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Introduction – The Narratives of Gifts: Agencies, Resignifications and Transmissions

Introduction – Les récits des cadeaux : agentivités, re-significations, transmissions 
Ladan Niayesh and Stéphanie Prévost

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This special issue would not have been possible without the unfailing support of several individuals and institutions, and we wish to thank them warmly. Chief among them are our colleagues from the LARCA research centre of Université Paris Cité, Daniel Foliard and Marine Bellego, who were co-organisers with us (and in Daniel’s case brought even financial support) for the conference at Les Archives du Ministère de l’Europe et des Affaires Etrangères at la Courneuve which was the starting point of this project in September 2021. We wish to extend our thanks to our keynote Guido Van Meersbergen, who has penned the generous Afterword for this issue too, and the colleagues at the archives, in particular chief conservationist Isabelle Nathan-Ebrard. We are grateful for the images used in this volume to the following institutions and endeavours: the Afghan Digital Library, English Heritage, the Russian archives of St Petersburg, the Bodleian Library, Musée Guimet, the British Library, the Royal Collection Trust, the Wellcome Collection Online and the Wikimedia Commons. The map in Daniel Foliard’s article is the work of colleagues from the Geoteca platform at Université Paris Cité, to whom we are also beholden. Last but not least, we thank chief editor Laurent Curelly and the RFCB team for their impeccable professionalism.

  • 1 Marcel Mauss, “Essai sur le don: forme et raison de l’échange dans les sociétés archaïques”, Année (...)
  • 2 For a general introduction to Mauss and post-Mauss theories, see Karen Sykes, Arguing with Anthropo (...)
  • 3 Natalie Zemon-Davis, The Gift in Sixteenth-Century France (Madison, University of Wisconsin Press, (...)
  • 4 Joaõ Melo, “Seeking Prestige and Survival: Gift-Exchange Practices between the Portuguese Estado da (...)

1A full century after Marcel Mauss’s Essai sur le don: forme et raison de l’échange dans les sociétés archaïques (1923-4),1 our critical understanding of gifts and counter-gifts has much evolved from a perspective that was primarily rooted in classical anthropology and a pacifist, post-World War I European context. As frequently commented on by critics of Mauss’s theory, imperialism and colonialism were largely left out of his analysis,2 while, as Natalie Zemon Davis underlines, in such contexts the “gift mode” largely interacts or overlaps with “modes of sales and of coercion”.3 Meanwhile, such “contentious presents” as the ones on which Joaõ Melo’s or Jose M. Escribano-Páez’s studies focus, challenge Mauss’s peace ideals regarding gift-giving as a tool to forge social and political bonds, since cross-cultural interactions more often than not involve asymmetries of power, rivalries, and dynamics of violence whose ramifications can range anywhere from local to global.4

  • 5 Christian Windler, “Afterword: Gift and Tribute in Early Modern Diplomacy”, Diplomatica 2 (2020), p (...)
  • 6 For more on this, see Niayesh’s contribution to this issue.
  • 7 Jennifer Pitts, Boundaries of the International: Law and Empire (Harvard, Harvard University Press, (...)

2As was recently pointed out by the initiator of “new diplomatic history”, Christian Windler, current studies of gifting processes in diplomatic contexts no longer limit themselves to interrogating the mutual character of gift-giving – the Maussian theory of “reciprocity” – but do so by considering “the polysemy of the gift, […] the capacity of objects to have multiple meanings”.5 Taking stock of the exciting avenues opened since the mid-2000s through the methodologies of new diplomatic history, as well as from “thing theory” as it developed out of an anthropological approach from the mid-1980s onward, the contributions to this special issue adopt a multi-scalar and multi-disciplinary approach to diplomatic interactions between western Europe and Islamicate Asia over the longue durée (late sixteenth to early twentieth century). They do so through the prism of narratives of gifts, considered in their paradoxical agencies, their processes of signification and resignification, and their complex, non-linear circuits of transmission. Together, they make a case for some shared mainstays within that context, with a specific gifting culture which resulted from a convergence of religious legacies, political symbolisms, and dedicated lexicons,6 rather than following a conventional narrative which would take for granted that international system in general, and institutionalized diplomacy in particular, were “developed exclusively within Europe and then exported to the rest of the world” from the nineteenth century onwards.7

3It is true, as British ambassador Paul Brummell’s recent Diplomatic Gifts: A History in Fifty Present (2017) tells us, that gifts have been central to cultural diplomacy from the Antiquity. Yet, despite their expected function as a means to establish or maintain relationships between polities, gifts’ performances in terms of this expectation have not been homogeneous across time and space. Based on cases in the special issue, we wish by way of introduction to this volume to offer an exploration of gifts originating in or destined to Islamicate Asia both in actu and in their afterlives, through their peregrinations and narratives, and consider how these affected their meaning, value, power and survival from aesthetic, social, cultural, political or economic points of view, and at a later stage, from curatorial and legal perspectives as well.

  • 8 “Zarafa the Giraffe”, RTÉ Radio 1 podcast, 26 December 2022, https://www.rte.ie/radio/radio1/clips/ (...)
  • 9 “George IV’s Nubian Giraffe”, The Field, The Country Gentleman’s Newspaper, Vol. 106, 26 August 190 (...)
  • 10 See Richard Scott Morel, “Words of Majesty: A Brief History of Royal Correspondence between England (...)

