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Venetian mask with pearl necklace - In its heyday the Republic of Venice enjoyed wealth upon wealth. Venetian masks were originally used to hide identities when conducting business as some people in the market economy sought anonymity. Masks were worn by all from servants to the noblemen creating a level playing field doing away with social class. With time however, people began to abuse this new social norm where decadence, sexual promiscuity (even the nuns and monks engaged in such acts) and gambling became the norm. As society corroded, eventually the masks were worn only for certain periods of time, up until recent years where it is now only worn in the week long Mardi Gras celebration of the Venice Carnival. In this piece the mask is accompanied with a matching pearl necklace and blue sapphire.