TRADE BEADS I (2016)
Materials: Antique Venetian Rosetta glass canes, 20mm firearm bullet links
The ‘aristocrat’ of trade beads was the Venetian Rosetta, invented in 1480 by Marietta Barovier. It is obtained from a hollow glass cane which has a pattern of a twelve pointed star and is usually white, blue and brick red. Made throughout Europe (although the Venetians dominated production), these decorative glass beads were used during the colonial era to ensure the safe passage of European explorers and traders, mainly across Africa & the Americas. They were exchanged for human cargo, ivory, gold and other goods desired in Europe and around the world. The Rosettas were desired for many centuries because of their variety and intensity of color, neither of which could be found in the materials available to the indigenous populations of the colonized countries.
© 2016 Constantine Zlatev