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The University of Southampton
Objects and Possessions: Material Goods in a Changing World 1200‒1800


Tapestry cartoon, 1630s
Tapestry cartoon, 1630s

Objects and Possessions: Material Goods in a Changing World 1200‒1800



Monday 3 April 2017


Keynote 1:

Dr Chris Briggs, University of Cambridge

The possessions of late medieval English felons, fugitives and outlaws

Tea/coffee break


Panel 1a Importing Addictions: Coffee, Tea and Tobacco in British-Russian Relations

Clare Griffin, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science

A Failure of Exchange: Coffee on Paper but not in Practice in Moscow c.1660

Matthew Romaniello, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Stimulating the Market: The British Tobacco Factory in Moscow, 1705

Audra Yoder, Independent Scholar

Importing Luxury, Displaying Power: English Tea Silver in Russia, 1700-1800


Tuesday 4 April 2017


Panel 2a People and possessions in late medieval and early modern Ireland

Margaret Murphy, Carlow College

‘Thirty-three furs and eleven pairs of silken shoes’ ‒ possessions of the elite in late-medieval Ireland

Susan Flavin, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge

Contested Commodities? The Meaning of Things in Sixteenth-Century Ireland

Rachel Tracey, School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology, QUB

People, Plantation & Things: Material Culture & Cultural Identity in Early Modern Ulster



Panel 2b Objects and identities

Gerhard Jaritz, Central European University, Budapest

The Perception of ‘New’ in Medieval and Early Modern Material Culture

Anu Mänd, Tallinn University, School of Humanities, Institute of History, Archaeology and Art History

From a popinjay to the deer-feet: the silver collection of the Brotherhood of the Black Heads in Tallinn

Mark J.R. Dennis, Curator, Museum of Freemasonry, London

Objects of Belonging – identity and legend in the material culture of fraternity


Tea/coffee break


Keynote 2:

Professor Giorgio Riello, University of Warwick

Britain’s material transition: innovation and everyday life in the early modern British world




Panel 3a The circulation of fashionable goods in early modern Europe

Juliet Claxton, King’s College, London

‘His wife was the rich china-woman that the courtiers visited so often’ (Ben Jonson: Epicene, [1.4] 1609): A taste for china in early modern London.

Natasha Awais-Dean, King’s College, London

‘It is an honour ‘longing to our house, Bequeathed down from many ancestors’: inheriting jewels in early modern England

Jola Pellumbi, King’s College, London

From Constantinople to Venice: The Dissemination of Ottoman-Style Clothing



Panel 3b Renaissance and early modern Europe

Beverly Tjerngren, Uppsala University, Department of History

Carefully Considered Consumption: the Swedish Clergy’s Strategic Use of Material Culture

Pia Rudolph, Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Deutsche Literatur des Mittelalters, Munich

A Delightful Combination: Books and Bonbons

Elizabeth Gemmill, Kellogg College, Oxford

Dead men’s treasures: Aberdeen burgess inventories of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries


Tea/coffee break


Panel 4a The material universe of some Iberian queens and princesses (14th‒16th century)

Adriana Almeida, University of Lisbon

Disposing of goods for the sake of one’s soul at the age of the Black Death

Maria Barreto Dávila, Nova University of Lisbon

The earthly possessions of Beatriz, infante of Portugal (c.1430-1506)

Ana Maria S. A. Rodrigues, University of Lisbon

From treasure to collection: the luxurious objects of the queens of Portugal (15th‒16th centuries)


Panel 4b Domesticity and objects at home

Craig Cessford, Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge:

Assemblage biographies of household clearance deposits in England, 1200–1800

Sophie Cope, History Department, University of Birmingham

Furnishing time: dated chairs and familial identity in seventeenth-century England

Catherine Richardson, University of Kent

‘A fringe of yellow and blue silk and venis gold’: colouring the early modern provincial house

Fontini Kondyli, University of Virginia, and Florence Liard, Université Libre de Bruxelles

Sgraffito tablewares at the city of Thebes. Unforeseen Italian connections in late medieval Greece