4One of diplomatic gifts’ prime functions is to impress in all systems, with a focus both on what is given – on the originality of gifts, their rareness, imposing character, material or scientific value, a mix of these, etc. – and on the pageantry around it, which can be context-specific in the Islamicate sphere. We can quote as a first example in this respect the simultaneous gift of three giraffes in 1826 to French King Charles X, to British King George IV, and to Francis I, the first Emperor of Austria, by Muhammad Ali Pasha, then the governor of Egypt, an Ottoman province in a receding Ottoman Empire. The despatch of these animals was thought extraordinary at the time, as they had been unseen in Europe since the Renaissance period and remained coveted, invaluable exotica fit for royal menageries.8 In this instance, both the rareness of the gift itself and the identities of the three princely European recipients partake of its meaning and implications in redefining the donor’s position as far above a mere vassal to the Ottoman sultan. Although “the Nubian giraffe” died within two years of its arrival in England and did not quite fulfil its geopolitical purpose, it remained a memorable gift with a popular attraction even several decades later.9 In the same way, a supposedly intimate gift meant for private enjoyment – such as the portrait Queen Elizabeth I sent to the Ottoman Sultana Safiye in 1593 (see Mathilde Alazraki’s article in this issue) – was not merely meant as a private and personal token of remembrance, but conceived to bedazzle its direct recipient and be remembered in the public sphere through indirect testimonies, potentially passing down even from one generation to the next and reaching a far wider audience. Such testimonies and associated narratives were prime sources for advisors at St James’s Court to try and gauge what might be offered, from sovereign to sovereign, as well as from British royal envoys to “Eastern princes” – a generic term which, as early as in 17th-century British administrative culture, encompassed Russia, the Ottoman, Mughal and Persian Empires, Morocco, China, and many other Asian kingdoms.10

  • 11 Zoltán Biedermann, Anne Gerritsen and Giorgio Riello, “Introduction”, in Zoltán Biedermann, Anne Ge (...)
  • 12 On gift exchanges in the context of the EIC’s trading relations in eighteenth-century Persia, see P (...)
  • 13 Nandini Das, Courting India: England, Mughal India and the Origins of Empire (London: Bloomsbury Pu (...)
  • 14 See also Easterby-Smith Sarah, “Reputation in a box. Objects, communication and trust in late 18th (...)
  • 15 Emperor Qianlong’s gifts as part of the Macartney embassy, 1792-1794, were fully listed on four scr (...)

5Despite the existence of such precious testimonies, disappointing gifts – either because they did not meet personal and cultural expectations, or because they arrived damaged – were always a risk. This was especially true in earlier periods when polities lacked developed protocol offices as exist today and when long journeys carried their lot of havocs. The procurement of suitable gifts required great skill, preparation, but also flexibility, necessitating the manufacturing of a gift for the occasion. Limned letters, clocks, and porcelain dishes come to mind in this respect, or “a shopping spree on the local market, the recycling of items that were already part of a collection, or the systematic purchasing of exceptional things in distant places”.11 No matter the efforts, the good reception of a gift was always – and is still – a delicate matter, especially when it went hand in hand with the negotiation of a specific advantage, such as trade privileges.12 While the vicissitudes of Sir Thomas Roe, the first English ambassador to the Mughal court (1616-1619) in the early days of the East India Company (EIC), are now better-known and show that “Britain’s imperial destiny at this moment […] was by no means certain”,13 two articles in this special issue further insist that great care was needed to carry gifts safely across, with very uncertain results: Anne-Valérie Dulac’s article on early modern British limned letters and miniatures as gifts to “Eastern princes” with damp-sensitive velum and ink; and Marine Bellego and Marie-Thérèse Bru’s article on botanical diplomacy between Europe and Asia.14 Above all, this special issue makes the case that even perishable or fragile gifts (plants, food, animals, porcelain, glass) were durably meant to inspire wonder, including through narratives, be it through literary and artistic representations, gift logs, [Figure 115] or mentions in records that have often survived the gifts themselves – regardless of whether the gifts succeeded or failed in achieving their goal.

Figure 1: Emperor Qianlong’s Gift log (roll 1), 1792-4.

Figure 1: Emperor Qianlong’s Gift log (roll 1), 1792-4.

RA GEO/ADD/31/21A. Royal Archives/ © His Majesty King Charles III 2024.

Figure 2: Covered circular box, Lacquer on wood (6.9 x 15.2 cm, diameter).

Figure 2: Covered circular box, Lacquer on wood (6.9 x 15.2 cm, diameter).

RCIN 10823. Royal Collection Trust / © His Majesty King Charles III 2024.

  • 16 “The Macartney Embassy: Gifts Exchanged between George III and the Qianlong Emperor”, Royal Collect (...)
  • 17 Some of the gifts were auctioned off by the Prince of Wales in 1819 at Christie’s as part of a mass (...)

6With the passage of time and beyond their direct diplomatic performance, the question of the (non-perishable) gifts’ preservation – as national heritage – becomes more acute. Highlights of museum displays or public places tend to retain gifts’ original potential for aesthetic fascination, an aspect which may also grow with time. To take an example from outside the Islamicate sphere, the gifts presented by Chinese Emperor Qianlong in 1793 to King George III through the proxy of his envoy Earl Macartney “[did]n’t appear to [the latter] to be very fine”, but they imparted a sense of authentic Chinese refinement to the future King George IV for the China-inspired interior decorations at his fantasy palace, the Brighton Pavilion, despite the failure of the diplomatic mission to which those gifts were attached.16 Pieces that still remain in the Royal Collections – maps, a red cover-carved lacquer box [Figure 2], Chinese porcelain, a pair of carved red lacquer cabinets, etc. – now form the core of what the Royal Collection Trust sees as “one of the most significant collections of Eastern arts in the Western world”.17

  • 18 “Egyptians are upset by Britain’s disregard for a gift”, The Economist, 4 October 2018, https://www (...)
  • 19 Martin Bailey, “Egyptian Embassy Wants Ancient Cleopatra’s Needle Back”, Deseret News, 10 April 199 (...)
  • 20 For a parallel, on the obliteration of diplomatic gifts from Muslim territories as a political stra (...)

