New Book | Matthew Boulton: Enterprising Industrialist

Posted in books by Editor on May 12, 2014

From Ashgate:

Kenneth Quickenden, Sally Baggott, and Malcolm Dick, eds., Matthew Boulton: Enterprising Industrialist of the Enlightenment (Aldershote: Ashgate, 2014), 312 pages, ISBN: 978-1409422181, £75 / $124.

9781409473343_p0_v2_s600Matthew Boulton was a leading industrialist, entrepreneur, and Enlightenment figure. Often overshadowed through his association with James Watt, his Soho manufactories put Birmingham at the centre of what has recently been termed ‘The Industrial Enlightenment’.

Exploring his many activities and manufactures—and the regional, national and international context in which he operated—this publication provides a valuable index to the current state of Boulton studies.

Combining original contributions from social, economic, and cultural historians, with those of historians of science, technology, and art, archaeologists and heritage professionals, the book sheds new light on the general culture of the eighteenth century, including patterns of work, production, and consumption of the products of art and industry. The book also extends and enhances knowledge of the Enlightenment, industrialization, and the processes of globalization in the eighteenth century.

Kenneth Quickenden is Research Professor at Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, Birmingham City University. Sally Baggott was Librarian and Curator at The Birmingham Assay Office and is now Research Facilitator, College of Arts and Law, University of Birmingham. Malcolm Dick is Director of the Centre for West Midlands History, University of Birmingham.

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1. Introduction: Matthew Boulton — Enterprising industrialist of the Enlightenment, Kenneth Quickenden, Malcolm Dick, and Sally Baggott
2. Matthew Boulton, Birmingham, and the Enlightenment, Peter M. Jones
3. Matthew Boulton: Innovator, Jennifer Tann
4. Was Matthew Boulton a scientist? Operating between the abstract and the entrepreneurial, David Philip Miller
5. The origins of the Soho Manufactory and its layout, George Demidowicz
6. Boulton, Watt and Wilkinson: The birth of the improved steam engine, Jim Andrew
7. Matthew Boulton’s copper, Peter Northover and Nick Wilcox
8. The mechanical paintings of Matthew Boulton and Francis Eginton, Barbara Fogarty
9. Samuel Garbett and early Boulton and Fothergill assay silver, Kenneth Quickenden
10. Hegemony and hallmarking: Matthew Boulton and the battle for the Birmingham Assay Office, Sally Baggott
11. Dark Satanic millwrights? Forging foremanship in the industrial revolution: Matthew Boulton and the leading hands of Boulton and Watt, Joseph Melling
12. Workers at the Soho Mint, (1788–1809), Sue Tungate
13. Matthew Boulton’s Jewish partners between France and England: Innovative networks and merchant enlightenment, Liliane Hilaire-Pérez and Bernard Vaisbrot
14. Enlightened entrepreneurs versus ‘philosophical pirate’, (1788–1809): Two faces of the Enlightenment, Irina Gouzévitch
15. Creating an image: portrait prints of Matthew Boulton, Val Loggie
16. The death of Matthew Boulton 1809: Ceremony, controversy and commemoration, Malcolm Dick
Select bibliography

Call for Papers | Collecting and Display: New Directions in Museology

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on May 12, 2014

Collecting and Display: New Directions in Museology
MEWO Kunsthalle, Memmingen, 10–12 October 2014

Proposals due by 16 June 2014

Research in the history of collecting has often focused on the development and the uses of historical collections of art and artefacts, their composition and the choreography of display. Over the past decade, the international forum Collecting & Display has been investigating diverse aspects of Collecting History: female collectors, dynastic ambition, the role of nature, or the location of display rooms within the context of princely residences.

To celebrate the first decade of our existence as well as the launch of a dedicated series of publications—Collecting Histories under the editorship of founding member Andrea Gáldy, PhD, FHistS—we propose a conference dedicated to new directions in the areas of collecting, display, visitor experience and the use of modern media in today’s museums that might or might not dispel with the need to engage with actual objects, and whether and how the engagement with the history of collections has influenced and modified contemporary museology.

