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The Material Landscapes of Scotland's Jewellery Craft, 1780-1914 : Material Culture of Art and Design - Sarah Laurenson

The Material Landscapes of Scotland's Jewellery Craft, 1780-1914

By: Sarah Laurenson

Paperback | 11 July 2024

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Shortlisted for the History Book Award in Scotland's National Book Awards, 2023

During the long 19th century, Scotland was home to an established body of skilled jewellers who were able to access a range of materials from the countryâs varied natural landscape: precious gold and silver; sparkling crystals and colourful stones; freshwater pearls, shells and parts of rare animals.

Following these materials on their journey from hill and shore, across the jewellerâs bench and on to the bodies of wearers, this book challenges the persistent notion that the forces of industrialisation led to the decline of craft. It instead reveals a vivid picture of skilled producers who were driving new and revived areas of hand skill, and who were key to fostering a focused cultural engagement with the natural world â" among both producers and consumers â" through the things they made. By placing producers
and their skill in cultural context, it provides new and multifaceted insights into the wider transformations that marked British history during the long 19th century.

Uniting an array of jewellery objects with a range of other sources â" including paintings, newspaper reports, inventories of big houses and small workshops, works of literary geology and early travel writings â" it sets out innovative methodologies for writing about the histories of craft production, the natural environment and the material world. Now available in a paperback edition, it will be an important addition to the bookshelf of cultural historians and those interested in Scotland's wild landscapes and natural objects.

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