silver & goldsmithing
art of yemenite filigree
A magical place of invention & discovery, Ben-Zion David’s workshop is where things begin and where the filigree jewelry & Judaica are created. His work table, filled with tools, wires & interesting components reflects years of hard work & development to perfection, skills he has refined since early childhood in the family workshop.
Prior to 1950-53, Yemen had a large Jewish population (50,000+). One of the main occupations of the major Jewish tribes was that of the silversmith. They had developed a filigree style unique to the Middle East. When they moved to Israel, these techniques were brought with them. However, the next generation of Yemenite Jews didn’t all learn the craft. As a result, the remaining masters of this craft are now either aged Yemenites in Israel, or those who faithfully learned it.
Among them is Ben-Zion David
In his workshop located in Ancient Jaffa, Ben-Zion David creates fine Yemenite filigree jewelry from silver strands of 5 basic wires. His unique jewelry is designed with intricate filigree and intertwined with flower petals and diamond shapes consistent with the traditional Yemenite style.
“Yemenite filigree is a very unique style,” says Ben-Zion David. It’s far more precise and detailed than the work done by other cultural traditions. Unfortunately, Yemenite Jewish artisans have passed on, and their children have adopted other professions. It is truly a lost art, one which I strive to maintain.”