December 2012 Issue of the ‘Oxford Art Journal’

Posted in journal articles by Editor on December 10, 2012

In the current issue of the Oxford Art Journal:

Clare Walcot, “Hogarth’s The South Sea Scheme and the Topography of Speculative Finance,” Oxford Art Journal 35 (December 2012): 413-32.

William_Hogarth_-_The_South_Sea_SchemeWilliam Hogarth’s elaborate graphic satire The South Sea Scheme (1721) stages a moral tale of speculation run riot and a capital in thrall to ‘mony’s magick power’. Published in response to the failure of the eponymous scheme, Hogarth offers a satirical commentary on all forms of government-sanctioned speculation and illicit gambling. The scene is set in an imagined topography comprised of London landmarks, public buildings and temporary structures; places of authority, commerce and finance. His rearrangement of the Monument to the Great Fire and Guildhall brings into conjunction sites of cultural memory, which allude to the tense relationship between City and Crown during the post-Restoration period and rebuilding of the capital after 1666. Hogarth draws on the links these sites have with the theatre of the street, in the form of popular protest and pageantry, as it appeared on the ground and on paper. This essay examines the spectacular use of urban space and how it shaped Hogarth’s early graphic satire, as well as continental imports adapted to a London market, such as Bernard Baron’s (after Bernard Picart) A Monument Dedicated to Posterity (1721), often taken to be the model for The South Sea Scheme.

Clare Walcot’s research interests focus on financial innovation in the eighteenth century and its impact on the visual arts, and develop out of her PhD thesis entitled ‘Figuring Finance: London’s New Financial World and the Iconography of Speculation, c. 1689–1763’ (University of Warwick, 2003).

Call for Papers | Financial Crisis of 1720 and John Law’s Legacy

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on December 10, 2012

From Le Blog de l’ApAhAu:

Le Système de Law: Représentations, discours et fantasmes du XVIIIe siècle à nos jours
Université de Montpellier 3, IRCL, 4-5 October 2012

Proposals due by 15 July 2013

Dans les périodes de bulles et de crises financières, John Law et son système sont volontiers évoqués dans le discours médiatique en tant que paradigme et exemple historique de l’une des premières crises financières d’origine spéculative. Les références ou allusions qui y sont faites n’examinent cependant pas les spécificités d’une bulle qui ne fut pas uniquement française mais concerna également l’Angleterre et la Hollande, les pays d’Europe les plus engagés dans l’émergence d’un capitalisme financier au XVIIIe siècle.

A partir des pistes ouvertes par Paul Harsin qui donne une édition des oeuvres complètes de John Law en 1934 (ainsi qu’une première édition des écrits de Dutot, proche collaborateur de Law) et de l’ouvrage d’Edgar Faure (La Banqueroute de Law, 17 juillet 1720, Paris, Gallimard, 1977), historiens et historiens de l’économie ont délimité les différentes étapes et analysé l’enchaînement des faits qui conduisirent à une banqueroute de la première banque royale et à l’instauration d’une durable méfiance à l’égard de la finance et de la forme fiduciaire de l’argent. Si ces recherches ont permis d’établir une chronologie et de faire la lumière sur de nombreux aspects du Système (comme l’ont fait par exemple les recherches récentes de l’historien Antoin Murphy sur des écrits inédits de Nicolas Dutot), peu d’analyses ont pris en compte l’événement dans sa transversalité et sa globalité. Les spécialistes de littérature ont également bien identifié les allusions aux événements de 1720, de manière ponctuelle sous la forme de représentations plus ou moins allégorisées (comme dans les Lettres Persanes de Montesquieu) ou de manière plus diffuse en tant qu’effets sur la représentation de l’argent et des transactions par exemple (voir Martial Poirson, Spectacle et économie à l’âge classique, Garnier, 2011). En 2006, deux articles portant sur les représentations de la banqueroute de Law ont été publiés par des spécialistes de littérature qui s’emploient chacun à élaborer une lecture croisée des événements de l’histoire économique et des fictions qui leur sont contemporaines : Yves Citton procède à une relecture d’un texte de Jean-François Melon, un proche collaborateur de John Law, Mamhoud le Gasnévide, qui raconte sous une forme allégorique les événements financiers survenus sous la Régence (« Les comptes merveilleux de la finance : confiance et fiction chez Jean-François Melon », Fééries n°2, 2005-2006) ; Erik Leborgne s’attache à dégager les fantasmes sous-tendant les représentations de l’argent et de la spéculation dans des textes contemporains des événements (« Le Régent et le système de Law vus par Melon, Montesquieu, Prévost et Lesage »,Féeries n°3, 2006). Se situant dans le prolongement de ces travaux, le présent projet entend renforcer l’interdisciplinarité des approches du phénomène et faire le point sur ce qui peut être considéré comme un événement traumatique et structurant de la France moderne, en suggérant trois orientations non limitatives : (more…)

