A Merchant of Ivory in 16th-Century Paris: The Estate Inventory of Chicart Bailly


While we sometimes think about the past as distant and dusty, portals that can shoot through centuries exist. The estate inventory of Chicart Bailly is one of those gateways, and through its many pages we are transported back into an entirely different material culture – Paris at the turn of the 16th century.

Chicart, whose death in June 1533 led to the creation of the document, was part of a legacy of working with ivory, bone, and precious woods as a tabletier. This transcription and annotated translation of the inventory provides a key for new insights into this previously understudied profession -- the objects made, the varied media used, and the world of the Paris’ tabletiers.

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Katherine Baker, Ph.D., 2013, University of Virginia, is Associate Professor at the Arkansas State University. Her interests focus on the intersection of text and objects, and how documents can help us understand the things made in the past.
List of Illustrations


Part 1: Text and Context

 1.1 The Document: Notaries and Legacies
 1.2 The Family: Many Sons and Daughters
 1.3 The House: At the Sign of the Elephant

Part 2: A Staggering Supply

 2.1 The Objects: From the Opulent to the Ordinary
 2.2 Global Goods: Incomplete Items: Raw and Half-Made in the Inventory
 2.3 The Means of Making: Tools in the Estate Inventory
 2.4 Playtime: Games and Toys
 2.5 Holy and Hewn: Religious Objects in the Inventory
 2.6 A Beginning at the End

Part 3: Marchandise de TabletterieTranscription — Translation

 3.1 The Process Related to the Transcription — Translation
 3.2 The Inventory of 1533
 3.3 Index of Inventory Merchandise
 Appendix 1 — Material Culture in the Professional Spaces
 Appendix 2 — Letters and Debts
 Appendix 3 — Documents Related to the Inheritance of Chicart Bailly
This book will be primarily of interest to scholars in art history, material culture studies, history, and economics, both at graduate and undergraduate level.
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