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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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Designing the Botanical Landscape of Empire

Designing the Botanical Landscape of Empire

“Curious” Plants, “Indian” Textiles, and Colonial Consumers

(p.81) 4. Designing the Botanical Landscape of Empire
Portrait of a Woman in Silk

Zara Anishanslin

Yale University Press

This chapter shifts the focus to one of the most important markets for Spitalfields silk and the site of some of the bitterest fighting between the empires of Catholic France and Protestant Britain: colonial North America. Moving the story's perspective from England to the colonies shows that Garthwaite was one of the designers of a shared visual and material culture that knit the empire together. Crossing the Atlantic from the metropole to the colonies contextualizes Garthwaite and Spitalfields silk designs as part of the larger British Empire outside Britain itself. In particular, a transatlantic journey foregrounds the significance of Asian and Asian-style textiles, exotic plants, and North American consumers in the history of Spitalfields silk.

Keywords:   colonial North America, Anna Maria Garthwaite, Spitalfields, silk industry, British Empire, Asian textiles, North American consumers

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