266 pages | 8 Color Illus. | 34 B/W Illus.
Early Modern Merchants as Collectors encourages the rethinking of collecting not as an elite, often aristocratic pursuit, but rather as a vital activity that has engaged many different groups within society. The essays included in this volume consider merchants not only as important collectors in their own right, as opposed to merely agents or middlemen, but also as innovators who determined taste. Through bringing together contributions on merchant collectors across a wide geographical spread, including England, The Netherlands, Venice, Moghul India, China and Japan, among other locations, it aims to challenge the often Eurocentric view of the study of collecting that has shaped the discipline to date. The early modern period and its Wunderkammern formed the subject of some of the earliest, foundational texts on collecting. This volume expands on such previous scholarship, taking a more in-depth look at a particular class of collectors and investigating their motivations, social and economic circumstances, and the intellectual ideas and purposes that informed their collecting. It offers a fresh approach to the understanding of the role of merchants in early modern societies and will serve as a resource to historians of art, science, museums, culture and economics, as well as to scholars of transcultural studies.
"The … essays were selected in order to produce a broad polyfocal perspective that includes a variety of geographical (also non-western) milieus, motivations, [and] social and economic circumstances … The questions raised … address a wide range of collecting categories … [providing] a wealth of refreshing perspectives on the topic. In particular, through focusing on "merchants as collectors" … [the volume explores] an anthropological dimension of the practice of collecting: When is a collection a collection? … What about the collection as a warehouse? The answers to [these questions] can be as diverse as the case studies here, like the reading of Early Modern Merchants as Collectors teaches … The questions themselves will not become obsolete."
--Michael Wenzel, Frühneuzeit-Info
Introduction: The Early Modern Merchant as a Collector
Christina M. Anderson
Part I: Beginning to Collect
1. The Commissioning and Collecting of Portraits by Merchants in Sixteenth- and Early Seventeenth-Century England
2. Portraits, Pearls and Things ‘wch are very straunge to owres’: The Lost Collections of the Thorne/Withypoll Trading Syndicate, 1520 – 1550
Part II: Behaving as Collectors
3.Tea and Commerce: Japanese Merchants in the Sixteenth Century as Collectors and Creators
Louise A. Cort
4. Gardening in Goa – Filippo Sassetti’s Experiences with Indian Medicine and Plants
Part III: The Role of Provenance
5. Imperial Treasures in the Hands of a Ming Merchant: Xiang Yuanbian’s Collection
Amy C. Riggs
6. Considered Judgement and Prestigious Provenance: Bartolomeo della Nave’s Acquisitions from the Collection of Pietro Bembo
Part IV: Collecting for a Specific Purpose
7. Boudewijn’s Books: A Dutch Golden Age Merchant and his Library
8. Complementary Activities: Boschini, del Sera and Renieri as Merchants, Collectors and Painters in Seicento Venice
Taryn Marie Zarrillo
Part V: Dealers as Collectors
9. Between Collection and Stock. The Ambiguous Role of Merchants and Artisans in the Sixteenth-Century Roman Antiquities Market
10. Merchants as Collectors and Art Dealers: The Cases of Daniel Nijs and Carlo Hellemans, Flemish Merchants in Venice
Christina M. Anderson
Part VI: Later Generations of Merchant Collectors
11. Brothers in Collecting: Thomas and Jacob Rehdiger – Two Sixteenth-Century Silesian Art Collectors and Bibliophiles
12. Gaspard de Monconys, Provost-Marshal of the Merchants and Collector in Seventeenth-Century Lyon
Part VII: Merchants and Collecting in the Islamicate World
13. ‘Ali Akbar’s Red Horse – Collecting Arab Horses in the Early Modern Culture of Empire
A forum for the critical inquiry of the visual arts in the early modern world, Visual Culture in Early Modernity promotes new models of inquiry and new narratives of early modern art and its history. We welcome proposals for both monographs and essay collections that consider the cultural production and reception of images and objects. The range of topics covered in this series includes, but is not limited to, painting, sculpture and architecture as well as material objects, such as domestic furnishings, religious and/or ritual accessories, costume, scientific/medical apparata, erotica, ephemera and printed matter. We seek innovative investigations of western and non-western visual culture produced between 1400 and 1800.