The Presentosa, jewel of the typical traditional goldsmith of Abruzzo. This jewel became famous for its description in D’Annunzio’s “Triumph of Death”.
The origin is not sure, but it was surely used as a gift, a “present” to show as the word said, with presumption, as a status, a symbol of social comfort. Even if diffused in all center-south Italy, it seems that the origin was in Abruzzo and Molise above all. The oldest places of production of this gem have been identified in Guardiagrele and Agnone. Other centers of production, over time, were L’Aquila, Sulmona, Pescara and Scanno. It is a pendant in low title gold (12-14 karts) of red copper colour, made of a star shape composed by many little triangles in a bright sheet, arranged in a circle with the points in the outside way. The space between the triangles and the center of the circles and its internal circumference are full of stylistic filigree. Often in its center we find the symbol of one or two hrah linked with a key or with a ribbon, or in some area influenced by the Presence of the sea, with the symbol of a ship. The symbols had a meaning according to the position inside the star; for example a single hearth in the center of Presentosa indicated the unmarried state of a girl. It was given as a present by the mother or both parents to the daughter in marriageable age, the presentosa with two hearts linked by a key or a ribbon was given by parents of the groom as a promise of marriage, as a message to say that the girl was sentimentally engaged. This jewel was generally shown for important events as village festivals, wheat harvest etc. The festival represented the only chance of meeting and socialization for isolated countrymen in Abruzzo and Molise. Young boys followed girls on sunday after leaving the church or going to the fountains to draw some water or during the store of straw after threshing. If the girl adorned herself with the Presentosa, she encouraged “the loving glance” of the boys.