7By contrast, gifts that are now out of the limelight – either because they are perishable and/or because of ambivalent narratives attached to them – tend to fall into semi-oblivion, no matter their intrinsic cultural value. In such instance, the risk of causing diplomatic tensions between the giving country and the receiving country is very high, even several centuries apart. One such example is the so-called “Cleopatra’s Needle” [Figure 3], an ancient obelisk gifted in 1819 by the same Egyptian ruler mentioned before, Muhammad Ali Pasha, in commemoration of Lord Nelson’s victory at the Battle of the Nile in 1798 and Sir Ralph Abercromby’s victory at the Battle of Alexandria in 1801 over the French after Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt – two decisive moments in Egypt’s march towards semi-independence from Ottoman tutelage. In 2019, Egypt expressed outrage at Britain’s refusal to celebrate the bicentennial, thereby reviving the idea that it had always been demoted.18 Though accepted in 1819, the gift was only transferred to Britain in 1877, due to the technical and financial difficulty for the British to ship it from Alexandria and after repeated demands from Egypt for the gift to be collected. The embarrassment of finding a spot for it in 1878, its subsequent erection on the Embankment in London where it has been exposed to the Thames’ mist and the various discussions since then as to its not being suited to the local climate seem to be early signs of mutual disenchantment that led the Egyptian embassy to call for its repatriation in 1992, when it blamed Britain for unproper care.19 Whereas gifts over time may become reified and forgotten in the receiving country, this is rarely the case in the giving country where such items tend to be invested as “sites of [national] memory”/ “sites of [national] conscience” (after Pierre Nora’s lieux de mémoire) that the receiving country is expected to continue to honour, out of respect for the good diplomatic relations that the accepted gift was once meant to materialise.20 Put differently, a diplomatic gift that once sealed friendship can very well undo it, years on.

Figure 3: Cleopatra’s Needle in London seen from the River Thames, 2005.

Figure 3: Cleopatra’s Needle in London seen from the River Thames, 2005.

Photographed by Adrian Pingstone. Wikipedia.21

  • 22 See Christian Windler, La diplomatie comme expérience de l’Autre. Consuls français au Maghreb (1700 (...)
  • 23 Bruno Latour, “How Better to Register the Agency of Things”, The Tanner Lectures on Human Values 34 (...)
  • 24 Introduction to Arjun Appadurai (ed.), The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspecti (...)

8As said at the start of this introduction, historians, political scientists and international relations scholars have paid increasing attention to diplomatic gifts and their agency as part of the “new diplomatic history” and the inputs of “thing theory”.22 Just as French anthropologist, sociologist and philosopher Bruno Latour reminds us that “a non-anthropomorphic character is a character all the same. It has agency. It moves. It undergoes trials. It elicits reactions. It becomes describable”, a recent special issue of Parlement(s) registers gifts as actors of political communication that express political stature and strength and that may take part in a competition for international standing.23 In her article, Anne-Valérie Dulac gives the fascinating example of the Sultan of Aceh’s beautiful letter addressed to King James I in 1615 to show that diplomatic gifts – especially return gifts – may exhibit the semblance of cordiality, but actually mean dismissal, if not war. In so doing, she fully embraces the actor-network theory, born in the 1990s that considers “things” seriously for their relationships and networks they could build or unbuild. That “things” have a social life in their own right was already explored by Arjun Appadurai in the edited volume The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective (1986), where gifts, gift-exchange and gift circulations hold a central and natural place, and the nature of gifts is debated as being distinct from buyable commodities.24 As made clear already, such a neat distinction between gifts/ commodities has since then been overturned – with the case of money transactions presented as “gifts” testing the distinction to the extreme.

  • 25 Felicity Heal, The Power of Gifts: Gift Exchange in Early Modern England (Oxford, Oxford University (...)
  • 26 Paul Brummel, Diplomatic Gifts: A History in Fifty Presents (London, Hurst and Company, 2022), pp. (...)
  • 27 Gadi Algazi, “Doing Things with Gifts”, in Gadi Algazi, ‎Valentin Groebner, ‎Bernhard Jussen (eds.) (...)
  • 28 Cited in Jacinto Lageira, “Ramifications et liens du don”, in Marc Jimenez and Vangelis Athanassopo (...)

9Though gifts between equals tend to be considered as freely consented and thus as “sovereign gifts”,25 our specific take on gift diplomacy between Britain and the Muslim East insists on taking the word “gift” with a pinch of salt, depending on specific contexts and on the nature of the gifts themselves – with for example “robes of honour” usually meant for “inferiors”, to the risk of sometimes raising anger26 – and on narratives attached to them. Cases discussed in this special issue tend to attune to the argument developed in Negotiating the Gift: Pre-Modern Figurations of Exchange (2003) that “gifts” are at the core of transactions, which may actually range from a freely consented present, to tribute, bribes, apology gifts (to avert war) and even outright extortion and theft.27 This moves away from the radical position held by Jacques Derrida that a “true gift” can only be freely and discretely given, calls for no reciprocation, settles no debt and is not involved in power relations.28 Rather, this special issue looks into many so-called “gifts” that actually serve as symbols of authority, such as the robes of honour.

