Grabsteine oder Jagdwagen. Bäuerliches Repräsentationsstreben und Statuskonsum in einer Marschenregion des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts

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In the costal region of the Wesermarsch, the so-called “Hausleute” constituted a peasant elite which dominated local communities and regional representative bodies. Due to their proximity to the North Sea, these owners of substantial farms were able to benefit from the booming markets for comestibles and cattle in the Netherlands, in England, and in the German seaports in the 17th and 18th centuries. The wealthy farmers developed a distinct commercial attitude, observable for instance in their readiness to organize their own trade by sea and by land. At the same time they showed a specific form of conspicuous consumption, which can be detected by surveying their material legacies in church buildings, in graveyards, and inside their opulent dwellings. Moreover, supplementary private sources reveal the circumstances under which these valuable artefacts were acquired. The article depicts a regional style of décor which, to some degree, followed contemporary aristocratic and gentrified patterns, but which is more adequately characterised as a hybrid culture of its own. It would be a promising task for further research to clarify to what extent the lower social strata of the Wesermarsch were able to participate in this rich material culture. This region may have belonged to the setting of the ‘industrious revolution’ in nearby Holland.
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Verlag DLG-Verlag
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