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Bejewelled (Paperback)

Men and Jewellery in Tudor and Jacobean England

Hobbies & Lifestyle > Art > Decorative Arts & Crafts P&S History > Humanities > Post-Medieval History

Imprint: British Museum Press
Series: British Museum Research Publications
Pages: 200
Illustrations: 160
ISBN: 9780861592098
Published: 31st December 2017
Casemate UK Academic

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Jewellery is often viewed as a feminine preoccupation, but in Tudor and Jacobean England men wore just as much (if not more) jewellery as their female counterparts. Jewels themselves were valued not merely for their intrinsic monetary worth, but also for their ability to reflect status and lineage, as well as sustain social bonds and networks of reciprocity. Bejewelled offers an in-depth discussion of the contexts in which jewellery in Tudor and Jacobean England was circulated from a male perspective, considering the jewels as valid items of material culture worthy of study and attention, rather than as mere trifles of adornment. Amongst other subjects, the book analyses the social and historical contexts in which jewellery was acquired, owned and circulated, interrogating the meanings that these jewels had for their male owners. The publication will highlight artefacts from the British Museum’s collection, such as the magnificent Lyte Jewel from the Waddesdon Bequest and the sealing devices of Sir Thomas Smith and Sir Walter Ralegh, as well as lesser-known objects such as the rings of the serjeants-at-law and a group of bronze plaquettes. By including material that has been discovered in archaeological contexts, along with evidence from inventories and wills as well as portraits showing these jewels being worn, this publication seeks to reposition jewellery, presenting it not merely as a concern of the elite but as something that was owned, worn and valued by a range of men across English society.

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