  • 29 “Objects in Conflict. The Material Culture of Intercultural Diplomacy (1600-1830)”, Regensburg, May (...)
  • 30 Paul Schemm and Satwik Gade, “The diamond too controversial for Camilla’s crown: A visual history”, (...)
  • 31 Danielle C. Kinsey, “Koh-i-Noor: Empire, Diamonds, and the Performance of British Material Culture” (...)
  • 32 Arman Khan, “Queen consort Camilla won’t wear the Kohinoor at the coronation. But is it enough?”, V (...)
  • 33 See also Kayla Reddecliff, “Sovereign Myths and the Realities of Material Diplomacy: British and Pr (...)
  • 34 Lady Lena Campbell Login, Sir John Login and Duleep Singh (London, W.H. Allen, 1890), pp. 126-127, (...)

10What may be narrated as a “gift” in one system may not be understood as such by another/others, transforming such gifts into “objects in conflict” or “dangerous gifts”, when sovereignty is at stake.29 Alongside tributary gift-systems in the context of sovereign states (see above and Ladan Niayesh’s article), informal and formal Empire provided many other such contexts. Among the many “contested gifts” in British diplomatic history is the Koh-i-Noor (meaning “the Mountain of Light”), whose conflicted story and belonging were recently revived by the rumour that Queen Consort Camilla might follow tradition and wear it for the 2023 coronation ceremony.30 The Koh-i-Noor, we need to remember, is not just one of the world’s largest diamonds that has been on display at the Tower of London since the Queen Mother’s death in 2002, but it is one that had originally been “presented” to Queen Victoria in 1850 as a part of an imperial pageant that removed it from the Lahore palace of the deposed eleven-year-old Maharaja to imperial London.31 Camilla’s opting out of wearing it was read as a way to assuage the Indian government that had again demanded the Koh-i-Noor’s return upon Queen Elizabeth II’s death in September 2022, but also as a signal that the Crown was distancing itself from its colonial legacy – while still clinging to the diamond.32 Robert Ivermée’s article in this special issue (on the so-called gifts in the context of British and French trading companies in Mughal India, 1735-1765 in exchange for “protection”) similarly asks whether objects coercively “gifted” in colonial/imperial contexts can be considered “true gifts” at all, beyond official narratives.33 In the case of the Koh-i-Noor, the controversy about its status started almost immediately, which is quite typical. In 1849, a young Duleep Singh signed the Treaty of Lahore, by which he resigned his claim to the sovereignty of Punjab after its annexation to the British Empire through the agency of the private East India Company, giving up the Koh-i-Noor as a token of submission in the process. Yet, he contested the validity of this process from his British exile almost immediately. The former Maharaja petitioned the British Parliament that the East India Company and later the India Office did not respect treaty terms regarding his pension, that the treaty had been forced on him as a boy, and that a heritage to which he attached sacred value had been unduly “confiscated”.34 This was to no avail.

  • 35 On how British officers themselves presented the acquisition of artefacts in military colonial cont (...)
  • 36 Cited in Ganda Singh (ed.), History of the Freedom Movement in the Punjab. Vol. 3: Maharaja Duleep (...)
  • 37 Margot Finn and Kate Smith (eds.), The East India Company at Home, 1757-1857 (London, UCL, 2018); M (...)

11The Koh-i-Noor case also sheds light on British imperial practice in India, whereby the East India Company had priority to “spoils of war” – in connivance with the British Crown over what may be regarded as legitimized “colonial war loot”.35 In this instance, Lord Dalhousie, the British Governor-General behind the treaty that ended the Second Anglo-Sikh War (1848-1849), decided to bypass this convention given the symbolical value of the Koh-i-Noor, which he came to regard as “a thing by itself” that “ha[d] become in the lapse of ages a sort of historical emblem of conquest in India [and that it] ha[d] now found its proper resting place”.36 Dalhousie thought a jewel with such potency/agency belonged to the Crown – not to the East India Company, which remained a private, though chartered, trading company. The EIC expressed fierce discontent to Dalhousie for its being deprived of such a jewel, but had to abide with Dalhousie’s terms out of loyalty to the Queen. They still made immense money out of the sale of the rest of Duleep Singh’s property, which, just like other EIC “confiscated” property, allowed them to build personal fortunes to develop estates in Britain, enrich their interiors out of collectors’ spree and gain status back in Britain, including by donating selected artefacts or collections to institutions.37

  • 38 See also the special issue “Tristes Trophées : Objets et restes humains dans les conquêtes colonial (...)
  • 39 Adam Kuper, The Museum of Other People: From Colonial Acquisitions to Cosmopolitan Exhibitions (Lon (...)
  • 40 See Eva J. Meharry, “Politics of the Past: Archaeology, Nationalism and Diplomacy in Afghanistan (1 (...)

12Already at the time, there were attempts at turning the British colonial narrative of “gifts” on its head. Duleep Singh’s wish to file a legal complaint against the British State in the 1880s and his later decision to rebel against Britain testify to this precisely. But there existed subtler, indirect ways of challenging British hegemony. In 1867, Ottoman Sultan Abdul Aziz’s turning down the gift that Queen Victoria had meant for him – namely the Star of India – on the ground that it was a vassal’s gift, not a gift fit for the Sultan-Caliph-Commander of the Faithful amounted to challenging Britain’s Weltanschauung, which, at the time, registered the Ottoman Empire as “the dying man of Europe” (see Stéphanie Prévost’s contribution to this volume). Sultan Abdul Aziz was after the Order of the Garter, which Queen Victoria had already awarded most European sovereign rulers, as he well knew. This episode shows that gift acceptability was meted out in the context of the global circulation of gifts, rather than within bilateral dynamics. Daniel Foliard’s article on an 1895-1896 case of loot by Afghan Amir Abdul Rahman Khan’s troops, which gets interpreted by British Indian authorities as a replica of European colonial practice, further enforces this dimension. 38Indeed, the next Amir recycled/repurposed the looted Kaffir statues as a gift to France in the 1920s, to mark Afghan control of its foreign affairs away from Britain (1919) and bolster Afghan nationalism. In gifting a war trophy of high archaeological value to the French administration, the Emir showed intimate knowledge of main European museums’ acquisition practices, whereby collecting the world’s past was a mark of “civilization” central to what had at this point become national narratives in the West.39 Put differently, the Emir’s gift was his way to herald that “non-Western” powers should not be bypassed in that “scramble for the past” and in the narrativization of their pasts.40 In this instance, he wanted France to record Afghanistan as a successful colonial power (in subjugating Kaffir populations) and an archaeological nation.

