Portuguese Jewellery. An endangered Species?...

Published: 28.07.2009
ana campos


On the last day of June of the current year, several contemporary jewels were confiscated by the Authorities. The pieces, created by four renowned Portuguese contemporary jewellers, were in exhibition, for sale, at the shop of the Serralves Foundation Museum for Contemporary Art in Oporto. The reason for this action was that the pieces, mostly made in silver, were not hallmarked according to the law. Portuguese hallmarking law does not contemplate work made by Contemporary Jewellers. It does not allow contemporary jewellery to be recognised as "Jewellery". It does not allow contemporary jewellery to be sold in public venues such as museum and galleries Furthermore, individuals who have graduated from State accredited courses in Art or Technical Schools under "Jewellery" curricula are not granted permission to hallmark their work. Students who have graduated from internationally recognized institutions with Master degrees face the same prospect. Clearly self-defeating. This, due to an old and outdated hallmarking law that grants the title of "Jeweller" or "Goldsmith" exclusively to individuals who have worked at least for ten (10) years with a Portuguese "old master" in a traditional workshop/industrial facility.

The events in Oporto, prompt us to address the issue in a straightforward manner: The current hallmarking law needs to be reviewed and adapted to the field of Contemporary Jewellery, giving it the respect and status it deserves as an independent Artistic field. Therefore, PIN Portuguese Contemporary Jewellery Association and the bellow mentioned schools have drawn up a brief for the Portuguese Parliament. This brief shows a short overview of the importance of Portuguese Contemporary Jewellery history and points out the reasons why the hallmarking law should include Contemporary Jewellery as an independent category in the following basic terms: < An adaptation of the current Hallmarking law to contemporary standards (as in many other European countries). < A definition and legal acceptance for "Contemporary Jewellery", distinct from "Traditional Jewellery", as long as the former abides by the Vienna Convention for precious metal alloy standards. < The creation/authorization of specific retail venues for Contemporary Jewellery (displaying work from both Portuguese and International artists/designers/makers), namely, Art Galleries, Museum Shops and Contemporary Jewellery Galleries.

For this brief to be able to get into parliament, we are drawing a petition amongst Portuguese Jewellers, artists, designers, etc... Since we are part of a global network and Jewellery "family", we are asking you to help us in our plea by submitting your name as part of an international group of supporters to our idea. It would delight us to have a long, long, long list of artists, students, teachers, presidents, jewellery aficionados and their consorts, family and friends as this would reinforce the petition in the eyes of the Portuguese public and Parliament representatives. Join us in showing that the field of Contemporary Jewellery in Portugal has a long standing history and, as part of the cultural heritage of the Country, should be encouraged and supported by law. This petition is public and has no affiliation whatsoever with any specific political party. Thanking you all, PIN Portuguese Contemporary Jewellery Association Ar.Co - Centro de Arte & Comunicação Visual, Lisbon António Arroio Arts High School, Lisbon Contacto Directo Jewellery School, Lisbon and Porto Engenho & Arte Jewellery School, Porto ESAD Art and Design Academy, Matosinhos Soares dos Reis Arts High School, Porto


STEP 1: SIGNING THE PETITION Open your internet browser. Go to : There you will find a text in Portuguese (which is the long version of what we have explained above) On top of the page, over the title "Petição JOALHARIA CONTEMPORÂNEA PORTUGUESA EM RISCO" you will find two links: On the left - "Actuais signatários" - Click this to see who has signed already On the right - "Assinar esta petição" - Click this to add your name After clicking "Assinar esta petição" you will arrive at a page which asks you for your name and e-mail address 1) Nome - enter Name 2) Email - enter e-mail address 3) Profissão - This is your job title (fill in or leave empty) 4) Ano de nascimento - Year of birth (fill in or leave empty) 5) Comentários - Comments - Please feel free to write any thoughts, feelings or observations 6) Privacidade do endereço de Email - Email privacy Private - your Email address is used only to confirm your signature (that you are not spamming). 7) Disponível - Your Email address will be available for the organizers of the petition (PIN, etc...) only. 8) Público - Your Email address will be shown with your name. 9) Next there is a check-box - this allows the Public Petition service to send you information on other similar petitions. If you do not want mail from this site, uncheck it. CLICK - "ASSINAR PETIÇÃO" (it means - "Sign petition")

STEP 2: CONFIRMATION 10) You will shortly after receive a mail from the site with a link for confirmation. (Remember to check your Spam box as it will probably end up there) The mail will look like this: Caro(a) YOUR NAME Este email é enviado para si do site para confirmar a sua assinatura como «YOUR NAME» na petição online: (this Email is sent to you from the PeticaoPublica site to confirm your signature as "Your name" on the following online petition: "JOALHARIA CONTEMPORÂNEA PORTUGUESA EM RISCO" A sua assinatura na petição necessita de ser confirmada para garantir a autenticidade dos dados. (Your signature in the petition needs to be confirmed to guarantee data authenticity) Clique no link acima para confirmar a sua assinatura: (ou copie o endereço para uma nova janela do seu browser) (Click on the above link to confirm signature: (or copy the address to a new browser window) Melhores Cumprimentos, (Best wishes) CLICK THE LINK AND YOU'RE IN TO CONFIRM.