Superfluous Things

Superfluous Things : Material Culture and Social Status in Early Modern China

3.73 (19 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
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Examining the history of material culture in early modern China, Craig Clunas analyzes "superfluous things" - paintings, calligraphy, bronzes and other objects owned by the elites of Ming China - and describes contemporary attitudes to them. He places these objects in their social context of economic growth, commercialization and the breakdown of traditional social barriers, emphasizing the importance of the market for commodities and the ways in which they functioned as symbols of social status. Clunas compares these attitudes to Renaissance Italy and other early modern European more

Product details

  • Hardback | 220 pages
  • 152 x 229mm | 511g
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Illustrated
  • Illustrated edition
  • 8 illustrations, bibliography
  • 0745608752
  • 9780745608754

Table of contents

Books about things - the literature of Ming connoisseurship; ideas about things - themes in Ming connoisseurship; words about things - the language of Ming connoisseurship; things of the past - uses of the antique in Ming material culture; things in motion - Ming luxury objects as commodities; anxieties about things - consumption andclass in Ming China. Appendix: Selected prices for works of art and antique artifacts more

Review quote

"One of those rare books whose every chapter makes you think, often about features of Chinese society that we have too long taken for granted....Inspiring, even entertaining."show more

Rating details

19 ratings
3.73 out of 5 stars
5 16% (3)
4 53% (10)
3 26% (5)
2 0% (0)
1 5% (1)
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