Collecting is a key cultural activity which contributes to the ways knowledge is constituted, transmitted, and contested. A collection can reveal its collector’s perception of the world by offering insight into the things the collector treasures and believes worth preserving. Although collecting is a phenomenon found at different levels of the society, the collecting of imperial households is a particularly interesting category as rulers’ visions for establishing collections generally involve complicated political and cultural agendas. Studies of imperial collecting therefore can reveal many different facets of the social and political dimensions of the past....
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