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Following the Tea Ritual from China to West Africa
Green tea, imported from China, occupies an important place in the daily lives of Malians. They spend so much time preparing and consuming the sugared beverage that it became the country’s national drink. To find out how Malians came to practice the tea ritual, this study follows the beverage from China to Mali on its historical trade routes halfway around the globe. It examines the circumstances of its introduction, the course of the tea ritual, the equipment to prepare and consume it, and the meanings that it assumed in the various places on its travel across geographical regions, political economies, cultural contexts, and religious affiliations.
Volume Editor:
The Baltic Crusades in the thirteenth century led to the creation of the medieval Livonia. But what happened after the conquest? The contributors to this volume analyse the cultural, societal, economic and technological changes in the Baltic Sea region c. 1200–1350. The chapters focus on innovations and long-term developments which were important in integrating the area into medieval European society more broadly, while also questioning the traditional divide of the Livonian post-crusade society into native victims and foreign victors. The process of multilateral negotiations and adaptions created a synthesis which was not necessarily an outcome of the wars but also a manifestation of universal innovation processes in northern Europe.
Contributors are Arvi Haak, Tõnno Jonuks, Kristjan Kaljusaar, Ivar Leimus, Christian Lübke, Madis Maasing, Mihkel Mäesalu, Anti Selart, Vija Stikāne, and Andres Tvauri.
Judging Old Masters at Agnew’s and the National Gallery, c.1874-1916
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In Spaces of Connoisseurship, Alison Clarke explores the ‘who’, ‘where’ and ‘how’ of judging Old Master paintings in the nineteenth-century British art trade. She describes how the staff at family art dealers Thomas Agnew & Sons (“Agnew’s”) and London’s National Gallery took advantage of emerging technologies such as the railways and photography. Through encounters with pictures in a range of locations, both private and public, these art market actors could build up the visual memory and necessary expertise to compare artworks and judge them in terms of attribution, condition and beauty. Also explored are the display tactics adopted by both commercial outfit and art museum to showcase pictures once acquired. In a time of ever-spiralling art prices, this book tackles the question of why some paintings are preferred over others, and exactly how art experts reach their judgements.
Merchants and Markets in Europe, 1700-1750
The open access publication of this book has been published with the support of the Swiss National Science Foundation.

This book examines the European commercial landscape of the early China trade, c.1700–1750. It looks at the foundational period of Sino-European commerce and explores a world of private enterprise beneath the surface of the official East India Company structures. Using rich private trade records, it analyses the making of pan-European markets, distribution networks and patterns of investment that together reveal a new geography of a trading system previously studied mostly at Canton. By considering the interloping activities of British-born merchants working for the smaller East India Companies, the book uncovers the commercial practices and cross-Company collaborations, both legal and illicit, that sustained the growth of the China trade: smuggling, wholesale trading, private commissions and the manipulation of Company auctions.
Collecting, Patronage and the Art Market in Italy, 1450-1650
Volume Editor:
Through case studies of collectors, patrons, and agents who redefined collecting and the art market, this volume illuminates how the changing status of the artist, rise of connoisseurship, role of intermediaries and new patterns of consumption established models for collecting and display that resemble those still practiced today. The book presents new research by recognized scholars who examine the motivations of collectors and agents, emphasizing how their collecting, patronage and advocacy could require support of artists whose reputations were not fully established. Together, the essays invite consideration of works that are familiar in art-historical terms but less so as markers of the socio-economic shifts of a particular cultural moment.

This book evolved from a symposium “When Michelangelo was Modern: The Art Market and Collecting in Italy, 1450–1650,” organized by the Center for the History of Collecting, that was held at The Frick Collection on April 12 and 13, 2019. Both the book and the symposium were made possible through the generous support of the Robert H. Smith Family Foundation.

The book is published in association with The Frick Collection.
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Foreign Currency Volatility and the Market for French Modernist Art examines how the collapse of the French franc in the decades following the First World War activated powerful ‘push’ and ‘pull’ economic forces that compelled French art collectors to monetise their collections while simultaneously elevating the purchasing power of international art collectors. These factors are shown to have played a significant, and previously under-recognised role, in the large-scale translocation of French modernist art that radically accelerated its commercial and critical reception across the globe and positioned it at the apex of the newly established hierarchy of modern art.
In the historiography of trade in the Middle Ages, there is a wide current of theoretical consideration referring to the ways contemporaries perceived trade. The present work pays specific attention to how trade functioned within the range of the influence of the Ottonian Empire and Byzantium, from the 10th to 12th centuries. This book attempts to verify these concepts in the extensive available source. The manner of circulation of goods and the phenomenon of accumulating goods is a significant product of the present book, demonstrating how imperial influences that perceived through the prism of generative centres on the peripheries of Europe. This volume is the English translation of Handel interregionalny od X do XII wieku. Europa Środkowa, Środkowo-Wschodnia, Półwysep Skandynawski i Półwysep Bałkański. Studium Porównawcze (Wydawnictwo Naukowe Uniwersytetu Mikołaja Kopernika,Torun 2016).
In this book, Volodymyr Koloda and Serhiy Gorbanenko discuss the important role of agriculture in the socio-economic development of the Khazar Khaganate and its influence on neighboring peoples. Drawing on the methods of the natural sciences (such as palaeobotany, archeozoology, soil science, palaeoclimatology), the volume focuses on how agriculture became the basis of the economy of the Khazarian populace. Comparative analysis suggests a significant influence of the agricultural traditions of the Saltiv population on the neighboring tribes of the Eastern Slavs, such as Severians mentioned in the annals (the Romny culture of Left-Bank Ukraine) and Slavs on the Don (the Borshevo culture).
An Archaeological Model for Medieval Settlement Patterns on the Middle Course of the Morava River (7th to Mid-13th Centuries)
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In Mikulčice and Its Hinterland, Marek Hladík presents an archaeological model of social and economic relations in Great Moravia, which is built on an analysis of the settlement structure near one of the most significant centres of Great Moravia, the Mikulčice-Valy agglomeration. The book offers the first systematic and conceptual view of Mikulčice’s relations with its economic hinterland. The author uses multidisciplinary research to interpret and understand the importance of the natural environment for the landscape settlement strategy, and to understand the relations between the fortified centre and its rural surroundings. Important methodological tools used by the author to answer the examined questions include non-destructive archaeological research, statistical modelling, and spatial analyses in the GIS environment.
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In this study, Jo Stoner investigates the role of domestic material culture in Late Antiquity. Using archaeological, visual and textual evidence from across the Roman Empire, the personal meanings of late antique possessions are revealed through reference to theoretical approaches including object biography. Heirlooms, souvenirs, and gift objects are discussed in terms of sentimental value, before the book culminates in a case study reassessing baskets as an artefact type. This volume succeeds in demonstrating personal scales of value for artefacts, moving away from the focus on economic and social status that dominate studies in this field. It thus represents a new interpretation of domestic material culture from Late Antiquity, revealing how objects transformed houses into homes during this period.