The Sardinian art of jewellery 0 Comments
Sardinian jewels are of a very particular beauty indeed. Gold or silver, worked in filigree, bejewelled with stones and coral: jewels are an important part of traditional clothing, they have a history, a bit myth and a bit truth.
The Sardinian wedding ring, for example, in gold and silver filigree, traditionally worn by the women of the island, is a ring with a primarily symbolic value rather than a core one.
Like everything valuable and romantic, it originates from a legend, where the man who was about to declare his love to the chosen maiden would address the Janas, the fairies that lived in the Domus de Janas of Pre-Nuragic Sardinia, for their help. The fairies, known for their ability in the art of hand weaving the gold thread, prepared the jewel in the form of a circle to be worn on the fourth finger in the belief that from that finger a vein (the vein amoris) pumps directly to the heart. The small spheres covering the ring symbolize wheat grain, a prosperity and love omen. Occasionally the love vow was represented by another special ring, the Maninfide (hands in faith). The jewel, usually gold, symbolizes the union circle of two holding-hands representing the union of the two loving souls. The girl was returning the gift with a finely carved bone or horn knife.
Jewels also mediated between man and his gods. For example, an obsidian stone set between two silver cups (su coccu - read about it here) was intended to protect from evil-eye.
Sardinian filigree jewels are a completing part of the traditional costume elegance, like the buttons (sa corbula) of the shirt, or the cufflinks, or the pins holding the veil covering the head. They have a rounded, convex shape (sa corbula, in fact, also means bin) with a golden ball in the centre or a little stone, symbolizing the breast of the fertility goddess, Tanit.
Sardinia’s coral is of the Corallium Rubrum species and is well used in Sardinian jewellery, being believed as an amulet to protect against any negative thought. The natural forms of coral become works of art in the hands of the coral jewels skilled artisans.
The Sardinian wedding ring is “…the golden ring in a chain whose beginning is a glance and whose ending is Eternity.” (Khalil Gibran)
written by Daniela Toti