This paper draws on a critical review of the nature of quality, cost and value in nineteenth-century consumerism and the role these concepts may play in interpretive assemblage analysis. Quality was a much valued commodity in the nineteenth century and was an important factor in consumer choice, balanced against the cost or price of an item. Manufacturers worked hard to maintain quality standards, but found a ready market for customers willing to compromise 'best' prices for 'seconds'. Consequently, the study of quality promises to add another dimension to the existing price indices currently available to historical archaeologists, and initial testing suggests that it is readily adaptable to historical archaeological cataloguing and assemblage analysis.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Australasian Historical Archaeology|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|