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For Princes or Maids? - Provenance, form and value of serpentine at Skokloster castle
Greger Sundin 1
(2011-01-13)

Skokloster castle, Sweden, houses a group of more than fifty objects in serpentine stone, acquired during the 17th century. The group is generally called Wrangels fältservis [Wrangel's field service], referring to field marshall Carl Gustaf Wrangel (1613-1676). The, in many aspects, unresearched material is here approached through the field of material culture studies. The thesis is based on a three-partite approach towards the material, in which the first is the result of actual handling and examination of the objects, paired with a comparative analysis of similar objects regarding dating and influences. The second is a theoretical study of form and serpentine matter, and why the serpentine objects share so many form elements with metal artifacts. The third is based on inventory research and aspects of value, both monetary and cultural. The ascribed value of the group varied over time, from being used as kitchen utensils in the 17th and 18th century, to be regarded as private museum pieces in the 19th and 20th century. The various attitudes have left marks on the objects, both physical (as in level of attention given to repairs etc.) and in inventory matter (as in location and descriptive detail), which can be studied and reveal information otherwise unaccessible.
1:  Stockholm University
Stockholm University
Humanities and Social Sciences/Art and art history
Serpentine – Skokloster castle – baroque – material culture – form – transference – value – status – Zöblitz – Carl Gustaf Wrangel – applied art
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