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Leonic wire

“Leonic wires” are silver-plated, gold-plated or zinc-plated copper wires and threads.

Origin of the leonic wire

Introduced by the Huguenot immigrants from Lyon, hence the name “Leonic”, these wires and goods produced using them have been made in Roth near Nuremberg and in the Nuremberg region since 1590. Annaberg in Saxony is an important centre of the Leonic wire industry though too. Leonic wires were produced in different webs, crimped, spirally wound, curled and flat.

Leonischer Draht

Leonic wire in balloon decorations

It was usually used to decorate Christmas decorations by wrapping the fine wires like a web around the objects. Combined with a whole range of different materials really unique objects were developed too, which partly followed specific fashion trends in their motifs. This is how the balloon decorations came about in the 1890s: A structure usually consisting of two different sized glass baubles connected together by a glass rod, which was usually turned into hot air balloons with gondolas, ships and boats using leonic wire webs.

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