Selling Skin: the Cultural Context for Leather Goods in Early Modern England
Sheffield postgraduate (and former EMDG coordinator) Tom Rusbridge will be sharing some of his research into leather, speaking to the title ‘Selling Skin: the Cultural Context for Leather Goods in Early Modern England’.
Throughout the eighteenth century, certain leather objects were more readily identified as ‘skin’ in spaces of buying and selling than others, where terms such as ‘leather’ or ‘hide’ were used instead. For material culturalists, this manner of identification poses an interesting question: how did this linguistic overlap with a far more widely used, meaningful and impactful term shape consumption of these goods? This paper will address this question by providing a discussion of the meanings of ‘skin’ in the long eighteenth century, assessing evidence which points to the values consumers placed on skin and examining material evidence to suggests ways in which this meaning was communicated through material consumption, and ways in which material consumption corresponded to the values placed on skin by other representations.
Thursday lunchtime programme coordinated jointly by the postgraduate-run Early Modern Discussion Group and SCEMS.
From October to December, the interdisciplinary Forum meets at 1:05pm. This event is in room G03, 9 Mappin Street.