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This study examines the role of the Marchands Merciers and the growth of local and international trade in luxury items - such as silks, porcelain and lacquer - in 18th-century Paris. Drawing on both extensive archival research and detailed examination of surviving objects, it aims to contribute to the literature on the luxury trades and material culture in the 18th century.
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Carolyn Sargentson is a curator in the Department of Furniture and Woodwork at the Victoria and Albert Museum.Review:
Merchants And Luxury Markets: The Marchands-Merciers Of 18th Century Paris is a major contribution to the study of the Parisian marketplace for luxury goods in pre-Revolutionary France. Historians examining the luxury economy in 18th Century Paris have generally focused on makers of goods, instead of sellers. Carolyn Sargentson offers a new and fascinating perspective on the practical workings of the marketplace by focusing upon a group of merchants who played a vital role in establishing Paris as the leading venue for fine goods and luxury items. These were retailers of a wide range of merchandise that included silks, furniture, porcelain, lacquer, fans, wigs, and even ink! Their shops centered around rue St. Honore, the fashionable district on the right bank of Paris which was internationally famous for its haute couture, luxury accessories, and fine furnishings. Sargentson based Merchants And Luxury Markets on the study of inventories from 40 merchant families and other previously unpusblished records. Her ground-breaking scholarship raises important questions about the way objects are valued in relation to the supply and demand of the market over a period of time. Merchants And Luxury Markets is a "window in time" that no library collection on French history or 18th century European studies program should be without! -- Midwest Book Review
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Book Description Victoria & Albert Museum, 1996. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P11185177176X