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Trade Beads

A work made of glass.

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  • A work made of glass.

Date:

1532–1600

Artist:

Glassmaker unknown (Italian)

About this artwork

Venetian artists made these rare, seven-layer beads by gathering multiple shades of molten glass into hollow, ball-like forms; stretching those forms into long rods, or “canes”; then cutting and polishing sections of the canes into beads. Spanish colonizers brought these dazzling glassworks as items of trade to South America. Once Europeans introduced manufactured glass to the Americas, its production in this hemisphere flourished. These beads and other objects in this case represent the beauty and versatility of the glass medium, which led to innovative approaches to functional and decorative wares.

Status

On View, Gallery 264

Department

Arts of the Americas

Artist

Unknown glassmaker (Maker)

Title

Trade Beads

Place

Peru (Object found in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

1532–1600

Medium

Glass

Dimensions

Smallest: 0.6 × 0.6 × 0.6 cm (1/4 × 1/4 × 1/4 in.); Largest: 1.5 × 1.4 × 1.4 cm (5/8 × 9/16 × 9/16 in.); Striped bead: 0.5 × 0.7 × 0.7 cm (1/4 × 5/16 × 5/16 in.)

Credit Line

Kate S. Buckingham Endowment

Reference Number

1955.2574

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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