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Ties and Videogames to celebrate 40 years of Mercanteinfiera

Ties and Videogames to celebrate 40 years of Mercanteinfiera

Mercanteinfiera, the exhibition of antiques, modern antiques, historic design and vintage collectibles, is back at Fiere di Parma, celebrating its 40th edition from 2 to 10 October. Two collateral shows are scheduled: one dedicated to the tie, that arcane partnership that for centuries has been renewed in front of a mirror, and the other one to video games of yesteryear, a journey between technology and social history.

(Parma, 24 June 2021) From a 16th-century stone grape squeezer used for the liturgy and a 1740 trumeau mirror from the Gatti Casazza Palace,  from a velocipede dating to the end of the 19th century and an ancient projector from the beginning of the century.  Also, a Mario Bucellati evening bag from the 1920s, a photograph by Henri-Cartier Bresson and a pair of Swarovski-studded Marie Janes by Dolce and Gabbana.  And then there is all the design, from Gio Ponti to Fornasetti, from Sottssas to Albini, which is conquering a young public that is increasingly curious about vintage pieces and cannot get enough of them.

Over an area of 40,000 square metres, with 1000 exhibitors spread over five Fiere di Parma pavilions, Mercanteinfiera, the exhibition of antiques, modern antiques, historic design and vintage collectibles with fashion, accessories and jewels, returns from 2 to 10 October, celebrating its 40th edition. A Wunderkammer, a huge cabinet of wonders, in which to immerse yourself in the search for unique and rare items, as the 5000 buyers who come every year from around the world know very well; this year, they are coming especially from Europe, the United States and Russia.

Two collateral shows are scheduled.

“A man’s backbone. The history of the tie”

How many possible knots are there, which is the most recently invented one and when can one say the modern tie was born? Some argue that it is a symbolism that was already used by cavemen, Croatians claim to have invented the necktie during the Third Years’ War, and it is certain that the Sun King was an enthusiastic collector of them. There are really a lot of intriguing objects and interesting facts to discover in the show organized in collaboration with the Silk Museum, Fondazione Setificio, Associazione ex Allievi Setificio, Confartigianato Como, Italian Association of Textile Designers and Confindustria Como. Here’s a preview of some of them: there are three basic tie knots: Oriental, half Windsor and Windsor, but there are no less than 85 variations in existence. The most recently invented tie knot is the Pratt (or Shelby), a reversed half Windsor, while the modern tie was born in England in 1850 (but it was different from the one worn today). The collateral show, with its 40 ties on display, wants to pay homage to a “cult” accessory whose usefulness has always been cause for debate and controversy, but which, through ups and downs, has been dominating for centuries the wardrobe of every self-respecting gentleman. Drawings, sketches, Jacquard paper patterns, cutting dies and, of course, ties of different shapes and sizes for every occasion and celebration are the heart of the collateral show.

“Back to the games”

One of the rarest consoles on display is Virtual Boy, an end of the millennium flop for Nintendo: it was the “least portable” portable console ever. In addition to the pieces on display at this show, organized in collaboration with the Video Game Archive of the Cineteca di Bologna and the Bologna Nerd Association, there will be many to try. Visitors will be able to play with the Atari 2600 and the great classics of the 1970s, Asteroids and Space Invaders  as well as Commodore 64’s Paperboy or Super Mario Bros on NES, undisputed leaders in the 1980s, the PlayStation for the 1990s and the Xbox for the 2000s. The exhibition, organized in a four-station itinerary (corresponding to the above-mentioned decades), is not just a story of technology, but also of society, as it highlights the changes that consoles and computers have brought to the way of entertaining ourselves and (also) to the spaces of our homes.


Antonella Maia tel. +39 349.4757783


Date: from 2 to 10 October 2021

Location: Fiere di Parma, Viale delle Esposizioni 393a: Opening times: 10 am to 7 pm

12-19 October 2024 | 10.00 - 19.00
October 18th 2024 | 10:00 - 17:00 BUYERS:
10-11 October 2024 | 8.00 - 19.00

Online Ticket: €12
On site ticket: €15

Fiere di Parma
Viale delle Esposizioni, 393A
43126 Parma, Italia