The history of Jewels
Since antiquity, jewels have had a great importance in the Mediterranean area because they gave prestige to those who wore them. The history of jewels goes back to the primitive populations who used rudimental utensils to create them, such as sea shells and bones of mammoth; these were linked to magic practises and were ornaments for the body. In that era, the men who engraved and smoothed stones were called a�?lapidaria�?. During the Egyptian age, women wore necklaces with large shell pendants which symbolised fertility. They were the first to use gold for the creation of jewels which they blended with other metals by using air furnaces. The name a�?Carne di Raa�? (the Egyptian god of sun) derives from this practise and for this reason even men wore gold jewels.
One of the most used techniques for the processing of gold is called a�?cera persaa�?. In the following years, the processing of gold changed depending on peoplea��s tastes:
- Around 3,000 B.C the Sumerians came up with a new technique in the processing of gold, called a�?granulationa�?; later used by the Etruscans. With the passing of years precious stones were added;
- Hellenistic age: the stones were plain;
- Middle Ages: jewels had the function of protecting the person who wore them; for example Charlemagne wore the cross of Jesus;
- Charles III of France was the first to give a jewel as a gift to the woman he fell in love with. This gave way to the birth of the figure of the jeweller, jewellery shops and goldsmith confraternities.
During the years to come and up to our days, we have had refined creation of jewels which are real masterpieces. Lalique, Vever, Fouquet, Cartier, Boucheron, Tiffany, Mario Buccellati, Bulgari, FabergA� are A�A�maisonsA�A� of international importance.
The history of jewellery in Sicily
The production of red coral in Trapani reached worldwide importance during the XVI a�� XVIII centuries.
- XVI century a�� pendant in the shape of a sailboat – collection of Sabauda of Palazzo Madama in Torino.
- Nativity scenes of Trapani a�� one of the most important is made in Alabaster and sea materials by Andrea Tipa (1725- 1786).
- Corals a�� lamp and crucifix by FrA� Matteo Bavera;
- Silver jewellery a�� chalice, monstrance and Madonna of Trapani by Juvara (XVII century);
- Simona Caruso 3A�A a�� she created a pendant made of Carrara marble a�� a�?Ramaccionea�? and golden copper with a black satin ribbon which she called a�?Fogliaa�?. She used the Florentine fretwork technique;
- Martina Piacentino 3A�A a�� she created a medal made of polychrome aluminium which she called a�?Ninfeaa�?. She used the technique of metal tracing and fretwork;
- Eric Frej 2A�C a�� he created a pendant made of aluminium and copper which he called a�?Geometralea�?. He used the technique of metal tracing, fretwork and chemical incision;
- Erika Bonventre 2A�B a�� she created a pendant made of pink marble of Portugal and golden copper which she called a�?Lacrimaa�?. She used the technique of processing marble and metal and welding;
- Maria Paola Lo Piccolo 2A�B a�� she created a pendant made of mother of pearl shells and golden copper which she called a�?Kloea�?. She used the technique of cut with hacksaw, fretwork of shells and polishing of metals with abrasive paste;
- Gloria Nolfo 3A�A a�� she created an object made of aluminium and limestone which she called a�?Sasso verdea�? a�� a�?Green stonea�?. She used the technique of metal tracing and fretwork;
- Erika Bonventre 2A�B a�� she created a necklace made of golden copper, mother of pearl and small glass spheres, which she called a�?Blue Corala�?. She used the technique of metal processing, mother of pearl processing and metal finishing;
- Maria Paola Lo Piccolo 2A�B a�� she created a multi-material necklace which she called a�?Eclissea�?;
- Martina Piacentino 3A�A a�� she created a multi-material pendant (sea shells, pearl, small glass spheres and golden copper, which she called a�?Ear of sea a�� Orecchio di marea�?. She used the technique of metal processing and Florentine fretwork;
- Irene Ferro 2A�B a�� she created pendant earrings made of copper, pink marble of Portugal and crystal chips , which she called a�?Fantasiaa�?. She used the technique of marble and metal processing, cut with hacksaw, welding and finishing with abrasive paste.