The concept of luxury is associated with ideas of excess (luxus) or even worse immodesty (luxure). An infamous example involving Cleopatra dissolving a priceless pearl and swallowing it encapsulates some common associations between luxury and immorality, or luxury as intrinsically linked to the idea of waste.
The Christie's Education Recycling Luxury Conference intends to go beyond the common connotations attached to the concept of luxury, and challenge them. It will posit that luxury cannot be seen entirely in the light of dissipation. Rather it will explore the links between luxury and the idea of recycling i.e. the re-using, repurposing, remaking, reshaping of luxury materials and objects across time and place, hence giving more space for discussion to this understudied historical phenomenon.
This conference has been designed to coincide with Classic Week at Christie's London and is organised by Jacqui Ansell and Dr. Marie Tavinor.
09:15 – 09:45 – Welcome coffee and Registration
09:45 – 10:00 Welcome
10.00 – 11.00: Panel 1: The Circular Economy
- ‘The Virtue of Auction Houses’ – Sarah FERGUSSON (McTear’s Auctioneers)
- ‘Lady’s Own Stones: Refashioning Gems of Yesterday into Jewels of Today’ – Levi HIGGS and Dianne BATISTA (David Webb Archives).
- ‘Re-appropriate in the Making of Late 20th Century Furniture’ – Joy McCALL (Christie’s)
11.00-12.00: Panel 2: Thrifty Opulence
- ‘“Broken and Useless”. Notes on Fashion and Textile Recycling and Repurposing in 18th Century Venice’ – Isabella CAMPAGNOL (Istituto Marangoni)
- ‘Luxury as Spectacle: Making Festivals in Early Modern Florence’ – Jennifer HALTON (Imperial College)
- ‘Re-birth: The Spangled Bed from Knole’ – Rosamund WEATHERALL (National Trust)
- ‘Rags to Riches: Jean Dubuffet’s Rehabilitiation of Mud’ – Rachel E. PERRY (University of Haifa)
12.15 – 12.30 Discussion – Panels 1 & 2
12:30-13:30 Lunch (not included)
13.30-14.30: Panel 3: Symbolic (Re-)Appropriation
- ‘Crossing Religious Boundaries: Luxury Islamic Silks and Ivories from al-Andalus’ – Ian COCKBURN (Independent Scholar)
- ‘”This Heavy Thing”: Catherine the Great’s Coronation Crown’ – Susan JAQUES (Author and Journalist)
- ‘Pretty in Pink: The Re-Use of Mannheim Court Fashion by the Jesuits in the 18th Century’ – Uta COBURGER (State Palaces and Gardens of Baden-Wuerttemberg)
14.30-15.40: Panel 4: Provenance as a form of Recycling?
- ‘Recycled, Redecorated, Renewed: A Porcelain Inkstand by Edward Holmes Baldock’ – Diana DAVIS (Independent Researcher)
- ‘The Rothschilds and Renaissance Jewellery’ – Isabelle CARTIER-STONE (Christie’s)
- ‘Pearls and La Peregrina’ – Gil DARBY (Independent Scholar)
15:20 – 15:40 Discussion Panels 3 & 4
15:40 – 16.00 –Tea and Biscuits
16.00- 17.30: Panel 5: The Afterlife of Luxury
- ‘The Case Study of a ‘Tinkered’ Tapestry’ Pascal BERTRAND (Université Bordeaux Montaigne)
- ‘”Aux Plaisirs des Dames”: A Meissen Bourdaloue Transformed’ – Catrin JONES (Holburne Museum)
- ‘Is a Vase really a Vase when it used to be a chamberpot’? Caroline MCCAFFREY-HOWARTH (V&A/university of Leeds)
- ‘Italian Archeological Jewellery: From Antiquity to the Antiquarian’ – Joseph ROBSON (Christie’s)
- ‘Liminal Luxury: The Cost and Value of Fancy Dress Costume’ – Benjamin WILD (Independent Scholar)
17:15-17:35 Discussion Panel 5
17:35 – 17:45 Closing Remarks: Jonathan FAIERS (University of Southampton)
17:45-19.00 Wine Reception