  • 41 Igor Kopitoff, “The Cultural Biography of Things: Commodization as Process” in Appadurai (ed.), The (...)
  • 42 For a literature review, see: Thierry Bonnot, Bérénice Gaillemin et Élise Lehoux, “La biographie d’ (...)
  • 43 Louise Tythacott and Kostas Arvanitis (eds.), Museums and Restitution: New Practices, New Approache (...)
  • 44 British PM David Cameron confessed on New Delhi Television Ltd in 2010: “If you say yes to one [ret (...)
  • 45 See the legal argument made regarding the Koh-i-Noor by India’s Supreme Court Case: Central Informa (...)
  • 46 See for instance: William Dalrymple and Anita Anand, Koh-i-Noor: The History of the World's Most In (...)

13In a founding chapter entitled “The Cultural Biography of Things” (1986), anthropologist Igor Kopitoff invited his readers to consider the history of “things” in the longue durée, in their many transactions. This particularly applied to gifts, which he saw as being part of “never ending-chains” of gifts and reciprocations.41 Since then, object/thing biography has developed into a fruitful method to highlight the singularity of objects and their agency in context.42 This special issue makes use of the biographical method to situate gifts in their many journeys/contexts, from the original transaction to gifts’ many afterlives, including in their being recycled, appropriated, destroyed, lost, gifted again, or simply in narration and curation. It embraces scholars’ more and more pressing call for further research into the moral economy of “things”, as well as into the colonial origins of collections held in museums throughout Europe to decolonize history and museography.43 Such a move towards a new relational ethics has fuelled public debates regarding the legacies of empire and issues of ownership, restitution and repatriation of cultural heritage plundered or illegally acquired as a way to restore dignity to “community sources”. “Contested gifts” (such as the Koh-i-Noor) necessarily are at the heart of lengthy legal battles to try and establish ownership (especially when several countries put a claim), build cases for restitution (with regard to international law especially) and prepare return, while managing museum anxiety caused by collection loss.44 But in the end, the settlement of such legal contests – especially towards restitution – often rests on finding an amiable settlement between governments, namely within the sphere of action of diplomacy.45 A vigilant epistemology and close attention to the many (re)circulations of gifts – such as the one practiced in this special issue – is central towards a new relational ethics and enables us to offer “things” biographies that restore their intertwined relationships over the longue durée and thus their stories as completely as possible. While such an approach brings out the agency of all “things” presented in this special issue, it makes way for an attempted “narrative repair” in the case of brutally “dislocated” and “reterritorialized” objects. This brings the question of “gift terminology” once more to the fore in the context of endless power struggles over certain “gifts”, and makes iconoclasm appear as an anti-colonial gesture that refuses the fiction of consent around a supposedly shared memory/heritage.46

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Dulac, Anne-Valérie, “Miniatures between East and West: The Art(s) of Diplomacy in Thomas Roe’s Embassy”, Études Épistémè 26 (2014), DOI: https://doi.org/10.4000/episteme.343.

Easterby-Smith, Sarah, “Reputation in a box. Objects, communication and trust in late 18th century botanical networks”. History of Science 53, n°2 (2015), pp. 180-208.

Escribano-Páez, Jose M., “Diplomatic Gifts, Tributes and Frontier Violence: Circulation of Contentious Presents in the Moluccas”, Diplomatica 2 (2020), pp. 248-69.

Etter, Anne-Julie, “Collecting Statues in India and Transferring Them to Britain, or the Intertwined Lives of Indian Objects and Colonial Administrators”, in Claire Gallien and Ladan Niayesh (eds), Eastern Resonances in Early Modern England. Receptions and Transformations from the Renaissance to the Romantic Period (Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), pp. 183-199.

Finn, Margot and Kate Smith (eds), The East India Company at Home, 1757-1857 (London: UCL, 2018).

Godelier, Maurice, The Enigma of the Gift (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1998).

González Cuerva, Rubén, “Immaterial Diplomacy: Dissimulating Muslim Embassies in Habsburg Spain”, Conference paper, “Objects in Conflict”, Universität Regensburg, 6 May 2023.

Good, Peter, The East India Company in Persia: Trade and Cultural Exchange in the Eighteenth Century (London: I.B. Tauris, 2022).

Guo, Fuxiang, “Presents and Tribute: Exploration of the Presents Given to the Qianlong Emperor by the British Macartney Embassy”, Extrême-Orient Extrême-Occident 43 (2019), https://journals.openedition.org/extremeorient/2457#quotation.

Hartwell, Nicole M., “Framing Colonial War Loot: The ‘captured’ spolia opima of Kunwar Singh”, Journal of the History of Collections 34 no. 2 (2022), pp. 287-301.

Heal, Felicity, The Power of Gifts: Gift Exchange in Early Modern England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014).

