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Full Access Transient Possessions: Circulation, Replication, and Transmission of Gems and Jewels in Quattrocento Italy

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Transient Possessions: Circulation, Replication, and Transmission of Gems and Jewels in Quattrocento Italy

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This article examines the circulation of gems, jewelry, and antique hardstones, through merchant-banking networks in Italy in the late Quattrocento. The practices of pawning and exchange facilitated the circulation of objects, causing those goods to change hands constantly and to come into contact with a wide range of individuals, a process through which these artifacts accrued histories. Particular gems were sought after, not only for their material or artistic worth, but also for their histories and their previous illustrious owners, and many jewels were invested with names. Aside from their physical circulation, these objects were disseminated in visual form through replication across media, which raises questions around ownership, copies, and collections in the late fifteenth century.

Affiliations: 1: Alfred University

10.1163/157006511X565512
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This article examines the circulation of gems, jewelry, and antique hardstones, through merchant-banking networks in Italy in the late Quattrocento. The practices of pawning and exchange facilitated the circulation of objects, causing those goods to change hands constantly and to come into contact with a wide range of individuals, a process through which these artifacts accrued histories. Particular gems were sought after, not only for their material or artistic worth, but also for their histories and their previous illustrious owners, and many jewels were invested with names. Aside from their physical circulation, these objects were disseminated in visual form through replication across media, which raises questions around ownership, copies, and collections in the late fifteenth century.

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/content/journals/10.1163/157006511x565512
2011-01-01
2016-12-03

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