Beaded Fringe Sample Card

Object Name: 
Beaded Fringe Sample Card

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Object Name: 
Beaded Fringe Sample Card
Place Made: 
Accession Number: 
Overall W: 41.9 cm, D: 24.2 cm
Not on Display
about 1902-1925
Web Description: 
The Grilli archive of decorative beaded fringes consists of 100 paper sample cards with numbered designs, floral and geometric, made of multicolored strung beads attached to each card. Most cards have two or three samples of beaded fringes on them, although some cards have as many as eight samples. The Casa G. Grilli, founded in 1902, billed itself as the “leading maker of fringes, flowers, leaves, and fantasies in beads.” The showroom and warehouse were located in an old palazzo in the Castello neighborhood of Venice (the building is now the Hotel Ca’Bauta). The sample cards probably came from the company’s “samples room,” photographs of which appear in an illustrated brochure published by Grilli in 1925. The workshops where the glass beads were made were located on the mainland, in Dolo, Oriago, Carpané, and Mestre. Grilli exported its products throughout Europe and to the United States, where beaded fringes were fashionable for lampshades and ladies’ fashions in the first decades of the 20th century. This archive serves as a record of the inventiveness and talent of women beadworkers in Venice in the early 20th century. The Grilli archive may be counted among the many archives of glass products that have been steadily disappearing from Venice over the past 25 years, and the acquisition of this archive gives the Museum an opportunity to preserve something of Venice’s extraordinary beadmaking heritage. Signed: most of the cards have the ink stamp “G. Grilli/Venezia.” The collection is accompanied by the illustrated brochure on the Casa G. Grilli.
DeCarlo, Giacomo, Source
1025 / 1029 col. 6 / 1028 col. 3
Pen backing
Stamped backing
Primary Description: 
Beaded Fringe Sample Card. Glass beads, paper, linen ribbon, string, adhesive; assembled. Paper card with red striped border around edges. Sewn on card are 3 beaded fringe samples; bottom edges of samples glued to card. Left sample has triangular geometric design; middle sample has heart-shaped motif with floral garland; right sample has oval geometric design. Sample numbers from left to right are "1025", "1029 col.6", and "1028 col.3". At top left is faded oval greenish-blue stamp reading "G. GRILLI / VENEZIA".
Corning Museum of Glass 2013-05-18 through 2014-01-05
For 30,000 years, mankind has crafted beads from natural materials. With the discovery of glassmaking in the second millennium B.C., glass began to be used for this same purpose. Glass beads are universal. They have been produced throughout the 35 centuries of glass manufacturing, and by nearly every culture in the world. The glass beads and beaded objects on view in this exhibition are arranged thematically, comparing the manner in which diverse cultures have utilized beads, frequently for the same purposes, but sometimes for unique reasons. These themes explore how glass beads adorn the body and our possessions; how they convey messages about power and wealth, and identify the stages of human life; how they serve ritual purposes, as well as decorate clothing and objects used in rituals; and how they have been employed across the centuries as a means of exchange, both commercial and cultural. Through the centuries, beads have been made using a variety of processes. Understanding how beads were made has allowed scholars to follow the transmission of beads and beadmaking techniques across the globe. Across time and around the world, glass beads have become a common element of mankind. Through their manufacture and function, they are one of the strings that bind humanity together. “Life on a String” celebrates this common bond while also revealing the distinctiveness of different societies through their use of glass beads to celebrate their unique cultural heritage.
She's Got Legs: A History of Hemlines & Fashion (2015) illustrated, p. 82 (left);
Glass Beads: Selections from The Corning Museum of Glass (2013) illustrated, pp. 58-59, no. 37 (bottom); BIB# 134720
The Corning Museum of Glass: Notable Acquisitions 2010 (2011) illustrated, pp. 48-49, #32; BIB# AI86878