Latest Updates to the William Blake Archive

Posted in resources by Editor on December 9, 2012

The William Blake Archive is pleased to announce the publication of an electronic edition of five of Blake’s tempera paintings on biblical subjects, eleven of his water color illustrations to the Bible, and one of his large color printed drawingsHecate, or The Night of Enitharmon’s Joy. These works have been added to groups previously published. In addition, we have republished all the biblical temperas and water colors to add illustration descriptions and make their designs and inscriptions fully searchable.

William Blake, The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun, © Brooklyn Museum

The Bible had an enormous influence on Blake’s work as both artist and poet. His tempera paintings and water colors of biblical subjects, mostly created for his patron Thomas Butts beginning in 1799, are among Blake’s most important responses to that text. The tempera paintings now published are based on passages in the New Testament concerning the life of Jesus and his family. We are particularly pleased to include Christ Raising Jairus’s Daughter, a well preserved but little known work recently acquired by the Mead Art Museum of Amherst College. The new group of water colors ranges from Numbers (Moses Striking the Rock) to two of Blake’s most powerful explorations of the apocalyptic sublime, The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun andThe Number of the Beast is 666, both based on Revelation. The Great Red Dragon from the Brooklyn Museum has received a good deal of contemporary attention because of its central role in Thomas Harris’s bestselling 1981 novel, Red Dragon, and the films of 1986 and 2002 based on it. The Archive now includes twenty-four tempera paintings and sixty-four water colors based on the Bible. All of Blake’s extant water color illustrations to Revelation are available.

The publication of Hecate from the National Gallery of Scotland completes our presentation of Blake’s large color printed drawings, considered by some to be his greatest achievements as a pictorial artist. The Archive now contains all thirty traced impressions of the twelve subjects portrayed in the large color prints.

This publication includes works from several collections not previously represented in the Archive. Accordingly, we are also publishing Blake collection lists for the Brooklyn Museum, Mead Art Museum (Amherst College), National Gallery of Scotland, Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, and Rosenbach Museum and Library. These lists include all original works by Blake in their respective collections, not just those published in the Archive.

With this publication we have also implemented a technical improvement that reflects the Archive’s commitment to open-source digital humanities principles. By clicking on the “View XML Source File” link on Electronic Edition Information pages, users can now view the XML source code for any work in the Archive.

As always, the William Blake Archive is a free site, imposing no access restrictions and charging no subscription fees. The site is made possible by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with the University of Rochester, the continuing support of the Library of Congress, and the cooperation of the international array of libraries and museums that have generously given us permission to reproduce works from their collections in the Archive.

Morris Eaves, Robert N. Essick, and Joseph Viscomi, editors
Ashley Reed, project manager, William Shaw, technical editor
The William Blake Archive

Forthcoming | The Politics of the Provisional

Posted in books by Editor on December 8, 2012

From Penn State UP:

Richard Taws, The Politics of the Provisional: Art and Ephemera in Revolutionary France (University Park: Penn State University Press, 2013), 232 pages, ISBN: 978-0271054186.

978-0-271-05418-6mdIn revolutionary France, materiality was not easily achieved. The turmoil of war, shortages, and frequent changes in political authority meant that few large-scale artworks or permanent monuments to the Revolution’s memory were completed. On the contrary, as this book argues, visual practice in revolutionary France was characterized by the production and circulation of a range of transitional, provisional, ephemeral, and half-made images and objects. Addressing this mass of images conventionally ignored in art-historical accounts of the period, The Politics of the Provisional contends that widely distributed, ephemeral, or “in-between” images and objects were at the heart of contemporary debates on the nature of political authenticity and historical memory. Provisionality had a politics, and it signified less the failure of the Revolution’s attempts to historicize itself than a tactical awareness of the need to continue
the Revolution’s work.

