Linnaeus’ tea cup: Masculinities, affective networks and Chinese porcelain in 18th-century Sweden

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Abstract

© 2016 the Historical Associations of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.In 18th-century Sweden, Chinese porcelain, and in particular armorial services, became one of the most desirable material markers of the social status of the elite and was consciously used to promote dynastic or personal power and aspirations. This article discusses social, affective and gendered relations that developed around acquisition, ordering and display of armorial porcelain and the resulting nexus between porcelain traded by the Swedish East India Company and processes of cultural and gendered identity-making of the male Swedish elite. This paper alludes to 18th-century male anxieties about the gender order in relation to Chinese objects (such as porcelain) and also Chinese subjects (such as the visiting Chinese merchant Afock).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-409
JournalScandinavian Journal of History
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Fingerprint

Chinese Porcelain
Tea
Affective
Carl Linnaeus
Masculinity
Sweden
Porcelain
Elites
Nexus
Social Status
Finland
Aspiration
Norway
East India Company
Merchants
Denmark
Iceland
Anxiety

Cite this

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AB - © 2016 the Historical Associations of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.In 18th-century Sweden, Chinese porcelain, and in particular armorial services, became one of the most desirable material markers of the social status of the elite and was consciously used to promote dynastic or personal power and aspirations. This article discusses social, affective and gendered relations that developed around acquisition, ordering and display of armorial porcelain and the resulting nexus between porcelain traded by the Swedish East India Company and processes of cultural and gendered identity-making of the male Swedish elite. This paper alludes to 18th-century male anxieties about the gender order in relation to Chinese objects (such as porcelain) and also Chinese subjects (such as the visiting Chinese merchant Afock).

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