American Artifacts of Personal Adornment, 1680-1820: A Guide by Carolyn L. White

By Carolyn L. White

Bracelets, buckles, buttons, and beads. Clasps, combs, and chains. goods of non-public adornment fill museum collections and are usually exposed in old interval archaeological excavations. yet until eventually the booklet of this finished quantity, there was no simple advisor to assist curators, registrars, historians, archaeologists, or creditors determine this category of gadgets from colonial and early republican the US. Carolyn L. White is helping the reader comprehend and interpret those artifacts, discussing their resource, manufacture, fabrics, functionality, and cost in early American lifestyles. She makes use of them as a window on own identification, displaying how gender, age, ethnicity, and sophistication have been usually displayed in the course of the items worn. White attracts not just at the goods themselves, yet makes use of their portrayal in paintings, modern writings, ads, and enterprise documents to evaluate their desiring to their proprietors. A reference quantity for the shelf of an individual attracted to early American fabric tradition. Over a hundred illustrations and tables.

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I thank Dot Wiggins and Susan Newton for their assistance in procuring images for this publication. I am also grateful to my fellow Fellows in residence at Foulsham House—Tom Denenberg, Eunyoung Cho, Scott Casper, Liz Seigel, Anna Andrzejewski, and Matt Hale—for providing excellent camaraderie and making the experience both intellectually stimulating and pleasant. Margaret Ponsonby remains a true friend. I am grateful for the support from Strawbery Banke Museum that took so many shapes. Martha E.

Items of personal adornment are commonly treated as curiosities, rather than as data that can contribute to cultural and historical analyses. Often they constitute a defined category, separated from more familiar classes of artifacts and described briefly as interesting, but unexplained, archaeological finds. When found as grave goods, they are often considered markers of rank, gender, and wealth, but without effective frameworks for incorporation into more complex descriptions of cultural contexts.

I owe thanks to Paula Richter, who provided me with an internship at the Peabody-Essex Museum early in my graduate career during which I became interested in costume history. I appreciate the help, patience, and advice on photographing small artifacts provided by Michael Hamilton. I have also benefited in countless ways from the trusted friendship of Michele Clark, Emily Craig, David Craig, Jeremy Crean, Gillian Epstein, Jessica Goldberg, Dan Goldy, Ziyad Hopkins, Peter Kalb, Laura Lee, Ann-Eliza Lewis, Akin Ogundirun, Tim Scarlett, Joanna Pi-Sunyer, and David Seidenberg.

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