Richard Taws is Lecturer in the History of Art, University College London. (more…)

Conference | Iconoclasm and Revolutions

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on December 8, 2012

From Le Blog de l’ApAhAu:

Iconoclasme et révolutions, XVIIIe-XXIe siècle
Petit Palais (Auditorium), Paris, 13-14 December 2012

Iconoclasm and RevolutionsStatues déboulonnées, portraits déchirés ou brûlés, emblèmes grattés ou barbouillés : ces gestes iconoclastes semblent indissociables des processus révolutionnaires, des révolutions atlantiques du XVIIIe siècle aux révolutions arabes contemporaines. Que se joue-t-il derrière ces gestes apparemment dérisoires, souvent ravalés à du « vandalisme » ? Comment penser, à partir de l’iconoclasme, une histoire des relations entre des sujets et des signes de pouvoir (politique, religieux, social) ? Tel sera l’objet de ce colloque international et pluridisciplinaire, qui réunira au Petit Palais historiens, historiens de l’art, anthropologues, spécialistes d’aires culturelles et de périodes différentes, de la France à l’Afghanistan, de la Chine à l’Amérique latine, de la Russie à l’Espagne… La réflexion portera notamment sur les « pouvoirs de l’image » et du signe, sur le rapport au visible et au sensible en situation révolutionnaire et sur la puissance de transformation du social attribuée aux gestes iconoclastes. Les formes prises par cette violence symbolique, ses cibles privilégiées, ses acteurs individuels et collectifs, sa liesse ou ses silences, ses liens avec la violence physique, ses seuils de tolérance et ses compromis (entre conservation et destruction) seront interrogés. Le colloque permettra d’éclairer les intentions des iconoclastes en révolution, explicitées ou non par eux : effacer une mémoire devenue intolérable, expurger une croyance, exprimer une opinion à la face de tous, s’approprier une souveraineté devenue disponible – sans que ces interprétations soient exclusives l’une de l’autre. Ces intentions seront rapportées à la réception et aux effets – tels qu’on peut les mesurer – des gestes de destruction. Toutes ces questions seront envisagées en situation, dans des contextes et des espaces singuliers, où les cultures visuelles, les formes d’expression politique, le rapport au sacré varient profondément.

The program is available here»

Holiday Gift Guide | More Books

Posted in books by Editor on December 7, 2012

From the University of Illinois Press:

Christoph Wolff and Markus Zepf, The Organs of J. S. Bach: A Handbook, translated by Lynn Edwards Butler (Champaign, University of Illinois Press, 2012), 240 pages, cloth ISBN: 978-0252036842, $80) / paper ISBN: 978-0252078453, $30.

9780252078453_lgThe Organs of J. S. Bach is a comprehensive and fascinating guide to the organs encountered by Bach throughout Germany in his roles as organist, concert artist, examiner, teacher, and visitor. Newly revised and updated, the book’s entries are listed alphabetically by geographical location, from Arnstadt to Zschortau, providing an easy-to-reference overview.

Includes detailed organ-specific information:
• High-quality color photographs
• Each instrument’s history, its connection to Bach, and its disposition as Bach would have known it
• Architectural histories of the churches housing the instruments
• Identification of church organists

Lynn Edwards Butler’s graceful translation of Christoph Wolff and Markus Zepf’s volume incorporates new research and many corrections and updates to the original German edition. Bibliographical references are updated to include English-language sources, and the translation includes an expanded essay by Christoph Wolff on Bach as organist, organ composer, and organ expert.

The volume includes maps, a timeline of organ-related events, transcriptions of Bach’s organ reports, a guide to examining organs attributed to Saxony’s most famous organ builder Gottfried Silbermann, and biographical information on organ builders.

Christoph Wolff is Adams University Professor at Harvard University and director of the Bach Archive in Leipzig. Markus Zepf, a musicologist and organist, is on the staff of the Germanic National Museum in Nuremberg. Lynn Edwards Butler, who has published numerous articles on the organ, is a practicing organist with special expertise in restored baroque organs in north and central Germany.

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From Rizzoli:

Jeremy Musson, English Country House Interiors, foreword by Sir Roy Strong, photographs by Paul Barker (Rizzoli, 2011), pages, ISBN: 978-0847835690, $60.

EnglishCountryHouseInt_coverA highly detailed look at the English country house interior, offering unprecedented access to England’s finest rooms. In this splendid book, renowned historian Jeremy Musson explores the interiors and decoration of the great country houses of England, offering a brilliantly detailed presentation of the epitome of style in each period of the country house, including the great Jacobean manor house, the Georgian mansion, and the Gothic Revival castle. For the first time, houses known worldwide for their exquisite architecture and decoration–including Wilton, Chatsworth, and Castle Howard–are seen in unprecedented detail. With intimate views of fabric, gilding, carving, and furnishings, the book will be a source of inspiration to interior designers, architects, and home owners, and a must-have for anglophiles and historic house enthusiasts.

The fifteen houses included represent the key periods in the history of English country house decoration and cover the major interior fashions and styles. Stunning new color photographs by Paul Barker-who was given unparalleled access to the houses-offer readers new insights into the enduring English country house style. Supplementing these are unique black-and-white images from the archive of the esteemed Country Life magazine.

