The World in a Bead |The Murano Glass Museum’s Collection
An exciting incursion into the Murano Museum’s glass bead collection, documented by over a thousand images that transmit the very material essence of every single bead, wowing and intriguing the visitor page after page. After almost a century of oblivion, the collection is the subject of new analysis as it prepares to go on display again in the museum’s new halls.
The collection was put together between 1861 and 1883 by Abbot Vincenzo Zanetti and is representative of 19th century Venetian and Murano production.
In the 1930s the collection was removed from the museum’s showcases and consigned to a warehouse where information on the attributes of the individual beads and sample cards was lost. This book is the result of a meticulous and passionate research project whose starting point was essays on the Museum’s collections written by Abbot Zanetti for International Exhibitions or to document the discoveries that leading glassmakers had developed in the first half of the 1800s. It reconstructs the attributes and provenance of each bunch of beads and every sample card, restoring their original splendour. The Murano Glass Museum’s glass bead collection now consists of 85 sample cards; three cloth panels dating back to 1863, a gift from the Societa delle Fabbriche Unite company (containing 2015 glass beads and 266 bunches of conterie); 91 bunches of lamp beads, some complete, some not; a few thousand loose glass beads; 492 bunches of conterie and a few objects decorated with beads – gifts from the most important Venetian and Murano glasswork factories active in the mid 1800s.