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EMDG Visiting Speaker: Rachael Morton (Warwick)
5 May, 2016 @ 1:00 pm - 1:55 pmFree
The Early Modern Discussion Group are delighted to welcome visiting speaker, Rachael Morton of the University of Warwick, for her paper ‘Marketing Quality Metalware in Eighteenth-Century England’
The expansion of the metalware trades in the eighteenth century led to the production and retail of a wider variety of objects and materials than previously seen, from pricey decorative items in silver or gold, cheaper alternatives in brass and pewter, and new and exciting innovations in ormolu and Sheffield plate. This paper will explore how metalware was marketed, and how quality was defined and conveyed. Individual producers, and retailers, utilized various networks of knowledge, and communicated and restricted information to advertise their goods and convey new messages about quality. These circulated by word-of-mouth, in print, and were inscribed onto the objects themselves. The physical and material quality of metalware was difficult to determine just by viewing the object. Therefore, this was intertwined with intangible qualities, such as the reputation of the products, the people and the processes. It involved a negotiation between regulators, producers, retailers and consumers.