Croatian Traditional Jewellery

Šibenik botun 

ŠIBENIK BOTUN

Botun is very prevalent traditional jewellery that was declared as the most original Croatian souvenir in 2007 by the Croatian National Tourist Board. It is most often connected to the Šibenik region and throughout history it adorned various male folk costumes. Toka or Šibenik buttons, as they are also referred to in Šibenik, were made by skillful craftsmen mainly from silver in filigree technique. The name botun, toka or buttons in fact refers to round or circular buttons that were traditional parts of male folk costumes even in other parts of Dalmatia, especially in its hinterland. 

 

 

 

 

 

Konavle earrins

KONAVLE EARRINGS

Earrings are the most recognizable and most prevalent female adornment on the Adriatic. They were always made from exclusive materials, most often gold, during precise and laborious endeavors of professional goldsmith masters. Konavle earrings, verižice, were at the top of the list of items that wealthy young men from Dubrovnik presented to their brides at weddings – and they would do this twice: small verižice while proposing, and then the large ones with pearls during the church wedding ceremony. Traditionally it was considered a rule that the small ones were worn by unmarried women, while those married wore large ones, and today they are part of the traditional Konavle folk costume, but also worn at various occasions.

 

 

 

 

Rećine

REĆINE

Earrings in the Adriatic are most often referred to as rećin or rećine. The popular rećine, perhaps the most beautiful traditional earrings, are made from silver today in various colors, sizes and shapes with coral or pearl accessories – with inspiration from specimens from the Croatian coaswet and islands, found in ethnographic, museum and private collections. Their most prevalent form is that of a crescent, or so-called kaštilac, while there are also flower and botun shapes – especially in middle Dalmatia. Such earrings with hundreds of years of tradition are great to wear today, both at night and during the day.

 

 

 

 

Split ornaments

SPLIT ORNAMENTS

Luxurious rings were mainly made from gold in the past, and one of the most beautiful specimens was found in Split and it dates to the 18th century. Back then, golden jewellery was often combined with corals or pearls – ornaments that were along with diamonds, turquoise, garnets and small crystals most often used fashion accessories. Besides its beauty, the special value of this ring lies in the modus operandi used to make it because in the Adriatic ethnographic area filigree and granulation techniques were less common for ring making. This is why we made a pendant and earrings adorned with pearls or corals that complete this set.

 

 

 

 

Dalmatian flowers

DALMATIAN FLOWERS

Designed after original Dalmatian earrings, that are assumed to date back to early 18th century, these flower motif earrings are made in various colors and sizes. These earrings display flowers from the daisy family, most probably stylized sunflowers or marigolds. They are unique because they combine two traditional manufacturing methods, filigree and embossing. Filigree is a special method of weaving thin gold or silver strings, often along with beads of the same ore. The embossing method is, along with casting and forging, one of the oldest artistic techniques of metal processing, used for more than 4000 years.

 

 

 

 

Čika’s cross

ČIKAs CROSS

The permanent exhibit of church art in Zadar holds the thousand-year-old collection of Benedictine nuns, with Čika’s cross taking a prominent place as it is assumed to date back to the 8th century. Čika lived in 11th century, and she was the great-granddaughter of Croatian king Krešimir II and queen Jelena. After she became a widow, Čika renewed the Benedictine female monastery of St. Mary thus becoming a standout in religious circles during the era of national rulers. To honor her we recreated that symbolic cross in gold and silver, in three sizes, as a memory of the great deeds of mother and nun Čika.

 

 

 

 

St. Nicholas’ church cross

St. NICHOLAS CHURCH CROSS

Dubrovnik’s St. Nicholas’ church at Prijeko holds a silver cross with a chain from the 19th century and today it is archived at the Bishop’s ordinary. It is interpreted in gold and silver mostly due to its historic, cultural and artistic values, but also because of its spiritual significance for worshippers who pray for young people and travelers at St. Nicholas’. The St. Nicholas’ church cross is handmade, with casting and engraving techniques, and this complicated process is proof of special skills and innovation of master goldsmiths from that time.

