said to bring fertility to the wearer ) but also two or more gold necklaces around her neck and at least one heart-shaped pendant.
**The additional photos are of Lisbon and the charming shop where I curated these pieces in the Chiado neighborhood in the center of Lisbon. My favorite of the three is the picture of the grandson, Lawrence, his grandpa, Alberto, and me in the 94 year old shop owned by Alberto and originally opened by his father. Alberto is hoping Lawrence will take over the shop one day, but Lawrence seems less keen on the idea. :)