Global history is predicated on connections and exchange: how connections between far-flung people, places, and objects are forged through a variety of exchanges. As world history has matured as a field, its practitioners have found the movement of commodities between peoples, places, and time a fruitful vehicle for research and teaching. Studies of 'bulk' items like salt, spices, coffee, and other globally-traded commodities abound, but few scholars have examined the role of luxury goods from a global perspective. This anthology charts the many different contexts in which luxury objects have been used across the globe, ranging from the social practices linked to these objects to their production, exchange, and consumption, as well as how these practices varied over time and space and how different societies attributed diverse meanings to the same objects. Using luxury goods as a conduit, Luxury in Global Perspective enriches our understanding of global history.
Table of Contents
Luxury and global history Bernd-Stefan Grewe and Karin Hofmeester; 1. Precious things in motion: luxury and the circulation of jewels in Mughal India Kim Siebenhüner; 2. Diamonds as a global luxury commodity Karin Hofmeester; 3. Gold in twentieth-century India - a luxury? Bernd-Stefan Grewe; 4. Chinese porcelain local and global context: the imperial connection Anne Gerritsen; 5. Luxury or commodity? The success of Indian cotton cloth in the first global age Giorgio Riello; 6. The gendered luxury of wax prints in South Ghana: a local luxury good with global roots Silvia Ruschak; 7. From Venice to East Africa: history, uses and meanings of glass beads Karin Pallaver; 8. Imports and autarky: tortoiseshell in early modern Japan Martha Chaiklin; 9. Tickling and klicking the ivories - the metamorphosis of a global commodity in the nineteenth century Jonas Kranzer; 10. The conservation of luxury: safari hunting and the consumption of wildlife in twentieth-century East Africa Bernhard Gissibl; 11. Luxury as a global phenomenon: concluding remarks Bernd-Stefan Grewe and Karin Hofmeester.