• Furnishing the Dukes with a Royal Reputation: The use of chambers and chapels at the Burgundian Court

      Wilson, Katherine A.; University of Chester (Leuven university Press, 2018-10-01)
      This article examines the way in which the dukes of Burgundy used chambers and chapels to legitimise their right to rule and to suggest that they could lay claim to a royal crown.
    • The Hidden Narratives of Medieval Art

      Wilson, Katherine Anne; University of Chester (Fordham University Press, 2019-10-15)
      To modern readers and viewers, objects like the Arnolfini portrait or the Angers Apocalypse tapestry appear to be the product and preserve of an elite class of consumers in the Middle Ages. This chapter argues that our analyses of these objects should not focus exclusively, or even predominantly on elites. In addition, the essay gives a voice and a place to the workers behind art of the Middle Ages examining the economic uncertainty and instability of employment that underpinned their production. It considers entrepreneurs who saw medieval courts and elite customers as commercial opportunities to be exploited. It ends by examining elite users of these products to complicate the narratives of their consumption. Far from simply reflecting the power and status of their owners, objects like the Arnolfini portrait or the Apocalypse tapestry also conveyed the uncertainty of everyday life and the fragility of princely rule during the Middle Ages.
    • In the chamber, in the grade robe, in the chapel, in a chest': The Possession and Uses of Luxury Textiles. The Case of Later Medieval Dijon

      Wilson, Katherine A.; University of Chester (Ashgate, 2015-12-28)
      Throughout human history luxury textiles have been used as a marker of importance, power and distinction. Yet, as the essays in this collection make clear, the term ‘luxury’ is one that can be fraught with difficulties for historians. Focusing upon the consumption, commercialisation and production of luxury textiles in Italy and the Low Countries during the late medieval and early modern period, this volume offers a fascinating exploration of the varied and subtle ways that luxury could be interpreted and understood in the past. Beginning with the consumption of luxury textiles, it takes the reader on a journey back from the market place, to the commercialisation of rich fabrics by an international network of traders, before arriving at the workshop to explore the Italian and Burgundian world of production of damasks, silks and tapestries. The first part of the volume deals with the consumption of luxury textiles, through an investigation of courtly purchases, as well as urban and clerical markets, before the chapters in part two move on to explore the commercialisation of luxury textiles by merchants who facilitated their trade from the cities of Lucca, Florence and Venice. The third part then focusses upon manufacture, encouraging consideration of the concept of luxury during this period through the Italian silk industry and the production of high-quality woollens in the Low Countries. Graeme Small draws the various themes of the volume together in a conclusion that suggests profitable future avenues of research into this important subject.
    • Luxury textiles in Italy, the Low Countries and neighbouring territories (14th to 16th centuries): a conceptual investigation

      Wilson, Katherine A.; Lambert, Bart; University of Chester (Ashgate, 2015-12-28)
      Throughout human history luxury textiles have been used as a marker of importance, power and distinction. Yet, as the essays in this collection make clear, the term 'luxury' is one that can be fraught with difficulties for historians. Focusing upon the consumption, commercialisation and production of luxury textiles in Italy and the Low Countries during the late medieval and early modern period, this volume offers a fascinating exploration of the varied and subtle ways that luxury could be interpreted and understood in the past. Beginning with the consumption of luxury textiles, it takes the reader on a journey back from the market place, to the commercialisation of rich fabrics by an international network of traders, before arriving at the workshop to explore the Italian and Burgundian world of production of damasks, silks and tapestries. The first part of the volume deals with the consumption of luxury textiles, through an investigation of courtly purchases, as well as urban and clerical markets, before the chapters in part two move on to explore the commercialisation of luxury textiles by merchants who facilitated their trade from the cities of Lucca, Florence and Venice. The third part then focusses upon manufacture, encouraging consideration of the concept of luxury during this period through the Italian silk industry and the production of high-quality woollens in the Low Countries. Graeme Small draws the various themes of the volume together in a conclusion that suggests profitable future avenues of research into this important subject.
    • Luxury Textiles in Italy, the Low Countries and Neighbouring Territories (Fourteenth to Sixteenth Centuries): A Conceptual Investigation

