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Domestic textiles and country house sales in Georgian England

Stobart, J (2017) Domestic textiles and country house sales in Georgian England. Business History, 61 (1). pp. 17-37. ISSN 0007-6791


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Textiles are central to our understanding of the second-hand trade in Georgian England, but the focus is generally on clothing; much less attention has been given to domestic textiles in the form of linen, beds and drapery. This article draws on auction catalogues from Northamptonshire, 1761–1836, to identify the changing quantity and nature of textiles being sold, the ways in which they were promoted and valorised, and what this might tell us about consumers’ motivations. It highlights how the continued appeal of second-hand textiles was framed in a rhetoric of gentility and respectability, and reveals the country house auction as a key institution in the recirculation of second-hand goods.

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