Filigran art. Filigree is a symbol of grace and skill. The intricately interwoven threads of precious metals take shape in the hands of the master. In Russia this art is called a scan – from the Old Slavonic “twisted, sweated together.”
The main secret of this craft is a thin metal thread and intricate weaving, and soft precious metals – gold and silver – are best suited for work. The wire is pulled by forceps through the hole in the steel plate. With the right approach, one gram of gold can be pulled out 2500 meters.
Caught in the Russian land wire lace trading routes from the East. And they came up with this fine work in Egypt. Residents of the Mediterranean – the Greeks, Phoenicians and even Indians – did not fail to learn the experience of the Pharaohs. Since the VI-IV centuries BC filigree and became the basis of jewelry mastery.
In the IX century, the technique of scanning took root in Kievan Rus. Masters to craft came up creatively. In addition to small balls, “woven” in the metal patterns of wood, precious stones and enamel. At that time, few people could afford to be filthy, and the jewelers worked for the nobility and the church. One of the most striking examples of jewelry mastery is the Monomakh’s hat, entirely embroidered with scanty patterns.
The art of scanning is one of the few that has spread across cities and regions. Temporal rings, lunnitsa, beads and bracelets weave from gold and silver in the lands of Chernigov, Pereyaslav, Vladimir-Suzdal and Moscow. Jewelers look back at the Italian and Hungarian experience. However, in the drawings and in the coloring of the work are completely original.
The most famous masters of scans, the founders of the original Russian style in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries – Ivan Fomin and the monk Ambrose. Fomin was a master of the Sovereign of the court, Ambrose lived and worked in the Trinity-Sergius Lavra. Both of them knew well the secrets of Greek jewelers and skillfully wove foreign motifs into Russian ornament. The works of the most famous masters of the Middle Ages are now in the Trinity-Sergius Lavra.
The Tatar-Mongolian invasion barely destroyed the Russian filth. And it’s not even that the invaders took away all the most valuable of the princely chests. A real hunt for the most skilled artisans was conducted. The masters were first stolen into the Horde – into slavery. However, not all major cities were looted. The Novgorod lands and the economy did not affect the invasion due to the fact that they paid tribute. We managed to save both the masters and their unique works.
After centuries, jewelers covered not only decorations with a scan. The biscuits, caskets and even handbags were in demand. But the most popular commodity is the buttons of openwork weaving. They were made by artisans-jewelers-beguards. Were such buttons in prerevolutionary Russia everywhere and the nobility, and even wealthy peasants. True, the cost of those buttons was twice the cost of the clothes themselves.
During the revolution, the fabric was on the verge of extinction. But already in the 30-ies of the twentieth century, jewelers once again weave precious patterns. The fabric became the hallmark of all Russian jewelry art and gained world recognition. Works of Russian masters conquered Europe first, and then America. Jewelers from the village of Krasnoe Kostroma Oblast received a gold medal at the World Exhibition in Paris.
The second test of the changes, or rather, the progress of the filibuster survived in the 90s of the last century. As the masters say, “the art of lightness” does not tolerate shocks, does not tolerate fuss – just a slow and thoughtful approach. Serial production of cast jewelery is trying to dislodge filigree. But the real manual work can be compared only with unique frosty patterns on the windows.
The most famous treasure trove was found in the Staroyazanskoe settlement in 1822. As usual, by accident. Local peasants, building the road, found a leather bag full of treasures. The researchers concluded that the treasure represents objects of male and female decorations of the Grand Duke’s worth. This fabric was so unique that it became an exhibit of the Hermitage by the imperial decree. The most ancient products of Russian masters are stored in the Armory Chamber.