Preliminary Programme

Wed 12 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Thu 13 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Fri 14 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00
    16.30 - 18.30

Sat 15 April
    08.30 - 10.30
    11.00 - 13.00
    14.00 - 16.00

All days
Go back

Wednesday 12 April 2023 16.30 - 18.30
Q-4 MAT01b Auctions and Households. Comparative Perspectives across the Globe, 17th-20th Centuries II
E44
Network: Material and Consumer Culture Chair: Jon Stobart
Organizers: Bruno Blondé, Anne Sophie Overkamp, Jon Stobart Discussants: -
Moderators: -
Kerry Bristol : Buying Old? Selling New? Auctioneers and St James’s Square, London, in the Long Eighteenth Century
Taking as its starting point the death sales of George Parker, Earl of Macclesfield (d.1764), and Sir Rowland Winn (d.1785), successive owners of No.11 St James’s Square, this paper explores the sale by auction of contents of townhouses in the most fashionable address in London in the eighteenth century by ... (Show more)
Taking as its starting point the death sales of George Parker, Earl of Macclesfield (d.1764), and Sir Rowland Winn (d.1785), successive owners of No.11 St James’s Square, this paper explores the sale by auction of contents of townhouses in the most fashionable address in London in the eighteenth century by assessing the nature of the items on offer, the proportion of ‘upstairs’ versus ‘downstairs’ goods, and whether distinctions can be made between new and ancestral possessions. What was acceptable to sell in this most elite of residential areas? In the cases of Macclesfield and Winn, the lack of an entail meant that their widows could sell both house and whatever contents they wished and Lady Macclesfield’s decision to sell the reception room furniture enabled the Winns to acquire much of it in situ as well as a ready-equipped kitchen, laundry and ancillary areas; items that were then resold by James Christie when Lady Winn sold up in 1785. At No.20 St James’s Square, an entail had to be broken before Allen Apsley, Earl Bathurst, could sell the house to Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, who died deeply indebted. As a result, contents sales took place in 1771 and 1789. Other contents sales to be examined are at No.15, home of the bachelor Thomas Anson (d. 1773); No.4, inherited from her grandfather, the Duke of Kent, by Jemima, Marchioness Grey (d.1797), and her husband Philip Yorke, Earl of Hardwicke (d.1790); and at No.31, the townhouse of the Dukes of Norfolk. (Show less)

Kristina Lilja : The Paths of Demand: the Auction Trade of Clothing in Sweden, 1830-1900
Used clothes were an integral part of consumption and an important component of the second-hand market in the 18th and 19th centuries. According to Lemire (1997), ordinary and working people dressed their family members in second-hand clothing, and some also traded with these goods. During industrialization, the second-hand market remained ... (Show more)
Used clothes were an integral part of consumption and an important component of the second-hand market in the 18th and 19th centuries. According to Lemire (1997), ordinary and working people dressed their family members in second-hand clothing, and some also traded with these goods. During industrialization, the second-hand market remained lively and extensive in Europe (Lemire 1991; Styles 1994; Charpy 2008; Fontaine 2008; Stobart & van Damme 2010; Stöger 2014), and the numbers of second-hand dealers grew (Roche 1989; Toplis 2010). In Sweden, a large share of second-hand trade was organized at the auctions (Murhem et al 2013; Lilja & Jonsson 2019).
The aim of this paper is to describe and discuss how trade of consumer goods in a middle-sized town in Sweden developed during industrialization. In focus for the study is clothing – new as well as second hand. Where could households find these kinds of goods? What persons were involved in the trade? How did distribution and trade network develop over time?
The reports and statistical data regarding producers and trade is used in the study. The other source is the auction records from the Västerås auction house. These records are a unique source material as it includes the large majority of second-hand sales in Västerås (estates of deceased persons and items put up for sale) as well as new goods from traders’ inventories and bankruptcy sales. The large database contains information from almost 2,700 public auctions organized by the Västerås auction house, 1830-1900. (Show less)

Anne Sophie Overkamp : A Window of Opportunity – the Country House Sales at Haus Hueth, 1792-1827
Between 1792 and 1827, the owners of Haus Hueth, a country house on the Lower Rhine near Emmerich, held a total of five auctions to divest themselves of both household goods such as furniture and textiles but also of collectibles like books. In 1795, they even auctioned off the wooden ... (Show more)
Between 1792 and 1827, the owners of Haus Hueth, a country house on the Lower Rhine near Emmerich, held a total of five auctions to divest themselves of both household goods such as furniture and textiles but also of collectibles like books. In 1795, they even auctioned off the wooden remains of the lime alley leading from the Rhine to the house that had been felled by the Imperial troops.
Regarding these auctions, rich archival material has survived: It includes the various auction protocols listing the goods, the prices reached as well as the names of the buyers and their places of origin. Furthermore, the archive contains probate inventories which list the contents of the house prior to auction as well correspondence between the steward who organised these auctions and the Borcke family, the owners of the house. Also, for some of these sales, advertisements were placed in the contemporary press and auction catalogues were published. Records from the estate that name tenants and other dependants provide the opportunity to trace individual buyers.
Thanks to these comprehensive records, this paper proposes a micro-historical study to reveal firstly the household strategies of the sellers and how these fluctuated between economic concerns and the wish to divest themselves of unfashionable goods. Secondly, this study illuminates the dissemination of formerly elite goods and considers how and how far the material culture of a country house spilled over into its surroundings. By juxtaposing the auction protocols, it can trace recurrent buyers and reveal some of their household strategies. Thirdly, by considering the “public” records concerning the auctions as well as the “private” correspondence, it will engage with the idea of the auction as both a social venue and a commercial circuit. (Show less)

Claudia Ravazzolo : Public Auctions of Household Effects in Urban and Rural Bern (17th and 18th Century)
Public auctions of household belongings were a very common event in the city and state of Bern (Swiss Confederation) in the 17th- and 18th-century, since they were an essential part of the state’s bankruptcy regime named “Geltstag”. Within the files of said Geltstag, hundreds of inventories have survived, listing the ... (Show more)
Public auctions of household belongings were a very common event in the city and state of Bern (Swiss Confederation) in the 17th- and 18th-century, since they were an essential part of the state’s bankruptcy regime named “Geltstag”. Within the files of said Geltstag, hundreds of inventories have survived, listing the possessions belonging to ordinary households from almost all ranks of the early modern Bernese society. These inventories show, which items were sold at the auctions and note the prices paid for them, but the sources also list those objects remaining unsold after the auction and their estimated values. In some cases, the inventories specify the estimated as well as the paid price for all items and sometimes even the name of the winning bidder. Based on these sources, my paper will focus on the role the “Geltstags-auctions” played in the commercial circuit in the town of Bern but also in the rural hinterlands. Furthermore, it asks whether the social status of the household, whose pos- sessions were auctioned off, and its geographical location (urban or rural) had an influence on the auction and the prices paid for certain objects. What influence had factors like the quality and condi- tion of these items on the estimated and effectively paid prices? Depending on the social and geo- graphical setting of an auction, was there a difference regarding which objects were very demanded and sold and which were not? The “Geltstags-auctions” provide an interesting example how auctions worked as a secondary market for ordinary household items as well as luxury and fashionable goods. (Show less)



Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer