Bejewelled: Men and Jewellery in Tudor and Jacobean England [Paperback]

Natasha Awais-Dean (Author)

ISBN: 9780861592098 | Published by: British Museum Press | Series: British Museum Research Publication | Volume: 209 | Year of Publication: 2017 | Language: English 200p, H297 x W210 (mm) 160



Jewellery is often viewed as a feminine preoccupation, but in Tudor and Jacobean England men wore just as much (if not more) jewellery as their female counterparts. Jewels themselves were valued not merely for their intrinsic monetary worth, but also for their ability to reflect status and lineage, as well as sustain social bonds and networks of reciprocity. Bejewelled offers an in-depth discussion of the contexts in which jewellery in Tudor and Jacobean England was circulated from a male perspective, considering the jewels as valid items of material culture worthy of study and attention, rather than as mere trifles of adornment. Amongst other subjects, the book analyses the social and historical contexts in which jewellery was acquired, owned and circulated, interrogating the meanings that these jewels had for their male owners. The publication will highlight artefacts from the British Museum’s collection, such as the magnificent Lyte Jewel from the Waddesdon Bequest and the sealing devices of Sir Thomas Smith and Sir Walter Ralegh, as well as lesser-known objects such as the rings of the serjeants-at-law and a group of bronze plaquettes. By including material that has been discovered in archaeological contexts, along with evidence from inventories and wills as well as portraits showing these jewels being worn, this publication seeks to reposition jewellery, presenting it not merely as a concern of the elite but as something that was owned, worn and valued by a range of men across English society.

Reviews & Quotes

"This beautifully illustrated volume espouses an innovative approch to Renaissance jewellery… The scholarly contributions of this volume are presented in a highly accessible form, enlivened by tales of jewels rescued from shipwrecks or discovered along the Thames foreshore, and sleuth work into elusive objects, such as the Gresham grasshopper rings. The high-quality, detailed images and documentary appendices ensure that Bejewlled will be a spur to further research in this field."
Elizabeth Currie
Jewellery History Today (20/05/2019)

"Not only is this book pertinent to historians of early modern visual and material culture, its accessibility renders it desirable to non-scholarly readers with general interests in Renaissance jewellery, dress and representation."
Jemma Field
The Court Historian (21/05/2019)

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