Venetian glass beads

The Venetian Glass Bead candidates to join the UNESCO List of Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

In 2013 in Venice Committee for the protection of historical and cultural heritage of Venetian Glass Beads was formed :the objective is the application, and subsequent registration, of Venetian Glass Beads in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

As the glasses bead had reached the Venetian Lagoon is still a mystery, but what is certain is that the first true glass beads produced in Venice,were the so-called grains of rosary beads in imitation of rock crystal, used to crowns prayer .

History and legend meet in attributing to Marina Barovier, daughter of the famous glassmaker Angelo, the creation of Rosetta, the pearl consists of a glass tube perforated plywood and polished. The “Rosetta”, known throughout the world as ” Chevreon ” is the forerunner of exchange beads that were used by the Venetians, Germans, French and Dutch to trade worldwide and is worn, even in our days by African leaders on the occasion of important ceremonies.

It seems that Rosetta has seen the light at the end of ‘400. Since that time, considering the success of the invention, quantia impressive pearl, produced in Venice, they traveled the oceans and continents, used in place of money, to buy materials of great value such as gold, ivory and furs, palm oil, coal .

In Venice, the golden period for the production of pearls for the exchange goes from mid-800 to about 1920. During this time, Venetian glass beads of great beauty were created by the skill of the craftsmen, famous in the world of collectibles and antiques with names such as French Ambassador, Kind Bead, Aleppo Carnelian, French Cross , Medecine Man, Lewis & Clark, Piumata, Eye Bead, Millefiori .

During the same period, in Venice little masterpieces of glass began to be created worn by the ladies of Victorian society.

At the end of World War I, the beads of exchange, replaced by money, lost their original function and became more and more sophisticated with the use of gold leaf and silver. Flowered, Submerged, Mosaic are the names of small masterpieces of glass, in vogue since the beginning of ‘900, and known throughout the world.

Pearls of exchange are rediscovered by American hippies, during their travels in Africa and are called Love Beads. The renewed interest in the ancient Venetian beads, gives rise to a phenomenon of global proportions; glass pearls again began to cross continents to be proposed at international auctions. As with just about any ” object of desire”, also the glass beads begin to be imitated and, worldwide, counterfeits appear numerous.

What fascinates us even today of Venetian glass beads is to think about who can wear them in the past, how many places have been during their long journey and who will wear them again after us …

If you are interested in visiting a few stores that still sells Venetian beads, do not hesitate to contact us.