With this event we intend to look forward towards a future, which oftentimes looks bleak due to funding cuts but also offers exciting prospects as far as the diverse possibilities of display are concerned; not to forget the rising visitor numbers at many of the great museums worldwide. What is the mission of collections and museums? And, how does one balance the history of collections and the collections themselves against the need for outreach activities, the call for edutainment and popular access in conjunction with a sustainable use of collectibles? Is there a way in which the past of a collection may point the way towards the best practice in use and presentation of the exhibits? The organisers of this conference invite proposals from scholars of the history of collecting as well as museum professionals (curators, art historians, librarians, administrators, IT specialists) who intend to explore the intersection between scholarly approach to and hands-on occupation with collections.

Target audience and visitor experience
Museum outreach and education
Technical innovation
Knowledge and collections
State of the art museum display in a period/listed building
Coping with diminishing funding
Who cares about cultural heritage and whose is it anyway?

Please send proposals of c. 250 words to Dr Andrea Gáldy collecting_display@hotmail.com and Dr Axel Lapp axel.lapp@memmingen.de by 16 June 2014.

At Auction | Eighteenth-Century Cognac at Bonhams

Posted in Art Market by Editor on May 12, 2014

Press release (5 May 2014) from Bonhams:


Lot 947: Cognac 1762. Gautier. Wax seal, driven cork. Hand-blown bottle. Bottled circa 1840s. Handwritten label, coated in cellar grime. Writing clearly visible. Level: (u.5.1cm below bottom of cork) No bottle size indicated, approximately half bottle size. Sold for $59,500 including premium.

Very old and ultra-rare cognacs led the successful sale of the Whisky, Cognac & Rare Spirits Auction on April 30 at Bonhams, New York (21633), the third largest international fine art auction house. The auction’s top lot and front cover catalog highlight, a 1762 vintage Gautier that is one of the oldest authenticated cognac vintages known, experienced spirited bidding amongst an international clientele, eventually selling to an online bidder from Poland for a final price of $59,500. A further rare 18th-century vintage cognac, a 1790 Grande Champagne, sold for $49,980, also purchased by the same bidder. Additional cognac highlights include an 1840 AE Dor, which found its new owner for $5,355.

Overall, the auction sold 94 percent of its lot offerings and about 74 percent of all lots sold either above or within their estimated values, proving the items on offer accurately reflect the current market demand for luxury spirits. A majority of the bidders were based in the U.S., followed by the U.K. and particularly Hong Kong, which is indicative of increasing popularity of this collecting category in Asia.

The 987-lot auction notes other top selling highlights of whisky, bourbon, rye, cognac, and rare spirits, which includes a 40-year-old Royal Salute 1953–1993 that sold for $10,115. It was a limited edition offering in a ruby red Baccarat crystal decanter for the 40th anniversary of the introduction of Royal Salute to honor the Queen’s Coronation. A highlight among the fine examples of top-tier Scotch whiskies is a 40-year-old 1961 Macallan Fine & Rare that fetched $8,925. Also of note, a 1965 Macallan Fine & Rare sold for $4,760. Of the bourbon and rye selection, Hannisville Rye distilled in the 1860s and bottled in 1913 reached a final sale of $7,735, and from the Pappy Van Winkle line, a rare presentation of a 23-year-old bourbon in a crystal decanter with two accompanying crystal glasses in a leather lined cherry wood case fetched $5,712.

Other noteworthy highlights that sold include a seven bottle set of Erte Edition from Courvoisier ($5,950) and a 38-year-old Bowmore 1964 vintage ($5,355). Moreover, the two demi-johns of pre-prohibition bourbon from Chapin & Gore, a favorite of Chicago’s late 19th- and early 20th-century gangsters, fetched final prices of $2,975 each.

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