Among the aspects of these that the book covers are: paneling, textile hangings (silks to cut velvet), mural painting, plasterwork, stone carving, gilding, curtains, pelmets, heraldic decoration, classical imagery, early upholstered furniture, furniture designed by Thomas Chippendale, carved chimney-pieces, lass, use of sculpture, tapestry, carpets, picture hanging, collecting of art and antiques, impact of Grand Tour taste, silver, use of marble, different woods, the importance of mirror glass, boulle work, English Baroque style, Palladian style, neo-Classical style, rooms designed by Robert Adam, Regency, Gothic Revival taste, Baronial style, French 18th-century style, and room types such as staircases, libraries, dining rooms, parlors, bedrooms, picture galleries, entrance halls and sculpture galleries.

Houses covered include: Hatfield – early 1600s (Jacobean); Wilton – 1630/40s (Inigo Jones); Boughton – 1680/90s (inspired by Versailles); Chatsworth -1690/early 1700s (Baroque); Castle Howard – early 1700s (Vanbrugh); Houghton – 1720s (Kent); Holkham – 1730s-50s (Palladian); Syon Park – 1760s (Adam); Harewood –  1760s/70s (neo-Classical); Goodwood – 1790s/1800s (neo-Classical/Regency); Regency at Chatsworth/Wilton/C Howard etc – 1820/30s; Waddesdon Manor – 1870/80ss (French Chateau style); Arundel Castle -1880s/90s (Gothic Revival); Berkeley Castle – 1920/30s (period recreations and antique collections); Parham House – 1920s/30s (period restorations and antique collections). The range is from the early 17th century to present day, drawn from the authenticated interiors of fifteen great country houses, almost all still in private hands and occupied as private residences still today. The book shows work by twentieth-century designers who have helped evolve the country house look, including Nancy Lancaster, David Hicks, Colefax & Fowler, and David Mlinaric.

Jeremy Musson is a leading commentator and author on the English country house. He was architectural editor of Country Life from 1998 to 2007, for which he wrote hundreds of articles on country houses and is still a contributor. As a former National Trust assistant curator he redecorated state rooms at Ickworth Park and curated Anglesey Abbey. Musson is the author of several books including The English Manor House, Plasterwork, How to Read a Country House, The Country Houses of Sir John Vanbrugh, and Up and Down Stairs: The History of the Country House Servant. A contributor to World of Interiors, The British Art Journal, and Cornerstone, he has interviewed many figures in the world of heritage, arts, and interior design, and he co-wrote and presented The Curious House Guest, a BBC2 series on important country houses in 2005-2006. Art historian Sir Roy Strong is the former director of London’s National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Paul Barker is one of the U.K.’s leading architectural photographers.

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From Yale UP:

Keith Thomson, Jefferson’s Shadow: The Story of His Science (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012), 336 pages, ISBN: 978-0300184037, $30.

9780300184037In the voluminous literature on Thomas Jefferson, little has been written about his passionate interest in science. This new and original study of Jefferson presents him as a consummate intellectual whose view of science was central to both his public and his private life. Keith Thomson reintroduces us in this remarkable book to Jefferson’s eighteenth-century world and reveals the extent to which Jefferson used science, thought about it, and contributed to it, becoming in his time a leading American scientific intellectual.

With a storyteller’s gift, Thomson shows us a new side of Jefferson. He answers an intriguing series of questions—How was Jefferson’s view of the sciences reflected in his political philosophy and his vision of America’s future? How did science intersect with his religion? Did he make any original contributions to scientific knowledge?—and illuminates the particulars of Jefferson’s scientific endeavors. Thomson discusses Jefferson’s theories that have withstood the test of time, his interest in the practical applications of science to societal problems, his leadership in the use of scientific methods in agriculture, and his contributions toward launching at least four sciences in America: geography, paleontology, climatology, and scientific archaeology. A set of delightful illustrations, including some of Jefferson’s own sketches and inventions, completes this impressively researched book.

Keith Thomson is Executive Officer fellow at the American Philosophical Society and professor emeritus of natural history at the University of Oxford. He was for five years a visiting fellow of the International Centre for Jefferson Studies at Monticello, VA. He lives in Philadelphia.

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From Rizzoli:

Diane Dorrans Saeks, Ann Getty: Interior Style, photographed by Lisa Romerein (New York: Rizzoli, 2012), 240 pages, ISBN: 978-0847837915, $55.

