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Jane Osmond

MA work

Title of Dissertation: Crossing Horns: Understanding Horn in Seventeenth- Century England

Traditionally horn has been a neglected material in historical scholarship. This is not only testament to the ephemerality of the material itself, but also a reflection of the declining practical use of horn (being replaced by plastic in the late nineteenth century).

This dissertation, however, aimed to highlight how horn in the seventeenth century held a prominent position in material culture. Through placing the material at the forefront of this paper, its conceptual meaning, the production processes and its qualities were explored. A myriad of primary sources were consulted in achieving this, ranging from objects, to ballads, to hunting treatises.

This research has highlighted the fluidity of horn. When considered culturally, horn conceptually referred to both horn and antler; homonymously known as 'horn'. Yet, understood in terms of production and its qualities, which were in turn inseparable from social issues, horn and antler were seen as opposing materials. On the one hand, horn’s fluidity can be seen in its varied use and multiple effects across the social strata. On the other, antler remained socially static, used only by the upper classes. These cultural and social systems of knowledge show horn to be a multifaceted and nuanced material. In addition, it simultaneously revealed how the material was inextricably linked to cultural and social issues.

Info

  • Jane Osmond profile image
  • MA Degree

    School

    School of Humanities

    Programme

    MA History of Design, 2013

  • Title of Dissertation: Crossing Horns: Understanding Horn in Seventeenth- Century England

    Traditionally horn has been a neglected material in historical scholarship. This is not only testament to the ephemerality of the material itself, but also a reflection of the declining practical use of horn (being replaced by plastic in the late nineteenth century).

    This dissertation, however, aimed to highlight how horn in the seventeenth century held a prominent position in material culture. Through placing the material at the forefront of this paper, its conceptual meaning, the production processes and its qualities were explored. A myriad of primary sources were consulted in achieving this, ranging from objects, to ballads, to hunting treatises.

    This research has highlighted the fluidity of horn. When considered culturally, horn conceptually referred to both horn and antler; homonymously known as 'horn'. Yet, understood in terms of production and its qualities, which were in turn inseparable from social issues, horn and antler were seen as opposing materials. On the one hand, horn’s fluidity can be seen in its varied use and multiple effects across the social strata. On the other, antler remained socially static, used only by the upper classes. These cultural and social systems of knowledge show horn to be a multifaceted and nuanced material. In addition, it simultaneously revealed how the material was inextricably linked to cultural and social issues.

  • Degrees

  • BA (Hons), History of Art, University of Nottingham, 2011
  • Experience

  • Collections management volunteer, Fenton House, National Trust, London, 2012; Auction assitant, John Taylors Auction Room, Louth, Lincolnshire, 2006–12
  • Publications

  • 'Crossing Horns', edited by Rebecca Unsworth, Unmaking Things, 2013