Hicks, Dan, The Brutish Museums: The Benin Bronzes, Colonial Violence and Cultural Restitution (London: Pluto Press, 2020).

Jasanoff, Maya, “Collectors of Empire: Objects, Conquests and Imperial Self-Fashioning”, Past & Present 184 (2004), pp. 109-135.

Khan, Arman, “Queen consort Camilla won’t wear the Kohinoor at the coronation. But is it enough?”, Vogue India, 21 February 2023, https://www.vogue.in/fashion/content/queen-consort-camilla-wont-wear-the-kohinoor-at-the-coronation-but-is-it-enough.

Kinsey, Danielle C., “Koh-i-Noor: Empire, Diamonds, and the Performance of British Material Culture”, Journal of British Studies 48, n°2 (2009), pp. 391-419.

Kuper, Adam, The Museum of Other People: From Colonial Acquisitions to Cosmopolitan Exhibitions (London: Profile Books, 2023).

Lageira, Jacinto, “Ramifications et liens du don”, in Marc Jimenez and Vangelis Athanassopoulos (eds.), La pensée comme expérience: Esthétique et déconstruction (Paris: Éditions de la Sorbonne, 2016), pp. 61-71.

Latour, Bruno, “How Better to Register the Agency of Things”, The Tanner Lectures on Human Values 34 (2016).

Lenman, Bruce, Britain’s Colonial Wars, 1688-1783 (London and New York: Routledge, 2002).

Liebersohn, Harry, The Return of the Gift: European Histories of a Global Idea (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011).

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Melo, Joaõ, “Seeking Prestige and Survival: Gift-Exchange Practices between the Portuguese Estado da Índia and Asian Rulers”, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 55 (2013), pp. 678-82.

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Pitts, Jennifer, Boundaries of the International: Law and Empire (Harvard: Harvard University Press, 2018).

Popoviciu, Laura-Maria and Andrew Parratt, “Enduring Victoria: Iconoclasm and Restoration at the British Embassy in Tehran”, 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century 33 (2022), https://doi.org/10.16995/ntn.4710.

Reddecliff, Kayla, “Sovereign Myths and the Realities of Material Diplomacy: British and Princely Indian Gift-Giving in the Late 19th Century” (PhD dissertation, University of British Columbia, 2022), http://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0406666.

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Sykes, Karen, Arguing with Anthropology: An Introduction to Critical Theories of the Gift (New York: Routledge, 2005).

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Zemon-Davis, Natalie, The Gift in Sixteenth-Century France (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2000).

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Notes

1 Marcel Mauss, “Essai sur le don: forme et raison de l’échange dans les sociétés archaïques”, Année sociologique, nouvelle série 1 (1923-24), pp. 30-186.

2 For a general introduction to Mauss and post-Mauss theories, see Karen Sykes, Arguing with Anthropology: An Introduction to Critical Theories of the Gift (New York: Routledge, 2005). On global gifts and counter-gifts, with which our volume is more specifically concerned, see Harry Liebersohn, The Return of the Gift: European Histories of a Global Idea (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011).

3 Natalie Zemon-Davis, The Gift in Sixteenth-Century France (Madison, University of Wisconsin Press, 2000), p. 9.

4 Joaõ Melo, “Seeking Prestige and Survival: Gift-Exchange Practices between the Portuguese Estado da Índia and Asian Rulers”, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 55 (2013), pp. 678-82; Jose M. Escribano-Páez, “Diplomatic Gifts, Tributes and Frontier Violence: Circulation of Contentious Presents in the Moluccas”, Diplomatica 2 (2020), pp. 248-69.

5 Christian Windler, “Afterword: Gift and Tribute in Early Modern Diplomacy”, Diplomatica 2 (2020), pp. 291-304; p. 294.

6 For more on this, see Niayesh’s contribution to this issue.

7 Jennifer Pitts, Boundaries of the International: Law and Empire (Harvard, Harvard University Press, 2018), p. 14. For more on this aspect, see Guido Van Meersbergen’s “Afterword” in this issue.

8 “Zarafa the Giraffe”, RTÉ Radio 1 podcast, 26 December 2022, https://www.rte.ie/radio/radio1/clips/22190081/.

9 “George IV’s Nubian Giraffe”, The Field, The Country Gentleman’s Newspaper, Vol. 106, 26 August 1905, pp. 387-8.

10 See Richard Scott Morel, “Words of Majesty: A Brief History of Royal Correspondence between England and Asia, 1600-1858,” Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 90, no. 1 (312), 2017, pp. 1-28; for a parallel with French diplomacy: François Ternat and Eric Schnakenbourg (eds.), Une diplomatie des lointains. La France face à la mondialisation des rivalités internationales, XVIIe-XVIIIe siècles (Rennes, P.U.R., 2020).

11 Zoltán Biedermann, Anne Gerritsen and Giorgio Riello, “Introduction”, in Zoltán Biedermann, Anne Gerritsen and Giorgio Riello (eds.), Global Gifts: The Material Culture of Diplomacy in Early Modern Eurasia (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2017), p. 14. Today, gifts tend to be thought of as non-human, but slaves were frequently part of gift exchanges across the Muslim East and African Kingdoms, well into the nineteenth century. Even before the ban of slavery and the slave trade, receiving slaves as gifts was considered unproper by the British Crown and such “offerings” were rare. When King Gezo of Dahomey refused to end the slave-trade and human sacrifice rituals in his kingdom following a British diplomatic mission in 1850, he finally conceded to spare Aina, a captive meant for sacrifice, and gave her to Queen Victoria. The latter immediately offered protection and liberated Aina, who was renamed Sara Forbes Bonetta. For a broader context, see David Olusoga, Black and British. A Forgotten History (London, Macmillan, 2016), p. 330 ff. Today, highly unacceptable gifts include presents of a dubious provenance or those made from protected material /species (such as ivory).

