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B u r a n o

a c e


The history of the island Burano is one of the larger islands of the Venecian lagoon with around 3.500 inhabitants, with flourishing activities in fishing, lace and tourism. A tourist can come from Venice by water (with a “vaporetto”), via a 40 minute trip through the middle of the lagoon, passing close to islands in ruin that recall the ancient records of the Dominant Republic “Serenissima”. Here in Burano you will find a maze of narrow streets “calli” and banks “fondamente” on small canals. The characteristic motley houses attract the immediate attention of


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any visitor, recalling other forms of polychrome that can be found in other islands of Italy, for example Pantelleria. The historic traces that the island still preserves are almost all contained in the ample church devoted to S. Martin, a costruction of the XVI century, with a Latin cross three aisles plan, with transept, major chapel and two side chapels and a arched ceiling supported by pillars. The most important work of


art in the church is the “Crocifissione”, a painting made by G.B.Tiepolo (1727). The big square in front of the church is dedicated to Baldassarre Galuppi (1706-85), who was the famous musician called “the Buranello”, pride of Burano. It is worth tasting the typical local dishes in one of the many restaurants of the island, all of wich are made using fish. Among the most appreciated local dish for originality is the “risotto” with “Gò”, or the “schie”


The history of the lace

T

he Belle sighs, sad and comfortless; her beloved is far by now, in the East, and to her an alga stays only, which her young crusader gave to her

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But the alga, a marine creature, has ephemeral life and, day after day, the young girl in love feels the danger of loosing the only tangible memory of her love, while the desire of keeping it for a long time becomes more intense. From such a loving sufferance, she had the idea of reproducing the alga on the father’s net, a fisherman; she takes the needle and the miracle is fulfilled. In this romantic way the first lace of Burano was embroidered. Historically the lace appears in Venice in the XV° century and the first record is found in a picture of Carpaccio (1456-1526). Quite precise records on the origin of the art of embroidery point out Magna Greece and Asia Minor as the origin places from where the art of lace probably reached Venice. According to a common opinion, the worth of lace diffusion, toward the end of XVI century, is attributed to the Dogaressa Morosina Morosini, wife of the Doge Marino Grimani; but already a century before, in 1473, to king Richard III° from England, who in the day of his crowning wore a “triumph of lace” coming from the Venice lagoon. The year 1537 is generally indicated as the beginning of this type of working that made the island really famous. Out of the small one or two floor houses, whose colors (according to the poet Diego Valeri) “shine also against the sun, so that the waters of the canals, reflecting the houses, multiply its beauty”, sit groups of women “buranelle” and thanks to their fast and magic hands come, as for enchantment, those marvels that, by now remote times, were used in the clothes of Kings and Queens like Luigi XIV°, who in the occasion of his crowning wanted a “collar of white hair”, and like the English Queen Mary of Tudor and the Queen of France, Caterina de’Medici (1519-1589). The crisis that followed the fall of the Serenissima in the years between the end of XVIII and the be-


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ginning of XIX century, reached Burano too and in a few years the activity (that made the embroiderer famous) decreased so much in importance that it became nonexistent, together with the last old embroiderers, the secret of the “Point in Air” that makes the Burano’s lace insurpassable. The art of lace at the beginning of XIX° century sees its decadence after being for more than 300 years the pride of Venice, city that claimed the paternity of this work of art. The end of Serenissima marks the disappearance, from the islands of the lagoon, the lace of which some artefacts are to be found as unique cases in the islands of Burano from around 1845. The rigid winter of 1872 sees the lagoon around Burano completely covered by ice so that it was quite impossible to fish, the first resource of the inhabitants of Burano. The poverty was extreme and many families were starving. Urgent help was essential in order to save the community of Burano: an appeal was launched to assure the survival of the population, Venice and the whole of Italy answered generously. Under the patronage of S.M., the Queen Margherita organized the re-establishment of the