 

 

 

 

Ornaments of Alka knights

ORNAMENTS OF ALKA KNIGHTS

There is no Croatian tradition that displays pride and courage of Croats better than the Sinj alka. Skill and agility go hand in hand with opulent knight uniforms and this is why the knight’s tournament was added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2010. We made our contribution to this unique historical event and specific folk costume by creating replica buttons from uniforms of knights, their helpers, arambaša and the duke, from silver with gold lining, just as proper knights deserve.

 

 

 

 

 

Višeslav’s baptismal font

VIŠESLAVs BAPTISMAL FONT

One of the most significant monuments from the early Middle ages, prince Višeslav’s baptismal font – which according to newest analysis was made during early 9th century – due to its historic significance, simplicity and monumental appearance has great symbolic value. Since it is assumed to be made during early baptism period of Croats, it symbolizes the acceptance of Croatia into the western church and the European culture circle.

 

 

 

 

 

Dalmatinke

DALMATINKE

After a lengthy examination of Croatian heritage, our skillful master goldsmiths created a new type of female earrings – stylized as traditional Croatian jewellery, combining famous fragments from the Cathedral of St. James in Šibenik into a single entirety. To display the essence of this marvelous church, we preserved within these earrings the harmony of gothic and renaissance styles. Although we decreased the size of the embossed female head on the outer portion for functionality, we still managed to use this sculptural jewel in portraying a connection between the holy cathedral and religious people, living and praying by rules of their faith yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

Marian rosary

MARIAN ROSARY

We made a new kind of a rosary in white and yellow gold, based on Croatian cultural, traditional and customary determinants. Since the Pope John Paul II introduced in 2002, for the 25th year of his pontificate, the fourth mystery known as the Luminous Mystery, in his memory our Croatian Marian rosary bears the prominent Papal cross, made with casting technique. It is a smaller version of the exact cross that Popes Benedict XVI and John Paul II often carried at gatherings with worshippers.

 

 

 

 

 

Earrings of the Bribir princess

EARRINGS OF THE BRIBIR PRINCESS

The Bribir fortress was a seat of the Šubić family, Croatian princes and viceroys (bans), and in its vicinity, in a small village of Vrbica, medieval earrings were found. Due to their great historic and aesthetic value, we decided to interpret them by using silver, a highly esteemed material of lasting value. Today, just like when it was originally made between the 10th and 12th centuries, creating such a superior artefact with strong artistic inspiration demands vast knowledge and efforts from masters of the trade. This artistic item magnified the beauty and grace of noblewomen, and today it gives girls and women a unique sense of royal elegance.

 

 

 

 

Šibenik rosettes

ŠIBENIK ROSETTES

The Šibenik cathedral is a marvel of architecture and dedication. At a time when it was most important to secure funds for defense from the Turks, people of Šibenik called upon the most renowned masters – Juraj Dalmatinac and Nikola Firentinac – and built a church with innovative and stylistic ideas. Due to its unique construction and great beauty it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list. Besides the marvelous dome, visitors will also take note of the rosette on the front of the Šibenik Cathedral that was made by Ivan Meštrović from Zadar in 1531. It served as inspiration for our master goldsmiths to create jewellery known as the Šibenik rosette.

 

 

 

 

Silver coins – replicas of the Dubrovnik ducat

SILVER COINS - REPLICAS OD THE DUBROVNIK DUCAT

“Freedom is not to be sold for all the treasures in the world”

People of Dubrovnik appreciated money because they bought freedom with it, and there was no treasure for which they would sell freedom. Between the 13th and 19th centuries, they forged great amounts of money, mainly from silver acquired from Bosnia and Serbia in exchange for salt and other goods. Throughout history people of Dubrovnik have, starting with copper miniatures, forged 18 types of coins. Just like with the original, the obverse shows St. Blaise the patron of Dubrovnik, while the back shows the crowned Dubrovnik crest behind which a scepter and a sword are crossed, as symbols of the Republic’s independence, surrounded by an inscription in Latin saying “Ducat of the Dubrovnik Republic”.

 

 

 

Gold and silver coins

GOLD AND SILVER COINS

It is a long standing custom in Croatia to present, for important life events, gold items such as gold coins or gold jewellery with sacred motives – crosses, angels and saints. Gold and silver coins from Argentum silver are artistic items based on the ideas of academic sculptor Damir Mataušić and made from the finest gold labeled with the 999/1000 standard. The offer includes numerous sacred and historic motives, which are also made from silver as silver coins.