12 On gift exchanges in the context of the EIC’s trading relations in eighteenth-century Persia, see Peter Good, The East India Company in Persia: Trade and Cultural Exchange in the Eighteenth Century (London, I.B. Tauris, 2022), pp. 73-96.

13 Nandini Das, Courting India: England, Mughal India and the Origins of Empire (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2023), p. xvii; see also Anne-Valérie Dulac, “Miniatures between East and West: The Art(s) of Diplomacy in Thomas Roe’s Embassy”, Études Épistémè 26 (2014), DOI: https://doi.org/10.4000/episteme.343.

14 See also Easterby-Smith Sarah, “Reputation in a box. Objects, communication and trust in late 18th century botanical networks”. History of Science 53, n°2 (2015), pp. 180-208.

15 Emperor Qianlong’s gifts as part of the Macartney embassy, 1792-1794, were fully listed on four scrolls (https://www.rct.uk/collection/themes/trails/the-macartney-embassy-gifts-exchanged-between-george-iii-and-the-qianlon-11), now preserved in the British Royal Archives.

16 “The Macartney Embassy: Gifts Exchanged between George III and the Qianlong Emperor”, Royal Collection Trust website, https://www.rct.uk/collection/themes/trails/the-macartney-embassy-gifts-exchanged-between-george-iii-and-the-qianlong; Shanshan Chen, Art, Science, and Diplomacy: A Study of the Visual Images of the Macartney Embassy (Singapore, Springer, 2023), p. 238-242; Vanessa Aleyrac-Fielding, “Le voyage en Chine ou les pièges de la representation: ‘a puppet show […] preparing some grand coup de théâtre’”, Représentations 3 (2009), https://representations.univ-grenoble-alpes.fr/IMG/pdf/Alayrac-Fielding_final_4.pdf.

17 Some of the gifts were auctioned off by the Prince of Wales in 1819 at Christie’s as part of a massiv.e sale of Queen Charlotte’s property, following her death, and were partly reacquired by the royal family later, especially under Queen-Consort Mary in the early 20th century, whereas others are still visible in Chinese museums. See John Ayers, Chinese and Japanese Works of Art in the Collection of Her Majesty The Queen, 3 Volumes (London, RCT, 2016); Fuxiang Guo, “Presents and Tribute: Exploration of the Presents Given to the Qianlong Emperor by the British Macartney Embassy”, Extrême-Orient Extrême-Occident 43 (2019), https://journals.openedition.org/extremeorient/2457#quotation.

18 “Egyptians are upset by Britain’s disregard for a gift”, The Economist, 4 October 2018, https://www.economist.com/middle-east-and-africa/2018/10/04/egyptians-are-upset-by-britains-disregard-for-a-gift (last consulted 18 December 2023).

19 Martin Bailey, “Egyptian Embassy Wants Ancient Cleopatra’s Needle Back”, Deseret News, 10 April 1992, https://www.deseret.com/1992/4/10/18978030/egyptian-embassy-wants-ancient-cleopatra-s-needle-back (last consulted 18 December 2023). Paul Brummel suggests the label “a gift forced in the mouth” for unwanted, but accepted gifts. See “Gifts as Public Diplomacy”, First Monday Forum podcast, 7 November 2022, https://youtu.be/NML48gE7xpc?si=qnOwX-Ech2h48r-t.

20 For a parallel, on the obliteration of diplomatic gifts from Muslim territories as a political strategy pursued by the Spanish Habsburg monarchy to bolster its imperial self-image as a nation of crusaders: Rubén González Cuerva, “Immaterial Diplomacy: Dissimulating Muslim Embassies in Habsburg Spain”, Conference paper, “Objects in Conflict”, Universität Regensburg, 6 May 2023.

21 https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cleopatras.needle.from.thames.london.arp.jpg (Last consulted 20 December 2023).

22 See Christian Windler, La diplomatie comme expérience de l’Autre. Consuls français au Maghreb (1700-1840) (Genève: Librairie Droz, 2002), pp. 485-554. The literature is now so vast that only selected recent examples not listed elsewhere in the introduction will be mentioned here. For a review of gift diplomacy in the modern period, Marie-Karine Schaub, “Le cadeau diplomatique à l’époque moderne: au croisement des relations internationales et de l’histoire matérielle”, in Parlement(s) 3(2023), pp. 19-34. For special issues: Bing Zhao and Fabien Simon (eds.), “Des arts diplomatiques. Échanges de présents entre la Chine et l'Europe, XVIIe-XVIIIe siècles”, Extrême-Orient Extrême-Occident 43 (2019), https://journals.openedition.org/extremeorient/1592; Birgit Tremml-Werner, Lisa Hellman and Guido van Meersbergen (eds.), “Gift and Tribute in Early Modern Diplomacy: Afro-Eurasian Perspectives”, Diplomatica 2 (2020), https://brill.com/view/journals/dipl/2/2/dipl.2.issue-2.xml, from which Windler’s “Afterword” quoted earlier in this introduction was extracted.

23 Bruno Latour, “How Better to Register the Agency of Things”, The Tanner Lectures on Human Values 34 (2016), p. 101; Catherine Brice and Emmanuel Fureix, “Introduction”, Parlement(s) 3(2023), special issue 18 on “Political Objects”, p. 14.

24 Introduction to Arjun Appadurai (ed.), The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1986), p. 1-60.

25 Felicity Heal, The Power of Gifts: Gift Exchange in Early Modern England (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014), p. 149.