Wednesday 5 April 2017


Panel 5a The Tentative Process of Possessing Things

Kate Smith, University of Birmingham

Lost Property and the Significance of Dispossession in Eighteenth-Century London

Elin Jones, University of Edinburgh

Naval Seamen, Irrational Consumption and Masculinity, 1756‒1815

Sara Pennell, University of Greenwich

Dismantling Possession in Late Seventeenth and Early Eighteenth-Century England


Panel 5b Renaissance and early modern Europe

Julie De Groot, University of Antwerp

A Site for Exchanging Culture? The Material culture of Spanish Merchants in Sixteenth-Century Bruges

Tânia Manuel Casimiro, (IAP/IHC – NOVA University of Lisbon)

The possession and consumption of faience in Portuguese domestic environments (1550‒1800)

Trevor Dean, Roehampton University

Jews, Christians and disputes over objects in fifteenth-century Italy


Tea/coffee break


Keynote 3:


Dr Christer Petley, University of Southampton

People as Objects and Possessions: Slaveholders and Enslaved People in the Eighteenth-Century British Empire





Panel 6a Clothing, fashion and the connections of goods

Astrid Pajur, Department of History, Uppsala University

Costume and Social Practices in Seventeenth-century Estonian Probate Inventories

Sarah A. Bendall, Department of History, University of Sydney

‘Our Countrey girles are a kin to your London Courtiers’: The Dissemination of Structural Undergarments and the Changing Hierarchy of Appearances in Seventeenth-Century England

Margareth Lanzinger, Vienna, and Janine Maegraith, Cambridge/Vienna

Objects as proxy for social and economic values, capabilities and relations


Panel 6b Europe and Beyond Europe

Chris Evans, University of South Wales, and Göran Rydén, Uppsala University

Producer goods in the Atlantic slave trade: European metals and their African uses

Ingrid Matschinegg, University of Salzburg / Institute for Medieval and Early Modern Material Culture, Krems

Bridging Distances: ‘Exotic’ Objects as Social Markers in Late Medieval and Early Modern Inventories

Kate Hill, University of Glasgow

The Form Adorned: Ormolu Mounts for Chinese Monochrome Porcelains


Tea/coffee break


Panel 7a Clothing, footwear and material culture

Matthew McCormack, University of Northampton

Boots, material culture and Georgian masculinities

Sadie Harrison, University College London

Collecting Fashion, Collecting Nature: Consumer Culture and Botanical Embroidery, 1700-1800

Elizabeth Spencer, University of York

‘Paid sister Mellish [what] she Laid out for me at London’: Clothing in the accounts of the Mellish family, 1705‒1718


Panel 7b Things medieval

Alex Sapoznik, Department of History, King’s College London

Religious symbolism and the trade and consumption of wax in medieval England

Eleanor Standley, Associate Professor and Curator of Medieval Archaeology, University of Oxford

The Archaeology of Medieval Possessions

Katherine Anne Wilson, Department of History and Archaeology, University of Chester

Choice, Concealment and Settings: The chest in medieval residences.

Tom Johnson, History, University of York

Forfeitures, Fines, and Dues during the ‘Golden Age’ of the English Peasantry, c.1350-1500

Helen Watt, University of York

In the hands of the servants of the Lord: Evidence for material culture in the York Chancery Probate Registers [End of day demonstration]


Thursday 6 April 2017


Panel 8: Bodies as possessions

Jane Campbell, Department of History, University of Exeter

Objects and possessions: noble display, liveried servants and the politics of power

Giulia Mari, King’s College London

Having a body/Owning a body: early modern dissections and the purchase of human anatomical specimens


Tea/coffee break


Panel 9: Gift-giving

Murray Andrews, Murray, University College London

Gold, goblets and geese: gift-giving and aristocratic baptisms in fifteenth-century England and Wales

Jesse J. Hysell, History, Syracuse University

The Role of Gifts in the Venetian Consulates of Mamluk Egypt (1480-1517)


Keynote 4:

Professor Chris Woolgar, University of Southampton

Southampton’s people and their goods, 1200‒1500


Lunch and depart



Image credit: Cartoon for tapestry, Francis Cleyn the elder, probably 1630s: University of Southampton Library, Special Collections.


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