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Wednesday 18 March 2020 14.00 - 16.00
V-3 MAT01A Addressing the Consumer in the Atlantic World (c.1650-1900): Practices, Discourses and Methods I
Matthias de Vrieshof 2, 002
Network: Material and Consumer Culture Chair: Bruno Blondé
Organizers: Bruno Blondé, Bert De Munck, Christine Fertig Discussant: Robert DuPlessis
Barbara Bettoni : ‘Non-precious’ Jewel Manufacturing and Culture in Northern Italy between the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
Between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries ornamental items destined for people, garments and clothing accessories, experienced a great change in taste and function in the European novelty market. This paper, by means of a variety of sources (‘almanacs’, technical dictionaries and treatises, custom tariffs, inventories of mobile goods, fashion magazines, ... (Show more)
Between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries ornamental items destined for people, garments and clothing accessories, experienced a great change in taste and function in the European novelty market. This paper, by means of a variety of sources (‘almanacs’, technical dictionaries and treatises, custom tariffs, inventories of mobile goods, fashion magazines, documents produced inside the guild system), analyses the following Italian answer to these changes during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, particularly highlighting the interactions between buyers, sellers, artisans and entrepreneurs involved in ‘non-precious’ and ‘semi-precious’ jewel manufacturing. This study identifies a series of items embodying different standards of quality with respect to those typical of the local and traditional jewellery production and representing the first Italian attempt at reinterpreting fashionable accessories in the English and French style. This research, on the one hand, defines new agents and operators involved in both metal alloy jewel manufacturing and selling (such as bigiottieri and chincaglieri), and, on the other hand, delineates the progressive, sometimes contested, creeping of a new cultural approach to ‘non-precious’ and ‘semi-precious’ jewels in Northern Italy. (Show less)

Susanna Burghartz : “Printed Markets” – an Information Platform for the Emerging Consumer Society. A Case Study of the Basel Avisblatt (1729-1844)
With the rise of the consumer society, new markets formed at the same time new forms of information developed: the ‘intelligencers’. These new advertising journals were met with great interest from the public and served as archives for the new worlds of goods as well as for socially relevant information ... (Show more)
With the rise of the consumer society, new markets formed at the same time new forms of information developed: the ‘intelligencers’. These new advertising journals were met with great interest from the public and served as archives for the new worlds of goods as well as for socially relevant information (such as deceased citizens or office elections). Obviously, their advertisements and (anecdotal) news also had certain entertainment value.

Taking Basel as an example, this paper discusses the Avisblatt as a platform on which information on various markets (goods, housing, labour, political elections, obituaries, etc.) was gathered and archived. It asks whether and how such a melange could have affected the interaction between buyers and sellers and the processes of value attribution.

Basel, a proto-industrial hot spot for silk ribbon production, belonged to the Atlantic world of the 18th and 19th centuries. As early as 1729, the city granted a licence for a privately run Intelligenzblatt, which in the following decades developed into an important information platform. To this day, the Basler Avisblätter have been preserved in their entirety from 1729 to 1844 and thus form a valuable archive for long-term research into the development of Basel's early capitalist consumer society. (Show less)

Natacha Coquery : Advertising on the 18th-century Parisian Market: the Effectiveness in Question
At the end of the 18th century, silver or gold plated, calicoes, sugar, coffee or tea spread throughout society, despite the persistent urban advantage. Through stimulating debates on the origins of consumer culture, researchers have pointed to the rise in consumer goods and the unprecedented plurality of choices, offered to ... (Show more)
At the end of the 18th century, silver or gold plated, calicoes, sugar, coffee or tea spread throughout society, despite the persistent urban advantage. Through stimulating debates on the origins of consumer culture, researchers have pointed to the rise in consumer goods and the unprecedented plurality of choices, offered to more and more consumers. As early as the 17th century, practices emerged that were long attributed to the 19th and 20th centuries only, even though the researchers of the early modern era differ on the assessment of their real effectiveness: business travellers, commercial cards, catalogues, showrooms and showcases, promotional sales, etc. Quality, variety, novelty became the keywords of an advertising press that grew during the 18th century. It played on the social and cultural meanings of objects, marks of identity and status. Through the study of advertising, my communication aims to capture the role of merchants in the dissemination of goods, and above all their incessant adaptation to the transformations - economic, social, political - of the market. (Show less)



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