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obverse Pegasos flying left, koppa below, reverse helmeted head of...
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The Vaphiadis family is deeply inspired by ancient silver and gold jewelry, museum themes, coin pendants and other historic articles. Many craftsmanship skills, secrets and actual moulds have been passed down for many generations within our family heritage dating back to the late 1800's in Asia-Minor and Northern-Europe and in Athens since 1928.
Eleftherios Vaphiadis was a skilled artisan by trade born around 1880 in Sinope, a highly developed and mainly Greek populated area of modern-day Turkey. Having given birth to 2 of his 4 children, in around 1910 he was seized for forced labour by the Turks in inner Turkey like many other Greek men of his age. 10 years later he was one of the only survivors from the thousands of Greeks that had been brutally massacred. Due to his outstanding skill and mastery in precious metal engraving, he had managed to gain the respect of influencial Turkish leaders for whom he crafted ornate swords and decorative weapons. Shortly after his release in the mid 1920's, he fled with his family to Ioannena in Northern Greece and became one of the leading silversmiths in this city, which had a renown heritage in Silver.
Vassilios VaphiadisHis son, Vasilios Vaphiadis (1909-1982) and grand-son Eleftherios Vaphiadis (1940-2004) continued the legacy and each in turn became important pioneers in the development of the Greek Jewellery sector. Vasilios in his later years also became patron to established Museum collections in Greece by donating numerous articles of his personal antique and ancient artifact collections to the public domain.
The 1960's Greek tourism boom found the Greek Gold sector at it's initial stages of development but also at a very creative and fruitful phase. Lefteris Vaphiadis at this time was one of most skilled artisans in the sector who chose to recreate many museum artifacts for the first time into the medium of jewelry. Many of the resulting jewelry designs were such a success and were so frequently copied by other jewelers that they became almost generic items. Amongst these, the mask of agamemnon, and the disk of phestos, the splendid archaic greco-Roman Ram and lion torc range and last but not least the 1960 designed dolphin ring, originaly a minoan design by theme, which ranks as possibly one of the top most copied jewelry designs ever, internationally.
Bringing ancient styles and cultural heritage into the realm of jewelry was not only a great success but set a benchmark for a new type of jewelry associated to ancient themes on a global platform.
Today we, the Vaphiadis family continue to apply a number of researched techniques of ancient silversmithing, avoiding as much as possible, modern manufacturing methods . We feel that this adds significantly to the quality and the over-all feel of our items. One of these primitive techniques (which provides un-matched definition and detail to our items) is casting in earth. We mold and cast silver in real soil much like silversmiths did 200 years ago!
While most of these methods have today been replaced by more efficient stream-lined techniques, we find that offering this uncompromised quality is deserved by enthusiasts who can see and feel the difference. Although such means are indeed costly and skill-intensive, we make sure that our creations remain affordable to almost everyone! Our solid craftsmanship is instantly noticable when you obtain a piece of Vaphiadis jewelry.