(National Costume silver jewellery)


The ”bunadsilver” are, like the ”bunad” itself, closely connected to the district. Variations in techniques and designs are numerous. In some areas the silver developed into craft of high quality, other areas had simpler forms. Filigree is the main technique of the Norwegian bunadsilvertradition. Silver wire are curled, twisted, melted and formed into intricate patterns and designs. Small parts are built up to form the brooch of great richness of detail (the sølje).


Silver was always a precious material. Wealth and position in society was shown by the amount and quality of the jewellery worn. Poor people could afford to wear only smaller pins of simple designs, if any at all. However, everyone needed something to hold their clothes together. Another reason to wear silver was the belief that the silver had magic properties. It protected against evil and disease.

The craft was past on from father to son. It provided income to add to whatever meagre crops a poor farm could give. Most of the bunadsilver made in the rural areas of Norway was produced illegal. The guilds in the towns had monopolized the craft. This resulted in a large proportion of the bunadsilver being unstamped.

Today, as always, the bunad and the bunadsilver shows the utmost craftsmanship. Quality and tradition is the stigma of the bunad.

Hilde Nødtvedt made her journeyman piece after 4 years of apprenticeship in Oslo and the valley of Valdres. She took exams in Ethnology and Folkloristics at the University of Oslo. She has had her own workshop since 1979, the first years at the Norwegian Folkmuseum, later at her home in Oslo. The bunadsilver is her speciality, and she makes bunadsilver for most costumes in the country.