Small Things in the Eighteenth Century: The Political and Personal Value of the Miniature (Hardback)
  • Small Things in the Eighteenth Century: The Political and Personal Value of the Miniature (Hardback)
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Small Things in the Eighteenth Century: The Political and Personal Value of the Miniature (Hardback)

(editor), (editor)
£75.00
Hardback 280 Pages
Published: 29/09/2022
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Offering an intimate history of how small things were used, handled, and worn, this collection shows how objects such as mugs and handkerchiefs were entangled with quotidian practices and rituals of bodily care. Small things, from tiny books to ceramic trinkets and toothpick cases, could delight and entertain, generating tactile pleasures for users while at the same time signalling the limits of the body's adeptness or the hand's dexterity. Simultaneously, the volume explores the striking mobility of small things: how fans, coins, rings, and pottery could, for instance, carry political, philosophical, and cultural concepts into circumscribed spaces. From the decorative and playful to the useful and performative, such small things as tea caddies, wampum beads, and drawings of ants negotiated larger political, cultural, and scientific shifts as they transported aesthetic and cultural practices across borders, via nationalist imagery, gift exchange, and the movement of global goods.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781108834452
Number of pages: 280
Weight: 770 g
Dimensions: 250 x 177 x 25 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Placing the minuscule under the magnifying glass, Small Things in the Eighteenth Century is an astonishingly diverse but uniformly fascinating collection of essays. From teapots, coins, and trinkets to insects, books, and beads, small things can be easy to ignore or forget. And yet in this volume small things are shown to spark big ideas, to move unnoticed through space and time, to traverse seemingly impermeable social and political boundaries. This book is a key intervention in the field and will demand the attention of literary scholars, art and design historians, curators, and anybody interested in gaining a richer sense of everyday life during the eighteenth century. Joseph Hone, Newcastle University

Small Things in the Eighteenth Century makes an important contribution to cultural history by focusing its readers on the myriad little details that comprised the period's material world. Gewgaws and luxuries as small as a wampum bead, ant, or punctuation mark, as common as a button or as rare as a medal, as complete as a miniature portrait or as fragmented as a glass shard—minute items that could be seen, held, treasured, lost, and traded become a means of measuring crucial developments at home and around the globe. The interdisciplinary expertise of the contributors provides a lively diversity of perspectives on the practical and symbolic meanings of each small thing. Melinda Rabb, Brown University

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