Living in the past: Acquisition and display in late nineteenth century homemaking

Trevor Keeble (Kingston University)
9 November 2011

Abstract (taken from the History SPOT blog)

Trevor Keeble looks at the Victorian home through the lens of design as an act or process rather than the binary lens of production and consumption more commonly examined.  This paper looks at the rising trade in bric-a-brac in the Victorian era as an insight into the broader issues of homemaking.  Keeble asks why second hand objects became meaningful and desired and examines the entire process of buying old things and making them your own.  Indeed, the process of acquisition is something that is only now beginning to receive attention.  Through that interest Keeble not only provides an insight into Victorian homemaking but also into the emergence of the antique market and the backlash against it in various circles as unnecessary and wasteful (in terms of household expenditure).

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