Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/25352
Appears in Collections:History and Politics Book Chapters and Sections
Title: Replication of things: the case for composite biographical approaches (Forthcoming)
Authors: Foster, Sally
Contact Email: s.m.foster@stir.ac.uk
Editors: Codell, J
Hughes, LK
Citation: Foster S (2017) Replication of things: the case for composite biographical approaches (Forthcoming). In: Codell J, Hughes LK (ed.). Replication in the Long Nineteenth Century: Re-makings and Reproductions, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Keywords: Archaeological reproductions
facsimiles
plaster casts
cultural biography
early medieval
value
authenticity
Issue Date: 2017
Abstract: For museums and international fairs across the world the production and exhibition of replicas of archaeological material was a very significant and serious enterprise in the long 19th century, particularly between the London Great Exhibition of 1851 and the First World War, after which these copies largely fell out of favour. Such replicas embed many stories and embody considerable past human energy. Behind their creation, circulation, use and after-life lies a series of specific social networks and relationships that determined why, when and in what circumstances they were valued, or not. Individuals, museums and skilled craftspeople strove to access, copy, multiply, share and sell the copies from the moulds that they made or commissioned. These resulting entanglements extended across and between many countries of the world. This paper considers the merits of a biographical approach to the study of replicas - as authentic things in their own right and as part of the composite biographies of the original and all its reproductions. It introduces different perspectives (diachronic, the massing of events, and collections-based), as exemplified by case studies from 19th-century Scotland, and offers brief reflections on the issues of value and authenticity that emerge from this.
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