A means of decoration, achieved by soldering very fine gold or silver wires into intricate patterns. Historically, filigree was created by applying the wires to an underlying base. As the craft evolved, the base was abandoned and the result was a lighter, airier, lacy, openwork jewelry item. The latter style was especially popular during the nineteenth century. Eventually, casting methods, that gave the same wired openwork effect, were perfected and the style was popular once again.