Screen shot 2012-12-06 at 12.38.19 PMThe first-ever compilation of the luxurious interiors from the influential designer and philanthropist Ann Getty. For those who are passionate about fine interiors, the preservation of antiques, the highest level of craftsmanship, and respect for architectural integrity, this book offers an insider’s view of the exquisite designs of Ann Getty. Fluent in classical styles and periods and known for sourcing her vast array of objects and opulent materials from across the globe, Getty creates interiors that are steeped in historical style yet remain fresh and vibrant for today’s clientele. From the exceptional residence she and her music-composer husband, Gordon Getty, use for entertaining and displaying their world-class collection of art and antiques, to the comfortable yet elegant townhouse she designed for a stylish young family, the book showcases richly detailed interiors that are coveted by design enthusiasts and collectors. Featured are pieces from Getty’s successful furniture line of original designs inspired by the renowned Getty collection as well as her own extensive travel and design studies. This intimate look, Getty’s first-ever monograph, demonstrates how to combine objects from different time periods and styles in a sumptuous atmosphere rich in bold colors, vibrant textures, and classic elegance.

Diane Dorrans Saeks is a noted design lecturer, founder of the design/travel blog The Style Saloniste, and the best-selling author of more than twenty books. Lisa Romerein’s photographs have been featured in many books, including Michael S. Smith: Elements of Style, as well as C magazine, Town & Country, and Elle Decor.

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As Catherine Bigelow writes in her article, “Ann Getty’s ‘Interior Style’,” for SFGate (8 October 2012) . . .

In the foyer, a vignette of Meissen figures sits beneath a Canaletto painting.Read more: Ann Getty's San Francisco Home - Pictures from Ann Getty's San Francisco Home - Harper's BAZAAR

Ann Getty’s San Francisco House. In the foyer, a vignette of Meissen figures sits beneath a painting by  Canaletto. Photo: Lisa Romerein from Ann Getty: Interior Style. For more photos, available at Harper’s Bazaar, click on the image.

“All this time, people assumed Ann was having endless couture fittings in Paris,” said Saeks, a San Francisco design writer who has penned 21 Rizzoli titles. “But actually she was studying 18th-century French antiques and having private tours of hidden collections at the Louvre.”

In the ’60s, Getty studied paleoanthropology and biology at UC Berkeley, and she remains devoted to philanthropic support of science and academic research. But for more than 40 years, she has also been hands-on in designing and running her own well-appointed homes. The book features four, including her Willis Polk-designed Gold Coast manse and the first-ever peek at her childhood home, and most personal redesign, in Wheatland (Yuba County), where the Gilbert family still runs their decades-old walnut ranch.

In addition to her intuitive design sense, Getty also drew upon inspiration and early tutelage from storied designer Sister Parish, her late father-in-law and antiquities connoisseur J. Paul Getty, as well as collections within the Getty Museum. . .

The full article is available here»

Call for Articles | The Digital Turn

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on December 7, 2012

The Digital Turn
Special Issue of the Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies (JEMCS)

Proposals due by 15 January 2013

It is well understood that ‘the digital turn’ has transformed the contemporary cultural, political and economic environment. Less appreciated perhaps is its crucial importance and transformative potential for those of us who study the past. Whether through newly—and differently—accessible data and methods (e.g. ‘distant reading’), new questions being asked of that new data, or recognizing how digital reading changes our access to the materiality of the past, the digital humanities engenders a particularized set of questions and concerns for those of us who study the early modern, broadly defined (mid-15th to mid-19th centuries).

For this special issue of JEMCS, we seek essays that describe the challenges and debates arising from issues in the early modern digital, as well as work that shows through its methods, questions, and conclusions the kinds of scholarship that ought best be done—or perhaps can only be done— in its wake. We look for contributions that go beyond describing the advantages and shortcomings of (or problems of inequity of access to) EEBO, ECCO, and the ESTC to contemplate how new forms of information produce new ways of thinking. We invite contributors to consider the broader implications and uses of existing and emerging early modern digital projects, including data mining, data visualization, corpus linguistics, GIS, and/or potential obsolescence, especially in comparison to insights possible through traditional archival research methods. Essays of 3000-8000 words are sought in .doc, .rtf, or.pdf format by January 15, 2013 to <jemcsfsu@gmail.com>. All manuscripts must include a 100-200 word abstract. JEMCS adheres to MLA format, and submissions should be prepared accordingly.

In addition, we would welcome brief reports (500-1500 words) that describe digital projects in progress in early modern studies (defined here as spanning from the mid-fifteenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries), whether or not these projects have yet reached completion. These reports, too, should be submitted in .doc, .rtf, or.pdf format, using MLA style, by 15 January 2013.

Please don’t hesitate to write me if you have any questions about this special issue. We look forward to reading your work in this area.

