Thread: thoughts
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Old 03-18-2008, 08:58 AM
charles starks charles starks is offline
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Default Re: thoughts

Tom, Casting is often done with cavities especially on larger pieces .
Any of the processes of sand casting , lost wax castings even lost mould casting can all provide such items

Ok here is what I think happened . Now this may be long so please read through as my writing gets worse the longer the post

We start of f in the 17th century , what was a commonality among most of the many of the European countries ?
Basically religion especially the catholic church .
We also have to add a class system with great separations between the lower , middle and upper classes.
Now we mix in the wars between France , Spain and England . Both being carried out before and after this time frame.
Now enter production and emigration to the new world IE the Americas and the vast wealth found there .
Now its easy to say that the colonies most likely didnít have the skilled artisans that Europe had . However can we support this claim ?
I donít know I think when we look at what was going on I have to wonder .
See concerning at least England , the parliament starting in the early 18th century became very concerned with the effects of colonial trade and production .
In just a short 100 time span , the American colonies had went from nothing to being one of the top 5 exporters of iron and iron products . The fear seems to be that it was effecting the English businesses and economy so greatly that they passed what is know as the navigation act . This forbid the production or the continued building of foundries to produce this new found wealth .
It also made the colonies use only British shipping companies which could only export to Britain itself .
Thus things like iron plow parts , gun parts , building material had to go to England and then be imported back . As I understand it ,This law even went so far as to outlaw the cutting of trees for the production of lumber and enter colonial trade of goods . Later in , if I recall 1750 came the corn act which went even further then the navigation act .

Now would these have completely stopped production ? No I think not but most certainly it did have an effect and slowed production of materials . Consider this where would silver smiths get their plates or raw materials if they cant build the foundries or milling equipment to make plate stock .

Now at the same time we also have to remember the main players in the new world were the same major powers as in Europe. France , Spain , England and the Dutch with they money and business recourses.

Spain early on in the 16th and 17 centuries was having its own domestic problems and couldnít compete with England and France which resulted in them moving their area if influence south leaving England and France to eventually fight it out in a power struggle of the resources of this new country .
But in the end France also began to wane as domestic issues at home demanded more and more of their available recourses which in the sort of it produced the Napoleonic wars and the French revolution.

But we cant forget we also had our own revolution here with the country being greatly divided between patriots and Tories . Many of the families loyal to the British crown returned to England to escape the war . Those that did not became greatly chastised and their businesses targeted and confiscated .

Those companies and artisans that survived had to turn their production to supporting the colonial war effort .
Remember that at this time the colonies relied greatly on importations . But blockades greatly cut into the available resources coming into this country . Everything from cloth to fineries .

My take is that during this time the country turned to becoming self sufficient and the more extravagant arts naturally took a back seat to main stream production.
Most certainly we see some of these fineries survive after all silver smiths did a booming business both in the Indian trade and domestics . But who needs a highly ornately engraved work of art when a simple pot , bowl will do and be usable .
Fancier items could simply be imported .
We also have to I think take into account the mind set . The colonies were a troublesome place .
After the revolution , there had to be concerns as to the stability of government . Would the US hold on , would it grow , or would it crumble inward into more conflict .
If a person had lost a lot of their income prior to the revolution and during it , would they so quickly return to this country without the concern for the possibility of only facing this same issue again ?.

Now this all reverts back to religion and its effects on the situation . Religion was a very strong moving part of establishing immigration to this country . However the catholic church while having a somewhat strong influence early on , quickly waned in its power , never really achieving the prominence that it held in Europe for centuries .
My thought is that if Rome had achieved this same level , we would have seen the same influences in architectures that we see in Europe, those these depictions , stone workings , art works would maybe have became more for front in the daily lives of the people in this country which would I believe carried a more natural evolution to surroundings that people wanted comparisons to .

I think also this relates to what others like puffer have said . Many of these pieces related directly to status . Thus giving the wealthy a way to show off their wealth and higher status separating them in some small way from others .
This wasnít I believe a very high ideal in this country . The people here had , had their fill of the crown , royalty and wealthy authority in general . I donít think it would have been a good time to show of just how well off you were but in the most guarded of situations , within your home and among trusted folks .

As such would not this also have dealt a blow to folks who created such extravagant works ?
Sure there would be some who would specialize and hold on , but the would have to have refined their works greatly because there simply would not have been the demand here as there was in Europe.

But this area also to began to lose control as folks raised up against the ruling classes in Europe as well . The church was pushed out , its influence fell off . Valuable resources were funneled into war and supporting those wars . Thus people would have turned from the fineries of a life of ease to simply a life ..
I donít think the world as a whole has ever really recovered from that 200 year period of time concerning the arts . We just donít see the same type of works after as before .
I think possibly we see the same effect in the 20th century concerning the changes experience after WW1 and WW2 . Are our art works the same as before those to world wide events , not really .
So I donít think we can say itís a natural evolution but more of a forced change do to loss and domestic change

Well that what im thinking anyway , hope that made since . I think its easy to simply say well ,,, it just happened . Really though why did this happen , what caused this change to effect

Thoughts anyone
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