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Europe's Asian Centuries

Gems in the Early Modern World

Materials, Knowledge and Global Trade, 1450–1800

Editors: Bycroft, Michael, Dupré, Sven (Eds.)

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  • Explores the significance to commerce, industry, art, science and technology of gems in the early modern period 
  • Chapters cover a range of global trade routes connecting Europe, Asia and the Americas
  • Contributes to emerging scholarship on the global history of materials
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eBook $89.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-96379-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $119.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-96378-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This edited collection is an interdisciplinary study of gems in the early modern world. It examines the relations between the art, science, and technology of gems, and it does so against the backdrop of an expanding global trade in gems. The eleven chapters are organised into three parts. The first part sets the scene by describing how gems moved around the early modern world, how they were set in motion, and how they were pulled together in the course of their travels. The second part is about value. It asks why people valued gems, how they determined the value of a given gem, and how the value of a gem was connected to its perceived place of origin. The third part deals with the skills involved in cutting, polishing, and mounting gems, and how these skills were transmitted and articulated by artisans. The common themes of all these chapters are materials, knowledge and global trade. The contributors to this volume focus on the material properties of gems such as their weight and hardness, on the knowledge involved in exchanging them and valuing them, and on the cultural consequences of the expanding trade in gems in Eurasia and the Americas.

About the authors

Michael Bycroft is Assistant Professor of the History of Science and Technology at the University of Warwick, UK. He completed his PhD in the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge in 2013, and has since held fellowships at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science and the University of Warwick. He specialises in the physical sciences in early modern Europe, and is writing a monograph on the role of precious stones in the scientific revolution.

 

Sven Dupré is Professor of History of Art, Science and Technology at Utrecht University and the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He directs ARTECHNE, an interdisciplinary project on technique in the arts, supported by the European Research Council. Previously he was a Professor of History of Knowledge at the Freie Universität in Berlin.


Table of contents (12 chapters)

Table of contents (12 chapters)
  • Introduction: Gems in the Early Modern World

    Pages 1-32

    Bycroft, Michael (et al.)

  • The Plundering of the Ceylonese Royal Treasury, 1551–1553: Its Character, Cost, and Dispersal

    Pages 35-64

    Crespo, Hugo Miguel

  • Diamond-Studded Paths: Lines of Communication and the Trading Network of the Hellemans Family, Jewellers from Antwerp

    Pages 65-86

    Anderson, Christina M.

  • The Impact of European Trade with Southeast Asia on the Mineralogical Studies of Robert Boyle

    Pages 87-116

    Sabel, Claire

  • Branches and Bones: The Transformative Matter of Coral in Ming Dynasty China

    Pages 119-147

    Grasskamp, Anna

Buy this book

eBook $89.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-96379-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $119.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-96378-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Gems in the Early Modern World
Book Subtitle
Materials, Knowledge and Global Trade, 1450–1800
Editors
  • Michael Bycroft
  • Sven Dupré
Series Title
Europe's Asian Centuries
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-96379-2
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-96379-2
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-96378-5
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVII, 359
Number of Illustrations
13 b/w illustrations, 35 illustrations in colour
Topics