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Portrait of a Woman in SilkHidden Histories of the British Atlantic World$
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Zara Anishanslin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300197051

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300197051.001.0001

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Simon Julins, c. 1686/8–1778

Simon Julins, c. 1686/8–1778

(p.107) 5. Simon Julins, c. 1686/8–1778
Portrait of a Woman in Silk

Zara Anishanslin

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on master weaver Simon Julins. Little is known about Julins the man. He left scant documentation beyond his will, house insurance survey, and membership records in the Weavers' Company of London. But certain small and illuminating idiosyncrasies punctuate that scarce record, which give an outline of the man. Much like Garthwaite, who as a woman designer in an industry so keenly competitive with the French was symbolic by the mere fact of gender, Julins, by the mere fact that he was a Spitalfields weaver of French Huguenot descent, was a laborer imbued with great symbolic importance. By virtue of what he did and when and where he did it, Julins provides insight into the ways in which politics, commerce, religion, gender, and labor coalesced around the fashionable commodity of silk and its production in the eighteenth-century British Empire.

Keywords:   master weavers, Simon Julins, Spitalfields, silk weavers, silk industry, French Huguenot, British Empire

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