Devoney Looser
Co-Editor, Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies

Call for Papers | A Window on Antiquity: The Topham Collection

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on December 6, 2012

A Window on Antiquity: The Topham Collection at Eton College Library
The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, London, 17 May 2013

Proposals due by 10 February 2013

Screen shot 2012-12-05 at 9.13.30 AMTo accompany the exhibition Paper Palaces: The Topham Drawings as a Source for British Neo-Classicism at Eton College Library, 9 May – 1 November 2013

Consisting of 37 volumes and more than 3,000 items, the collection amassed by Richard Topham (1671-1730) is one of the most significant resources for the history of antiquarianism and for the culture and industry of the Grand Tour in Europe. This collection of drawings, watercolours and prints after antique sculptures and paintings in Rome and Italy is the largest of its kind assembled in England, surpassing in both scale and breadth those collected by other celebrated antiquarians such as John Talman, Dr Richard Mead or Thomas Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester.

Since its arrival at Eton in 1736 the Topham Collection has fascinated and served archaeologists, researchers investigating collections of antiquities and scholars of the history and reception of the classical tradition. The drawings have also attracted the attention of art historians, as Topham managed to assemble an extraordinary range of works by some of the best Italian draughtsmen of the first half of the eighteenth century, such as Pompeo Batoni, Giovanni Domenico Campiglia and Francesco Bartoli, or by artists who later excelled in other fields, including the architect William Kent. More recently it has also emerged that Francesco Bartoli’s drawings of ancient ceilings and wall elevations in the collection were extensively copied and re-adapted by neo-classical architects such as Robert Adam, James Wyatt and Charles Cameron, becoming one of the most important sources for a decorative language that would spread over Europe.

However, despite the growing body of scholarship on the Topham Collection produced in recent decades, notably the work of the late Louisa M. Connor Bulman, a comprehensive study of the whole collection and of its role in eighteenth-century antiquarian culture is still wanting.

We invite proposals for papers on any aspect of the Topham Collection. Special consideration will be given to papers examining the Topham Collection in relation to British and European antiquarian and artistic culture. Cross-disciplinary and comparative studies are particularly welcome.

The conference, jointly hosted by Eton College, The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and The University of Buckingham, will be held in London at The Paul Mellon Centre on 17 May, 2013. Selected papers may be published in an edited volume.

For further information please contact Dr Adriano Aymonino (University of Buckingham) or Lucy Gwynn (Eton College Library). Please email abstracts of no more than 300 words by 10 February, 2013 to:

At Auction | Marouf Collection at Bonhams, Part I

Posted in Art Market by Editor on December 6, 2012

I was waiting until afer the auction of the Marouf Collection to run this posting so as to include results. Checking in yesterday morning, however, I see that the Meissen chamber pot was withdrawn from the first part of the sale, and I found results for neither the armorial beaker associated with Maria Amalia of Saxony nor the Meissen écuelle and cover. The bourdalou perhaps will be included in the second part in 2013. -CH

Note (added 16 March 2013): Part II of Bonhams’s Marouf Sale is scheduled for 2 May 2013. While the full catalogue has yet to be published, a press release highlights the inclusion of a small tureen from the Swan Service of Meissen porcelain, commissioned in 1736 for Heinrich Graf von Brühl.

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Press release (3 September 2012) from Bonhams:

The Marouf Collection, Part I (#19610)
Bonhams, London, 5 December 2012

Screen shot 2012-12-05 at 9.33.20 AMA rare Meissen bourdalou, otherwise known as a chamber pot, will go under the hammer along with several highly valuable pieces relating to the royal toilette at Bonhams single-owner sale of Meissen ceramics on 5th December at New Bond Street. The ornately decorated porcelain bourdalou, produced circa 1724 is estimated at £50,000-60,000 and is one of the most beautifully decorated examples of porcelain in the Said and Roswitha Marouf Collection. Other key items from the toilette included in
the sale are an important Meissen armorial beaker (estimate
£25,000-30,000), a Meissen armorial tureen, cover and stand
(estimate £60,000-80,000) [sold for £67,250 w/ premium], and
a rare Meissen écuelle and cover (estimate £20,000-25,000).

Screen shot 2012-12-05 at 1.03.39 PMAlthough it was one of the most intimate parts of daily life, unlike today, many elements of the toilette were made public, and it became an important ritual in the eighteenth-century European courts. It was a way for courtiers to flaunt their wealth and rank in society, with elaborate displays becoming commonplace for those in the highest echelons of court. After the lady was sponged and bathed by her maid in private, the public part of the toilette was literally ‘performed’ with the assistance of servants. Often the lady would be dressed, take her breakfast and have an elaborate hair-do in front of a host of onlookers. It was a privilege to be a spectator on these occasions, and the beautifully decorated porcelain toilette pieces were luxury items that showed the reverence paid to the toilette ritual. The bourdalou would have been a well-used item in the eighteenth-century practice of the toilette. The term ‘bourdalou’ originated in the eighteenth century after the name of the priest Louis Bourdalou who preached at the court of Louis XIV. His sermons were so fascinating that the ladies of the court were loathe to leave his
service to relieve themselves. They used an oval jug with handles,
constructed so that ladies could put it beneath their skirts and
have their maids carry it away after use.

