1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Material Culture in Early Modern Europe

Edited By Catherine Richardson, Tara Hamling, David Gaimster Copyright 2017
    506 Pages 27 Color & 96 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    506 Pages 27 Color & 96 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    506 Pages 27 Color & 96 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Routledge Handbook of Material Culture in Early Modern Europe marks the arrival of early modern material culture studies as a vibrant, fully-established field of multi-disciplinary research.

    The volume provides a rounded, accessible collection of work on the nature and significance of materiality in early modern Europe – a term that embraces a vast range of objects as well as addressing a wide variety of human interactions with their physical environments. This stimulating view of materiality is distinctive in asking questions about the whole material world as a context for lived experience, and the book considers material interactions at all social levels.

    There are 27 chapters by leading experts as well as 13 feature object studies to highlight specific items that have survived from this period (defined broadly as c.1500–c.1800). These contributions explore the things people acquired, owned, treasured, displayed and discarded, the spaces in which people used and thought about things, the social relationships which cluster around goods – between producers, vendors and consumers of various kinds – and the way knowledge travels around those circuits of connection. The content also engages with wider issues such as the relationship between public and private life, the changing connections between the sacred and the profane, or the effects of gender and social status upon lived experience.

    Constructed as an accessible, wide-ranging guide to research practice, the book describes and represents the methods which have been developed within various disciplines for analysing pre-modern material culture. It comprises four sections which open up the approaches of various disciplines to non-specialists: ‘Definitions, disciplines, new directions’, ‘Contexts and categories’, ‘Object studies’ and ‘Material culture in action’.

    This volume addresses the need for sustained, coherent comment on the state, breadth and potential of this lively new field, including the work of historians, art historians, museum curators, archaeologists, social scientists and literary scholars. It consolidates and communicates recent developments and considers how we might take forward a multi-disciplinary research agenda for the study of material culture in periods before the mass production of goods.


    List of Figures



    Catherine Richardson, Tara Hamling and David Gaimster

    Chapter 1: Global Things: Europe’s Early Modern Material Transformation

    Giorgio Riello

    Chapter 2: Cognitive History and Material Culture

    John Sutton and Nicholas Keene


    Chapter 3: Maps and Material Culture

    Bernhard Klein

    Chapter 4: The Royal Court

    Glenn Richardson

    Chapter 5: The Material Culture of Early Modern Churches

    Andrew Spicer

    Chapter 6: Public Buildings in Early Modern Europe

    Kate Giles

    Chapter 7: Domestic Buildings: Understanding Houses and Society

    Chris King

    Chapter 8: Materiality and the Streetlife of the Early Modern City

    Andrew Gordon

    Chapter 9: Materiality, Nature and the Body

    Erin Sullivan and Andrew Wear

    Chapter 10: Mortuary Culture

    Harold Mytum

    Chapter 11: Clothing

    Maria Hayward

    Chapter 12: Getting Down from the Table: Early Modern Foodways and Material Culture

    Sara Pennell

    Chapter 13: Arms and Armour

    David Grummitt

    Chapter 14: Material Texts

    Frances Maguire and Helen Smith


    Object Study 1: The Panyer Alley Boy

    Andrew Gordon

    Object Study 2: Abraham Ortelius, his epitome of the theatre of the worlde

    Delia Garratt

    Object Study 3: ‘The Persian Sibyl’ Banqueting Trencher

    Victoria Jackson

    Object Study 4: A ‘Witch-bottle’

    Ann-Sophie Thwaite

    Object Study 5: A Drug Jar

    Hannah Lee

    Object Study 6: A Shoehorn

    Sophie Cope

    Object Study 7: A Maiolica plate

    Hollie Chung

    Object study 8: ‘Concealed’ leather shoes

    Peter Hewitt

    Object Study 9: Manuscript Directions for Weaving Braids

    Jan Sibthorpe

    Object Study 10: The Balsambüchse – a Portable Seventeenth-Century Medicine Cabinet

    Luisa Coscarelli

    Object Study 11: The Maidstone Helmet

    Malcolm Mercer

    Object Study 12: A Dutch carved cupboard

    Tara Hamling

    Object Study 13: An Embroidered Mirror

    Claire Canavan


    Chapter 15: The Material Culture of Lineage in late-Tudor and early-Stuart England

    Richard Cust

    Chapter 16: The Malleable Moment in English Portraiture, c. 1540-1640

    Robert Tittler

    Chapter 17: Is This a Man I See Before Me?: Early Modern Masculinities and the New Materialisms

    Amanda Bailey

    Chapter 18: In Praise of Clean Linen: Laundering Humours on the Early Modern English Stage

    Natasha Korda and Eleanor Lowe

    Chapter 19: Early Modern Religious Objects or Objects of Belief?

    Suzanna Ivanic

    Chapter 20: The Material Culture of Piety in the Italian Renaissance: Re-touching the Rosary

    Irene Galandra Cooper and Mary Laven

    Chapter 21: Early Modern Spaces and Olfactory Traces

    David Karmon and Christy Anderson

    Chapter 22: Musical Sound and Material Culture
    Flora Dennis

    Chapter 23: Lasting Impressions of the Common Woodcut

    Patricia Fumerton and Megan Palmer-Browne, with William Palmer

    Chapter 24: Baroque Sculpture: Materiality and the Question of Movement

    Nigel Llewellyn

    Chapter 25: Rights of Privacy in Early Modern English Households

    Lena Cowen Orlin

    Chapter 26: Antwerp and the ‘Material Renaissance’: Exploring the social and economic significance of crystal glass and majolica in the sixteenth century

    Inneke Baatsen, Bruno Blondé and Carolien De Staelen

    Chapter 27: I Say ‘Shard’, You Say ‘Sherd’: contrasting and complimentary approaches to a piece of early modern ‘venice glass’

    Angela McShane and Nigel Jeffries


    Dr Catherine Richardson is a Reader in Renaissance Studies at the University of Kent, UK.

    Dr Tara Hamling is a Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Birmingham, UK.

    Professor David Gaimster is Director of the Hunterian at the University of Glasgow, UK.