Publication
Title
Between aesthetics and a culture of decency: a comparative analysis of the vocabularies of consumption on the secondary markets of eighteenth-century Amsterdam and Antwerp
Author
Abstract
While detailed accounts of ownership patterns of material culture buttress major narratives on the critical consumer transitions of the late early modern era, still surprisingly little is known about the specific consumer mentalities that went along with the rapidly expanding empire of goods. On the basis of newspaper advertisements for auctions of household estates in Amsterdam and Antwerp, this contribution maps the language of consumption on the high-end secondary markets. Unsurprisingly the language of consumption in both (former) commercial metropoles evolved as the eighteenth century progressed, with product qualities such as ‘modern’ gaining in prominence. Yet, strange as it may seem, the boundaries between the mentalities of new, affordable luxuries and traditional old luxuries were by no means clear-cut. Moreover, in Antwerp as well as in Amsterdam, it was first and foremost the aesthetics of the rich material culture that were invoked to lure potential customers to an auction. Even though both societies were marked by a rather frugal and commercially oriented mentality, the elitist vocabulary of consumption relied heavily on ‘taste’ formation, hence contributing to the rising material inequalities that marked the eighteenth century.
Language
English
Source (journal)
History of retailing & consumption. - Abingdon, 2015, currens
Publication
Abingdon : Taylor & Francis , 2023
ISSN
2373-518X [print]
2373-5171 [online]
DOI
10.1080/2373518X.2023.2273173
Volume/pages
(2023) , 23 p.
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Project info
The embarrassment of riches? Inequality and the Dutch material culture. Amsterdam, 1581-1780.
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Record
Identifier
Creation 11.12.2023
Last edited 15.12.2023
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