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Title: The making and possessing of quality : the metalware trades in England, c. 1675-1785
Author: Morton, Rachael
ISNI:       0000 0004 6496 6277
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis considers the historical evolution of the concept of quality of manufacture by analysing a key sector and product in the British economy in the late-seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: the production of metal goods (silver, copper and new alloys) for which towns such as Birmingham and Sheffield became well known nationally and internationally. It builds upon recent research that argues that quality was a convention, which was debated and deliberated at different points in time and in particular cultural contexts. By analysing a range of sources, from documentary evidence to popular literature, visual sources and artefacts, this thesis argues that the expansion of the trade led to changes in the regulation of the metalware trade, in which the guilds had to rely on consumers and the public to report substandard metalware. This change co-existed with the increasing consumer interest in novelty, innovation and production, and led to the circulation of knowledge about quality between regulator, producer and consumer. Therefore, regulators and producers remained influential in the deliberation of quality. Although there was the increasing importance of novelty and fashionability, the regulated intrinsic value of metalware remained central to the perception of quality.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DA Great Britain ; HD Industries. Land use. Labor