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Institute of Archaeology

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Sarah Hoile

Title of Research: Death, Time and Commerce: innovation and conservatism in styles of funerary material culture in 18th-19th century London

 

Email: sarah.hoile.12@ucl.ac.uk
Section: World Archaeology
Supervisors:

Profile

Title of Research: Death, Time and Commerce: innovation and conservatism in styles of funerary material culture in 18th-19th century London

How and why did the material culture of death change in the era of a consumer society? My project examines the dynamics of change in funerary and non-funerary contexts of consumption, investigating how and why coffin furniture developed in the 18th and early 19th centuries, comparing below- and above-ground funerary material culture and exploring the ways in which these were used to construct concepts of time, tradition and change.

 

Coffin furniture (metal fittings such as breastplates and handles) became an intrinsic part of the typical Victorian funeral. In recent decades, commercial archaeological excavations and vault clearances have revealed large quantities of material from this period. Focusing on material from London, I am analysing styles and motifs from excavated coffin furniture and contemporary trade catalogues, as well as exploring other aspects of below- and above-ground funerary material culture such as monuments and mourning jewellery. I am also carrying out documentary research on the development of undertaking and the funerary industry, particularly in London, in order to place the developments in context and to examine closely the relationship between production and consumption of coffin furniture.

Funding

LAHP (AHRC)

Education

    • BA (Hons) Philosophy, University of Sussex, 2000
    • MA Artefact Studies, UCL, 2013
    Conference papers

    ‘Remembrance dear’: the material culture of death and commemoration in late 18th century London. Post-Medieval Archaeology Congress 2019. University of Glasgow, 23rd March 2019.

     

    ‘Sacred will I keep thy dear remains’: late 18th century mourning jewellery. British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies 48th Annual Conference. St Hugh’s College, Oxford, 6th January 2019.

     

    The establishment of tradition in the material culture of death: the development of coffin furniture in the 18th and early 19th centuries. The CEMS Postgraduate Conference 2017: Living Well and Dying Well in the Early Modern World. Centre for Early Modern Studies, University of Exeter, 16th June 2017.

     

    ‘Changes of fashion, even in death’: 18th and 19th century coffin furniture in London. Post-Medieval Archaeology Congress 2017. University of Hull, 1st April 2017.