art of the lace in the islands and this way an old “buranella” called “Cencia Scarpariola”, who still remembered almost all the points, began to teach the young girls of the island this ancient art. This was the rebirth of the lace of Burano. The school had an extraordinary development: the number of apprentices, starting from an initial group of eleven, increased in number to 250 in 1878, reaching 770 in 1906. The orders increased in quality, first those of the Queen Margherita, of the Princess of Metternich, of the Granduchessa of Baden as well as those of other Italian, English and American noblewomen. Here again the fashion of lace shawls, the lace adorning the collars and the sleeves of female clothes and, as for the centuries before, tablecloths and sacred hangings for the churches are embroidered. The school went on with its work and this fabulous “job” continued through able hands, between ups and downs, till 1972 when the school was permanently closed. But, despite all, the art of lace survived and today the greater center is in Burano, where the boutique of “Dalla Lidia Merletti” together with the gallery of the ancient lace, can be considered as a real museum. In the boutique new precious lace are made and at the same time the treasures of the ancient art are kept. Here tablecloths and bed-sheets, bedspreads and centers of all types, butterflies and bootees for babies and countless lace for all the customers are available to look at and to be purchased. In the Gallery can be admired the rarest pieces that are pristeenly kept for the pleasure of visitors, who looking at those rare beauties, could go back for a moment to the fairy legend that the alga, daughter of the sea, as the only inspirer of the embroidery masterpieces, developed in this island, whose clear sky seems to add transparency to the lightness of the lace

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The firm “Dalla Lidia Merletti d’Arte”, is distinguished in the field for the quality of lace, which is all hand-embroidered. In this brochure you can admire some of the pieces that you will find in our Shop and in our Museum. In our boutique it is possible to find all the linen for the house, from Day time (tablecloths, centrepieces, runners, handkerchiefs, place-


The boutique Dalla Lidia

mats..) to Night time (bed-sheets, bedcovers, night gowns..) You can find even Ladies wear and baby wear, from christening to ten years. We want to offer our customers the best selection in lace. The firm is the OLDEST Shop in Burano, and offers the largest and most complete selection of lace in the world


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Our museum


At the beginning of the museum one can admire a collection of fans, among which a fine one belonging to Louis XVI, the “Sun King”, stands out (1638-1715). In the gallery some beautiful mats and laces of different ages between 1500 and now are on display, worked with precious yarns going from numbers 4000 to 40,40 being the lace yarn used nowadays. In the first showroom is a unique piece exhibited, the only one in the world, a light and rare wedding dress, all needle-worked in the XVIII century. In a display window you can admire an embroidered bedspread, made by countess Maria Walevska for Napoleon Bonaparte’s son. Here is also on exhibition a splendid embroidered handkerchief for Napoleon’s coronation; the patient workmanship of its design of five eagles forming the imperial crown is to be noted in particular. Going up a narrow staircase you reach a room where the original volant (6 x 0.70 metres) that the Cardinal of Retz had made in Burano in 1650, later belonging to the House of Savoia, is kept. In the center in suitable display cases precious laces from various periods are on exhibition; among these are noticeable a sophisticated centerpiece worked by bobbin (2.40 x 0.80 metre) of the XVIII century and half a dress belonging to the wife of a Doge. After the small room containing another series of laces of various periods made with different techniques, you enter the last room. Here we find in a display case some lovely parasols of the XVIII century with ivory handles exquisitely ornamented, very light needle worked blouses and last, a miraculous survive of time, a bedspread representing two angels in the center; surrounded by floral motifs. On the wall five puttos form the base of a large curtain ensoncement, dating back to the early 1800. What we have spoken of here is only a part of what you can admire, as our guests, in the various showrooms that are part of the antique lace gallery “Dalla Lidia”

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Pubblic boat 1 Via Cencia Scarpariola 2 Corte 11 Settembre 2001 3 Calle dei Saladi 4 F.ta San Mauro 5 Via Galuppi

Privat boat

How to reach us in Burano

Burano can be reached by public transport (the vaporetto or the larger motor ship), or by private boats, the ones that do the island tour, or by water taxi. Using public boat, you can reach Burano in two ways, from San Marco square (touching Lido and after Punta Sabbioni), and from F.te Nuove (touching Murano). Eventually, without any obligation, feel free to call us to book a visit, we will take care of you, sending a hostess that will take you to our shop.

Photo: Davide Bressanello Edited and printing by: Grafiche Nardin Cavallino Treporti VE t +39 041 966065 www.grafichenardin.it


Dalla Lidia Merletti d’Arte Via Galuppi 215 30012 Burano VE Italy t +39 041730052 f +39 041730073 info@buranolace.it www.buranolace.it President Davide Bressanello +39 3476259447 Executive Andrea Predosin +39 3498628714

Opuscolo Merletti dalla Lidia  

cliente: Dalla Lidia Merletti| soggetto: Istituzionale | progetto: brochure, 36 pagine, f.to chiuso 110x180 mm | stampa: offset a 4 colori +...

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