The new Middle Ages Collection stars single earrings that mix gold galvanized silver lace with silk fabrics like those used in medieval Florence. The lines of the collection are similar in intensity to the fabrics of the Middle Ages, favouring ornate openwork and colours intensified by natural stones. Asymmetry and fabric, Lebole Gioielli’s trademark features, are easily recognisable in this collection.
The Collection’s name highlights a time in history when minor arts like goldsmithing enjoyed unusual dignity and importance. Unlike other artistic eras, at this time it was often goldwork that set the style and kept a step ahead of the other major arts.
This Collection’s earrings combine gilded openwork of medieval inspiration with the silk weave that was also an important part of the Tuscan history of this period. The silk used in the earrings originates in the Middle Ages and the Florentine art of silk making, one of the seven major arts alongside goldsmithing. Legend has it that the origin of silk does not lie in faraway China, but in the nearby city of Lucca. At the beginning of the 14th Century the best silk weavers jealously guarded their secrets within the city walls of Lucca. In 1314, when the Guelph led city of Lucca was defeated by the Ghibelline Pisa, the Guelphs of Lucca fled, scattering themselves to different Italian cities, and with them the technical knowledge of the Lucca silk makers. Florence was one of their preferred destinations, dominated by the Black Guelphs who hurried to exempt the new arrivals from taxes so that Florence was transformed in just a few years into one of Europe and the Mediterranean’s major silk exporters. Silk was a luxury good for a refined and demanding clientele, who paid close attention to the fashion trends of the Middle Ages.
The story of this Collection continues, inspired by the “Votive Heart”. The heart is a universal symbol, present in all cultures, associated with life and love. It is the engine of the body and perhaps of the spirit too. The votive offering, stripped of its religious connotations, does not lose its emotional power, its energy and soul.