a store with history

Portuguese Certified Filigree is the very definition of a century-old establishment in the heart of Lisbon that has been sublimating the secular art of traditional Portuguese jewellery since 1924

a store with history

Following the 1755 earthquake in Lisbon, the Muralha do Carmo wall was built next to the ruins of the Carmo convent, in the city’s downtown. During excavations made in the wall at the beginning of the 20th century, empty spaces were uncovered which were later occupied by commercial establishments, one of which was the Raul Pereira e Cia Jewellers., Lda., which even then focussed its attentions on Portuguese Filigree. An imposing decorative heart over the doorway is a distinguishing feature that to this day still dominates and characterises the façade of what has been known as “Joalharia do Carmo” since 1926. Today, maintaining its uniqueness, the spotlight is on Portuguese Filigree.

The design and furnishings are original: the mirrored side tables, the Baccarat crystal chandeliers, the spiral staircases, and the shades of green and gold raise a toast to Certified Filigree. Classified as a “Shop with History” by Lisbon City Council, Joalharia do Carmo preserves its original identity intact. It remains a faithful guardian of the timeless art of the goldsmith as a space of rare longevity, a shop that remains honourably intact in Lisbon’s historic district.

Joalharia do Carmo’s prime location in Chiado puts it right at the centre of the capital and the city’s footfall, much as its past loaded with history and linked to Filigree places it securely in the epicentre of Portuguese jewellery and goldsmithing.

the art deco façade

In true Art Deco style, the façade of Joalharia do Carmo, by architect Manuel Norte Júnior, who also designed the façade of the iconic café A Brasileira do Chiado, boasts Corinthian columns and an imposing coat of arms as highlights. A distinctive feature is the Portuguese shield on the Cruz de Cristo cross, housed in a sumptuous heart crowned with castles and flanked by glorious laurel leaves, covered in gold, a trademark of the spirit of the time in which it was crafted.

The façade inspired the concept for the interior. Filigree is the star in a meticulous sequence of fine gold and silver threads handmade by master craftsmen who superbly design works of art of the finest Portuguese jewellery. With floral and maritime motifs representing religion or inspiration in love, with the iconic hearts of Viana personifying a harmonious relationship between the store’s interior and the façade, Joalharia do Carmo is a trove of unique pieces that have proven to be true ambassadors of Portugal around the world.

inspiration: barcelos ceramic craft

At Joalharia do Carmo, two worlds intersect in a perfect, though unlikely, meeting: the nobility of jewellery is raised further through the folk art of Figurado de Barcelos (“Barcelos Ceramic Work”) in colourful handmade and hand-painted ceramic pieces that highlight the delicacy of Filigree.

Recreating the real world by creating an imaginary one has always been behind the true art of Figurado de Barcelos, through hands that invoke memories and tell its history in clay fables. What better inspiration could highlight the hearts of Viana, the Queen-style (Rainha) or crescent earrings, where everything is joy, tradition and creativity? It is the artistic excellence of Figurado de Barcelos that presents to the world the golden threads of Minho festivals, affirming the luxury of simplicity that is so evident in folk expression.

The fantastic world of Portuguese Filigree, as entrancing as the chords of the cavaquinho, accordion, and concertina, awakens sensations in vibrant colours of blood-red and hope-green. Could there be a more genuinely Portuguese celebration?

an ode to filigree

Black and gold: elegance and nobility, sophistication and distinction. Through this combination of colours, illustrator Nuno Saraiva travels back in time using brush strokes on the domed ceiling of the cosy first floor of Joalharia do Carmo. Inspired by the illustration Filigrana do Carmo, Nuno pays homage to the art of Filigree, telling his story by representing women whose skirts draw the city’s hills.
The first woman is a Phoenician aristocrat wearing Filigree adornments. The Phoenicians were forerunners in the aesthetics and ingenuity of Filigree, strongly influenced by Egyptian art. The second woman is a noble Roman patrician who walked the streets of Felicitas Julia Olisipo, 1st century BC Lisbon. A tribute to the Romans, who created the art and the name: Filum Granum. The third woman is a Mozarabic who displays a Hand of Fatima and hides the most primitive Catholic symbol, the fish. A tribute to the Muslims who beautified and made the Filigree shine brighter. The fourth woman is a typical Minho woman: adorned with Filigree, she carries gold necklaces, hearts of Viana, Maltese crosses, royal and republican coins, and a medal bearing the “Senhora da Conceição”, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, the patron saint of Portugal.
Nuno Saraiva is an author and professor comics and cartoon art, and an illustrator. He has collaborated many Portuguese publications, designed the Festas de Lisboa imagery and has more than a dozen exhibitions under his belt.