Item Number: 144444
Title: The Emergence of the Antique and Curiosity Dealer 1815–c. 1850 : The Commodification of Historical Objects
Author: Westgarth, Mark
Record created on 01/24/2017
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Description: London-New York: Routledge, 2017. 24cm., hardcover, 228pp.
Summary: Rather than the customary focus on the activities of individual collectors, The Emergence of the Antique and Curiosity Dealer, 1815-c. 1850: The Commodification of Historical Objects illuminates the less-studied roles played by dealers in the antique and curiosity collecting markets. This volume redresses an imbalance to-date in studies of the history of collecting, examining the activities, agency and influence of the antique and curiosity dealers as they emerge in the opening decades of the nineteenth century. This study begins at the end of the Napoleonic Wars, when dealers began their wholesale importations of historical objects; it closes during the 1850s, after which the trade became increasingly specialized, reflecting the rise of historical museums such as the South Kensington Museum (V&A). Focusing on the archive of the early-nineteenth-century London dealer John Coleman Isaac, as well as drawing on a wide range of other archival material, Mark Westgarth considers the practices and activities of the dealer in relation to a broad historical and cultural landscape. The emergence of the dealer is set against the rapid economic, social and cultural change of early-nineteenth-century Britain, centered around ideas of antiquarianism, the commercialization of culture, and an evolving interest in historical objects.
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