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Gold Filigree Hair Comb

Filigree work requires a high degree of precision and skill, and is composed of a thin fine wire of usually silver or gold that can be curled, twisted or plaited into intricate motifs.  The shaped wire can then be soldered onto a metal base, or fashioned into an openwork design.  Filigree work has a long history of production in the Maltese Islands.  Examples of it were displayed at the Malta Stand in the Great Exhibition of London in 1851, and were written about positively in the official Exhibition catalogue. 
The filigree and granulation work used to decorate this hair comb is put together in such a manner as to resemble a festoon of flowers, buds and leaves.  Dating a filigree item can be difficult as it was generally left unmarked, and due to its production in various countries it is also difficult to pinpoint a specific provenance.  Similar motifs to those found on this hair comb have long been popular in Malta, and were mounted on bracelets and other items of jewellery.  Such work can also be seen on ex-voto donations adorning statues of saints, and displayed during the village festa


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