      Lambert, Bart; Wilson, Katherine A.; Durham University and Chester University (Ashgate, 2015-12-28)
      Throughout human history luxury textiles have been used as a marker of importance, power and distinction. Yet, as the essays in this collection make clear, the term ‘luxury’ is one that can be fraught with difficulties for historians. Focusing upon the consumption, commercialisation and production of luxury textiles in Italy and the Low Countries during the late medieval and early modern period, this volume offers a fascinating exploration of the varied and subtle ways that luxury could be interpreted and understood in the past. Beginning with the consumption of luxury textiles, it takes the reader on a journey back from the market place, to the commercialisation of rich fabrics by an international network of traders, before arriving at the workshop to explore the Italian and Burgundian world of production of damasks, silks and tapestries. The first part of the volume deals with the consumption of luxury textiles, through an investigation of courtly purchases, as well as urban and clerical markets, before the chapters in part two move on to explore the commercialisation of luxury textiles by merchants who facilitated their trade from the cities of Lucca, Florence and Venice. The third part then focusses upon manufacture, encouraging consideration of the concept of luxury during this period through the Italian silk industry and the production of high-quality woollens in the Low Countries. Graeme Small draws the various themes of the volume together in a conclusion that suggests profitable future avenues of research into this important subject.
    • The Power of Textiles: Tapestries of the Burgundian Dominions (1363-1477)

      Wilson, Katherine A.; The University of Chester (Brepols, 2018-10-03)
      Textiles were of fundamental importance to medieval polities and princes across Europe, economically and culturally. Tapestry was at the top end of the luxury textile market but was used by urban inhabitants and nobles. The Burgundian Dominions were the foremost producer of tapestry in the Middle Ages. However, the documentary evidence for the supply and suppliers of the textiles to the Burgundian dynasty, its many functions, and its re-use and repair, is understudied. This monograph explores a range of documentary evidence (ducal accounts, ducal and household inventories) to examine the suppliers of the textile to the Burgundian dynasty, its forms, functions and users, its role in gift-giving strategies, and patterns of re-use and repair. Thus, the book offers a contribution to the historical understanding of textiles as objects that contributed to the projection of social status and the cultural construction of power in the Burgundian polity.
    • The Smiling Abbot: Rediscovering a Unique Medieval Effigial Slab

      Williams, Howard; Smith, Gillian; Crane, David; Watson, Aaron; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2017-11-06)
      The article reports on a newly re-discovered fragment of a recumbent effigial slab commemorating Abbot Hywel (‘Howel’), most likely an abbot of the Cistercian house of Valle Crucis, near Llangollen (Denbighs.). The slab was probably carved very early in the fourteenth century, and could have covered the abbot’s burial place. The stone was dislocated and fragmented at an unknown point in the abbey’s history, and most likely removed from the site during the nineteenth-century clearance of the abbey ruins. It was briefly reported on in 1895 and has been lost to scholarship subsequently. If indeed from Valle Crucis, the stone is the only known effigial slab commemorating a Cistercian abbot from Wales, and a rare example from Britain. Given that few similar Cistercian abbatial monuments have been identified from elsewhere, the ‘Smiling Abbot’, although only a fragment, is a significant addition to the known corpus of later medieval mortuary monuments. The article discusses the provenance, dating, identification and significance of the monument, including the abbot’s distinctive smile. The stone sheds new light on mortuary and commemorative practice at Valle Crucis Abbey in the early fourteenth century.
    • Tapestry of the Burgundian Dominions. A complex object

      Wilson, Katherine A.; University of Chester (Jan Thorbecke Verlag, 2013-01-17)
      A consideration of tapestry as an object, part of a wider collection of material culture in the later Middle Ages.
    • Textiles: 1400-1700

      Wilson, Katherine Anne; University of Chester
      A summary of Textiles 1400-1700.
    • Touching, feeling, smelling and sensing history through objects. New Opportunities from the 'material turn'

      Bird, Michael; Wilson, Katherine Anne; Egan-Simon, Daryn; Jackson, Alannah; Kirkup, Richard; University of Chester
      Lots has been written in recent years about how history teachers can bring academic scholarship into the classroom. Here, this interest in academic practice a step further, examining how pupils can engage directly with the kinds of sources to which historians are increasingly turning their attention is highlighted. Building on a funded research network that brought together academic history and art history departments, Michael Bird and his co-authors worked with museum curators and trainee teachers to bring artefacts from the rich (but often overlooked) collections of their local museum into schools.