Dvalishvili L.B. (2024). Iz istorii zapadnogruzinskoj filigrani (Master Filipp «Philu» Dzadzamidze) [From the history of Western Georgian filigree. Master Philippe “Philu” Dzadzamidze]. Istoricheskoe oruzhievedenie [Weapons History Journal], № 13, pp. 82 — 160.
Abstract: The article examines a little-explored aspect of the Western Georgian tradition of filigree based on examples of arms decoration in this technique. It also briefly describes previously uncovered life and creative path of the goldsmith Philippe “Philu” Dzadzamidze whose original works are widely represented in museums and private collections.
Despite the fact that filigree technique occurs in Georgia since the ancient period, modern weaponology has so far been confined to the consideration of Georgian items mainly of the 19th century, as it was from the middle of the 19th century when arms decorated with filigree became popular in Western Georgia. Such arms were made in different cities of Western Georgia, in particular in Kutaisi, Khoni, Senaki, Zugdidi, Sukhumi and others, as well as in Eastern Georgia — in Tbilisi by “seasonal workers” who migrated from different regions of Western Georgia. Among arms with filigree, what particularly stands out is a number of items which have the author’s inscription of the surname “Dzadzamidze” and, accordingly, were made by the goldsmith Philippe “Philu” Dzadzamidze.
The family of goldsmiths Dzadzamidze (Dzadzamia) came from Western Georgia, particularly from Mingrelia and their skill is directly connected with goldsmithing traditions that existed at the court of the Mingrelian rulers Dadiani for many centuries. Despite the fact that arms decorated by master Dzadzamidze are often seen in private and public collections and auctions, very little has been known about his life and creative path until now. Relying on various historical sources, the author provides a list of facts from the master’s life and highlights the goldsmithing traditions in the historical context of Western Georgia, the logical continuation of which is the mastery of filigree performed by Philippe “Philu” Dzadzamidze.
Keywords: Dzadzamidze, filigree, Western Georgia, Georgian metalwork, Georgian jewellery, Georgian goldsmith, silverwork, filigree technique, Georgian metalworking.