Front cover image for Gift-giving and materiality in Europe, 1300-1600 : gifts as objects

Gift-giving and materiality in Europe, 1300-1600 : gifts as objects

Lars Kjaer (Editor), Gustavs Strenga (Editor)
"Gift-giving played an important role in political, social and religious life in medieval and early modern Europe. This volume explores an under-examined and often-overlooked aspect of this phenomenon: the material nature of the gift. Drawing on examples from both medieval and early modern Europe, the authors from the UK and across Europe explore the craftsmanship involved in the production of gifts and the use of exotic objects and animals, from elephant bones to polar bears and 'living' holy objects, to communicate power, class and allegiance. Gifts were publicly given, displayed and worn and so the book explores the ways in which, as tangible objects, gifts could help to construct religious and social worlds. But the beauty and material richness of the gift could also provoke anxieties. Classical and Christian authorities agreed that, in gift-giving, it was supposed to be the thought that counted and consequently wealth and grandeur raised worries about greed and corruption: was a valuable ring payment for sexual services or a token of love and a promise of marriage? Over three centuries, Gift-Giving and Materiality in Europe, 1300-1600: Gifts as Objects reflects on the possibilities, practicalities and concerns raised by the material character of gifts."-- Provided by publisher
Print Book, English, 2022
Bloomsbury Academic, London, 2022
x, 256 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
9781350183698, 1350183695
ebook version :
List of Illustrations1. Introduction: The Matter of the Gift - Lars Kjaer (New College of the Humanities, UK)2. Of Ivory, Gold and Elephants: Materiality and Agency of Pre-modern Chairs as Gifts - Sabine Sommerer (University of Zurich, Switzerland)3. Rituals, Objects and Conflicts: Gifts Given during the Entry of Archbishop Silvester Stodewescher in the Riga Cathedral (1449) - Gustavs Strenga (Tallinn University, Estonia)4. (Re)moving Relics and Performing Gift Exchange between Early Modern Tuscany and Lithuania - Ruth S. Noyes (National Museum of Denmark, Denmark)5. Gift-giving and the Cult of Living Matter in Late Medieval Europe - Mads Heilskov (EHESS, France)6. With this Rynge': The Materiality and Meaning of Late Medieval Marriage Rings - Anna Boeles Rowland(University of Leuven, Netherlands)7. Votive Offerings as Communication: Gift Exchange with Saint Nicholas of Tolentino (14th-16th Centuries) - Sari Katajala-Peltomaa (Tampere University, Finland)8. Alms Boxes and Charity: Giving to the Poor after the Lutheran Reformation in Denmark - Poul Grinder-Hansen (National Museum of Denmark, Denmark)9. Beyond Materiality: Circulating Objects and the Semantics of Violent Transactions in Late Medieval Baltic Urban Spaces - Philipp Hoehn (University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany)10. Conclusion - Miri Rubin (Queen Mary University of London, UK)Index