Screen shot 2012-12-05 at 9.48.50 AMAnother important intimate object in the sale is an armorial chocolate beaker, which is highly decorated and carries an estimate of £25,000-30,000. Originally part of a set of six beakers, it was given as a wedding present to the Princess Maria Amalia of Saxony for her marriage in 1738 to Charles VII, King of Naples. The young bride was only 14 years old when her marriage was arranged by her father, King Augustus III, successor of Augustus the Strong, who first set up the Meissen porcelain factory near Dresden. The armorial beaker is one of the few surviving pieces from the wedding present, which originally comprised six teabowls and saucers and six chocolate beakers. It represents the most exceptional elements of Meissen porcelain:
unrivaled quality and fascinating provenance.

Screen shot 2012-12-05 at 9.55.13 AMThe chocolate beaker was most likely used in the public part of the toilette, when a lady of the court would take her breakfast. Another remarkable piece that would have been used for the morning meal is the armorial tureen, cover and stand, estimated at £60,000 – 80,000. Made around 1745, it is spectacularly decorated with landscape scenes, scattered flowers, and gilt. Originally made for Maria Josepha, daughter-in-law of Augustus the Strong and wife of Augustus III, the item made its way back into aristocratic hands, owned for many years by the Dowager
Duchess of Westminster.

The Said and Roswitha Marouf Collection brings together a stunning collection of exceptionally rare pieces, such as an unprecedented eight objects from the ‘Half figure service’, arguably the rarest and most sought after chinoiserie decoration on Meissen porcelain. Many pieces in the collection have been published and exhibited in museum exhibitions, including the legendary 2010 exhibition in the Japanese Palace in Dresden to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Meissen manufactory. The whole collection is superbly documented in the catalog Passion for Meissen written by Professor Ullrich Pietsch, Director of Porcelain in Dresden.

Sebastian Kuhn, Director of European porcelain at Bonhams said, “The Said and Roswitha Marouf Collection is without doubt one of the most important collections of eighteenth-century Meissen porcelain to come to the market. After the success of the Hoffmeister collection sales, it is incredible to see such a selection of fine pieces, including some rare and intimate items from the royal toilette, with fascinating provenance. Said Marouf has been an avid collector all his life and started out collecting pocket and wrist watches. It is not hard to see why his eye for detail attracted him to the extremely detailed and intricate decoration of early eighteenth-century Meissen porcelain.”

Holiday Gift Guide | Books for People Who Love Cooking and Eating

Posted in books by Editor on December 5, 2012

As you may have already noticed, this year’s Holiday Gift Guide feature has been scaled back from last year (try searching for ‘holiday gift guide’), and rather than taking up a full week, postings will appear occasionally alongside regular offerings. While the following food books are not exclusively about the eighteenth century, I think dix-huitièmistes interested in food and its history will find something to enjoy. -CH

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From London Calling:

Ralph Roylance, The Epicure’s Almanack: Eating and Drinking in Regency London, edited by Janet Ing Freeman (London: British Library, 2012), 512 pages, ISBN: 978-0712358613, $55.

almanack0001The British Library has published a new edition of the 1815 Epicure’s Almanack, the first ever ‘good food guide’ to London. Listing some 650 eating houses, taverns, coffee houses, and inns, the original Almanack was the work of Ralph Rylance, an aspiring poet and dramatist. This new edition, edited by Janet Ing Freeman, presents his original text together with commentary on many of the establishments and on the wider subject of eating and drinking in London at the beginning of the nineteenth century.

Fewer than 30 copies of the original book are recorded in libraries today. It was never continued nor reprinted, and lack of public enthusiasm for the guide meant that several hundred unsold copies were destroyed two years after publication. Nonetheless, scholars continue to refer to it for descriptions such as that of London’s first Indian restaurant, the Hindostanee Coffee House in Marylebone, where all the dishes were ‘dressed with curry-powder and the best spices of Arabia’, and a room was set apart for ‘smoking from hookahs with oriental herbs’.

