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Title: Owning China : the material life of London tradesmen, 1700-1750
Author: Hsiao, Chihyin
ISNI:       0000 0004 7655 2370
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2019
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This PhD project seeks to understand how chinaware was used and appreciated in London tradesmen's homes between 1700 and 1750. Statistical evidence from London Court of Orphan Inventories reveals the consumption of key household items in London tradesmen's homes. Chinaware, a synonym for Chinese porcelain, was one such commodity which enjoyed a surging popularity during the first half of the eighteenth century. Records show that the ownership of Chinese porcelain fluctuated amongst London tradesmen's households, indicating potential competition between chinaware, silver, pewter and delftware. This thesis thus argues that local metal and ceramic productions could no longer support the lifestyle required for polite living in eighteenth-century England while chinaware successfully established itself as a luxurious item for tea and dinner services. The change of household fashion not only highlights the increasing number of emerging consumers but also celebrates their desire to upgrade their material life. The dynamic cultural imaginary of exotic goods gave emerging consumers an opportunity to purchase a new social identity which had not been available in the previous century. Ultimately, the want for a better material life changed the hierarchy of things at home and the social behaviour of people. Gender representation, family alliance and business partnership are exemplified through surviving ceramic objects.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: D History (General) ; DA Great Britain ; DS Asia