Tapestry of wool woven on hand loom, 280 x 70 cm, Loudspeakers, 2015
In 1609 Robert Thornton's schooner returned from the Indies , bringing with him some rare and wonderful naturalistic samples. They weren't exactly the findings that were originally requested by Grand Duke Ferdinando I. By financing the shipment of this former British privateer, he hoped to take part in the looting of the new World's wealth. Thornton was meant to approach the Orinoco Indians and "pull out from them where the emeralds are, as well as other goods such as drug and else". Robert Dudley, salesman and geographer at the Medici's service, was certain that sailing up the Orinoco River it would have been possible to end up finding "countless gold mines, countless drugs, stones... and feathers of valuable birds". The expedition, however, was not successful. In order to avoid returning empty-handed, Robert Thornton embarked "six indians... several parrots and some monkeys".