• The household inventory as urban 'theatre' in late medieval Burgundy

      Wilson, Katherine A.; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2015-03-31)
      In 1413 at the death of his wife Guillemot, Jean Aubert, a group of witnesses and a clerk of the local mayoralty met to value the possessions of their residence, resulting in an inventory full of notes and values on rooms and their objects. Within the existing historiography of the Burgundian Netherlands and its Northern European neighbours, inventories and their objects tend to be analysed from two perspectives: the Burgundian court and the ‘consumer revolution’. Applying insights from Erving Goffman and Bruno Latour, this article suggests a third perspective should have priority: the urban ‘theatre’ within which objects were documented and placed. Therefore it sets up an alternate methodology which begins with the inventory to build a picture of the theatre (the urban context and residence), the actors (the Aubert family) and the audience (the witnesses of the inventory) to establish new insights on the operation of Burgundian power and the dynamics of the ‘consumer revolution’.