Collateral exhibition 23th Edition
In partnership with: Augusto Panini e Paolo Aquilini
At the start it was an act of faith: the first glass beads produced in Venice were rosary beads. Then, before becoming a personal decoration- even adopted by Pope Clement V for his sacred vestments – they were used for pagan business: as beautiful and non-perishable goods, they were used as a currency exchange between the Republic of Saint Mark and Africa for trading in spices, ivory and slaves.
Decorated with eyes, mosaics, or a comb pattern, the Venetian glass beads come to Mercanteinfiera, the Fiere di Parma art, modern antiques and vintage collectibles event that from 29 September to 7 October will host the collateral show “The glass beads road from Venice to Timbuktu 15th-20th century” (Pav. 4) organized by Augusto Panini.
On display will be glass beads (margarite as they were called in the 14th century) in the Roman and Byzantine tradition, in one colour or in imaginative colour combinations, found by Panini in different Sub-Saharan areas. They speak to us of a unique and exclusive art – the Republic of Venice punished with death those who divulged its secrets – but also of a fascinating everyday life, made of tribal rites and magic, typical of the faraway lands of Africa.