Skip to main content
  • Book
  • © 2019

Gems in the Early Modern World

Materials, Knowledge and Global Trade, 1450–1800

Palgrave Macmillan

Editors:

(view affiliations)
  • Explores the significance to commerce, industry, art, science and technology of gems in the early modern period

  • Chapters cover a range of global trade routes connecting Europe, Asia and the Americas

  • Contributes to emerging scholarship on the global history of materials

Part of the book series: Europe's Asian Centuries (EAC)

Buying options

eBook
USD 109.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-319-96379-2
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book
USD 149.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Table of contents (12 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xvii
  2. Introduction: Gems in the Early Modern World

    • Michael Bycroft, Sven Dupré
    Pages 1-32
  3. Back Matter

    Pages 343-359

About this book

This edited collection is an interdisciplinary study of gems in the early modern world. It examines the relations between the art, science, and technology of gems, and it does so against the backdrop of an expanding global trade in gems. The eleven chapters are organised into three parts. The first part sets the scene by describing how gems moved around the early modern world, how they were set in motion, and how they were pulled together in the course of their travels. The second part is about value. It asks why people valued gems, how they determined the value of a given gem, and how the value of a gem was connected to its perceived place of origin. The third part deals with the skills involved in cutting, polishing, and mounting gems, and how these skills were transmitted and articulated by artisans. The common themes of all these chapters are materials, knowledge and global trade. The contributors to this volume focus on the material properties of gems such as their weight and hardness, on the knowledge involved in exchanging them and valuing them, and on the cultural consequences of the expanding trade in gems in Eurasia and the Americas.

Keywords

  • Gemstone
  • Commerce
  • Trade
  • Transnational
  • Industry
  • Artisan
  • Knowledge transfer
  • History of science
  • History of medicine
  • Material culture
  • Consumption
  • Technology
  • New World
  • South East Asia
  • India
  • Europe

Editors and Affiliations

  • History Department, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK

    Michael Bycroft

  • History of Art, Science and Technology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands

    Sven Dupré

About the editors

Michael Bycroft is Assistant Professor of the History of Science and Technology at the University of Warwick, UK. He completed his PhD in the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge in 2013, and has since held fellowships at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science and the University of Warwick. He specialises in the physical sciences in early modern Europe, and is writing a monograph on the role of precious stones in the scientific revolution.

 

Sven Dupré is Professor of History of Art, Science and Technology at Utrecht University and the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He directs ARTECHNE, an interdisciplinary project on technique in the arts, supported by the European Research Council. Previously he was a Professor of History of Knowledge at the Freie Universität in Berlin.


Bibliographic Information

Buying options

eBook
USD 109.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-319-96379-2
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book
USD 149.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)