Rylance reviewed the eateries and their menus single-handedly and on foot. His book provides an excellent contemporary view of an important aspect of Regency London life, and gives a glimpse of a bygone city, in which the oysterman at the Cock Tavern in Fleet Street busily opens shells ‘with the dexterity of a squirrel’ and more elegant eating houses display their wares in the window, including the ‘fine, lively, amiable turtle’ shortly to appear on the menu.

Larissa Zimberoff reviewed the book for The Inquisitive Eater (21 November 2012).

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From the website for the book:

Bee Wilson, Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat (London, Basic Books, 2012)), 352 pages, 978-0465021765, $27.

Wilson-Consider_TheSince prehistory, humans have braved sharp knives, fire, and grindstones to transform raw ingredients into something delicious—or at least edible. Tools shape what we eat, but they have also transformed how we consume, and how we think about, our food. Technology in the kitchen does not just mean the Pacojets and sous-vide of the modernist kitchen. It can also mean the humbler tools of everyday cooking and eating: a wooden spoon and a skillet, chopsticks and forks.

In Consider the Fork, award-winning food writer Bee Wilson provides a wonderful and witty tour of the evolution of cooking around the world, revealing the hidden history of everyday objects we often take for granted. Knives—perhaps our most important gastronomic tool—predate the discovery of fire, whereas the fork endured centuries of ridicule before gaining widespread acceptance; pots and pans have been around for millennia, while plates are a relatively recent invention. Many once-new technologies have become essential elements of any well-stocked kitchen—mortars and pestles, serrated knives, stainless steel pots, refrigerators. Others have proved only passing fancies, or were supplanted by better technologies; one would be hard pressed now to find a water-powered egg whisk, a magnet-operated spit roaster, a cider owl, or a turnspit dog. Although many tools have disappeared from the modern kitchen, they have left us with traditions, tastes, and even physical characteristics that we would never have possessed otherwise.

Blending history, science, and anthropology, Wilson reveals how our culinary tools and tricks came to be, and how their influence has shaped modern food culture. The story of how we have tamed fire and ice and wielded whisks, spoons, and graters, all for the sake of putting food in our mouths, Consider the Fork is truly a book to savor.

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From Columbia University Press:

Massimo Montanari, Let the Meatballs Rest: And Other Stories About Food and Culture, translated by Beth Brombert (New York: Columbia University Press, 2012), 192 pages, ISBN: 978-0231157322, $27.

appKnown for his idiosyncratic, entertaining investigations into culinary practice, Massimo Montanari turns his hungry eye to the phenomenon of food culture, food lore, cooking methods, and eating habits throughout history. An irresistible buffet of one hundred concise and engaging essays, this collection provides stimulating food for thought for those curious about one of life’s most fundamental pleasures.

Focusing on the selection, preparation, and mythology of food, Montanari traverses such subjects as the status of the pantry over the centuries, the various strategies of cooking deployed by humans over time, the gastronomy of famine, the science of flavors, the changing characteristics of convivial rituals, the customs of the table, and the ever-evolving identity of food. He shows that cooking is not only a decisive part of our cultural heritage but also communicates essential information about our material and intellectual selves. From the invention of basic bread-making to chocolate’s acquired reputation for decadence, Montanari positions food culture as a lens through which we can plot changes in historical values and social and economic trends. Even the biblical story of Jacob buying Esau’s birthright for a bowl of lentils is a text full of essential meaning for Montanari, representing human civilization’s all-important shift from a hunting to an agrarian society. Readers of all backgrounds will enjoy these delectable insights and their easy consumption in one companionable volume.

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From Bloomsbury:

Russell Norman, P O L P O: A Venetian Cookbook (Of Sorts) (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2012), 320 pages, ISBN: 978-1408816790, £25.

9781408816790Tucked away in a backstreet of London’s edgy Soho district, POLPO is one of the hottest restaurants in town. Critics and food aficionados have been flocking to this understated bàcaro where Russell Norman serves up dishes from the back streets of Venice. A far cry from the tourist-trap eateries of the famous floating city, this kind of cooking is unfussy, innovative and exuberantly delicious.

The 140 recipes in the book include caprese stacks; zucchini shoestring fries; asparagus with Parmesan and anchovy butter; butternut risotto; arancini, rabbit cacciatore; warm duck salad with wet walnuts and beets; crispy baby pizzas with prosciutto and rocket; scallops with lemon and peppermint; mackerel tartare; linguine with clams; whole sea bream; warm octopus salad; soft-shell crab in Parmesan batter with fennel salad; walnut and honey semifreddo; tiramisù; fizzy bellinis and glasses of bright orange spritz.

With luminescent photography by Jenny Zarins, which captures the unfrequented corners, the bustling bàcari and the sublime waterways of Venice, POLPO is a dazzling tribute to Italy’s greatest hidden cuisine.