Abstract

abstract:

This essay investigates the status and activity of a neglected figure in the history of collecting, John Bagford, and other tradesmen navigating the elite world of the virtuosi. It argues that tradesmen were not merely passive suppliers of specialist services to their gentlemen patrons but active shapers of virtuoso culture with a strong sense of collective identity. It outlines the various strategies used by Bagford to stake out a valued position in this elite world of collecting, such as his ability to create and maintain networks between collectors. It also discusses Bagford and his tradesman friends' promotion of ballads and playing cards as "curious" collectibles, which had the effect of both demonstrating their intellectual curiosity and enhancing their retailing opportunities.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1544-399X
Print ISSN
0018-7895
Pages
pp. 359-386
Launched on MUSE
2018-09-20
Open Access
No
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