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The training of gold- and silversmiths in eighteenth- century Ghent: the role of the academy


  • Tim De Doncker

    () (Department of History, Ghent University)


This article will look for the training of Ghent gold- and silversmiths in the second half of the eighteenth century. Initially, attention will be focused on the importance of the new and fashionable. It will be argued that in several countries the solution to the design deficit will be countered by the establishment of art academies and drawing schools. Thereafter, it will be shown that in the historiography there is no general consensus on the academic training of artisans. Subsequently, the focus will be moved to the city of Ghent. First, the importance of design skills for gold- and silversmiths will be given a chance. In the second part, the emphasis is on how precious-metalsmiths develop strategies within the existing structures to be competitive on the market. This contribution will show that the legitimation of skills was high on the academic agenda.

Suggested Citation

  • Tim De Doncker, 2012. "The training of gold- and silversmiths in eighteenth- century Ghent: the role of the academy," EED-Working Papers 4, EED research unit, department of History, Ghent University.
  • Handle: RePEc:ghe:wpaper:4

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations
    • N93 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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