Portuguese jewellery designs, old and new, showcased in Oporto
OPORTO, Portugal, August 2013 – Portugal has a proud tradition of jewellery making going back centuries.
In Oporto in northern Portugal, the Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis houses a fascinating collection of Portuguese jewels, many of them hundreds of years old, in gold with colour stones such as topaz.
Near the Ribeira area bordering the busy Douro river in Oporto, Portugal’s second city after Lisbon, the Stock Exchange Palace has a boutique selling contemporary precious jewels from jewellers such as Topazio, founded in 1874, which offers delightful gold and silver creations.
Just across the road from the bourse palace, opposite the statue of Prince Henry the Navigator, a craftswoman works in a shop creating silver filigree pieces, following the long tradition of artisanal filigree making in the north of Portugal.
Local jewellers lament the decline in opportunities for young people hoping to learn their craft in filigree jewellery, and say established Portuguese artisans have been leaving Portugal during the economic crisis, accepting lucrative offers of work in the watchmaking industry in Switzerland.