26 Paul Brummel, Diplomatic Gifts: A History in Fifty Presents (London, Hurst and Company, 2022), pp. 180-181.

27 Gadi Algazi, “Doing Things with Gifts”, in Gadi Algazi, ‎Valentin Groebner, ‎Bernhard Jussen (eds.), Negotiating the Gift. Premodern Figurations of Exchange (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2003), esp. pp. 10-15.

28 Cited in Jacinto Lageira, “Ramifications et liens du don”, in Marc Jimenez and Vangelis Athanassopoulos (eds.), La pensée comme expérience: Esthétique et déconstruction (Paris: Éditions de la Sorbonne, 2016), pp. 61-71.

29 “Objects in Conflict. The Material Culture of Intercultural Diplomacy (1600-1830)”, Regensburg, May 2023, conference report, https://www.hsozkult.de/conferencereport/id/fdkn-135992#mtAc_event-87864; Ozan Özavci, Dangerous Gifts: Imperialism, Security, and Civil Wars in the Levant, 1798-1864 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021).

30 Paul Schemm and Satwik Gade, “The diamond too controversial for Camilla’s crown: A visual history”, The Washington Post, 5 May 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/05/05/kohinoor-diamond-coronation-comic/.

31 Danielle C. Kinsey, “Koh-i-Noor: Empire, Diamonds, and the Performance of British Material Culture”, Journal of British Studies 48, n°2 (2009), pp. 391-419; Siddhartha V. Shah, “Romancing the Stone: Victoria, Albert, and the Koh-i-Noor Diamond”, West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture 24 (Spring-Summer 2017), https://doi.org/10.1086/693797.

32 Arman Khan, “Queen consort Camilla won’t wear the Kohinoor at the coronation. But is it enough?”, Vogue India, 21 February 2023, https://www.vogue.in/fashion/content/queen-consort-camilla-wont-wear-the-kohinoor-at-the-coronation-but-is-it-enough.

33 See also Kayla Reddecliff, “Sovereign Myths and the Realities of Material Diplomacy: British and Princely Indian Gift-Giving in the Late 19th Century” (PhD dissertation, University of British Columbia, 2022), http://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0406666.

34 Lady Lena Campbell Login, Sir John Login and Duleep Singh (London, W.H. Allen, 1890), pp. 126-127, 340-341; “Introductory Remarks” in A Reprint of Two Sale Catalogues of Jewels and Other Confiscated Property belonging to his Highness The Maharajah Duleep Singh (London?, n.d., 1885), pp. vi-vii. For a discussion of the impropriety of sacred objects as gifts, see Maurice Godelier, The Enigma of the Gift (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1998).

35 On how British officers themselves presented the acquisition of artefacts in military colonial contexts, see: Nicole M. Hartwell, “Framing Colonial War Loot: The ‘captured’ spolia opima of Kunwar Singh”, Journal of the History of Collections 34 no. 2 (2022), pp. 287-301. For another instance: Bruce Lenman, Britain's Colonial Wars, 1688-1783 (London and New York, Routledge, 2002), p. 171.

36 Cited in Ganda Singh (ed.), History of the Freedom Movement in the Punjab. Vol. 3: Maharaja Duleep Singh Correspondence (Patiala, Punjabi University, 1977), p. 36.

37 Margot Finn and Kate Smith (eds.), The East India Company at Home, 1757-1857 (London, UCL, 2018); Maya Jasanoff, “Collectors of Empire: Objects, Conquests and Imperial Self-Fashioning”, Past & Present 184 (2004), pp. 109-135; “Baggage and Belonging: Military Collections and the British Empire, 1750-1900” Project (2017-2021), AHCR Grant AH/P006752/1, https://www.nms.ac.uk/collections-research/collections-departments/scottish-history-and-archaeology/projects/baggage-and-belonging/; Anne-Julie Etter, “Collecting Statues in India and Transferring Them to Britain, or the Intertwined Lives of Indian Objects and Colonial Administrators”, in Claire Gallien and Ladan Niayesh (eds.), Eastern Resonances in Early Modern England. Receptions and Transformations from the Renaissance to the Romantic Period (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), pp. 183-199.

38 See also the special issue “Tristes Trophées : Objets et restes humains dans les conquêtes coloniales”, edited by Laurent Arzelot and Daniel Foliard, Mondes 17 (2020), online at https://www.cairn.info/revue-mondes-2020-1.htm (last consulted 20 December 2023). Of note, the term “loot” was imported into English in the late 18th century by British soldiers in India and derives from the Hindi lūt (“spoils of war”) and even before that, Sanskrit lotra (“rob”). Of course, “loot” in the sense of “spoils of war” should not be regarded as a European (colonial) practice exclusively, as it was frequently exercised by Muslim Eastern States attempting to establish strong central power over peripheral territories and had a long history before that. Cf. Oliver Jens Schmitt and Mariya Kiprovska, “Ottoman Raiders (Akıncıs) as a Driving Force of Early Ottoman Conquest of the Balkans and the Slavery-Based Economy”, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 65, n°4 (2022), pp. 497-582.

39 Adam Kuper, The Museum of Other People: From Colonial Acquisitions to Cosmopolitan Exhibitions (London, Profile Books, 2023); Margarita Díaz-Andreu García, A World History of Nineteenth-Century Archaeology: Nationalism, Colonialism, and the Past (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2007).

40 See Eva J. Meharry, “Politics of the Past: Archaeology, Nationalism and Diplomacy in Afghanistan (1919-2001)” (PhD dissertation, University of Cambridge, 2020), doi:10.17863/CAM.55881. For a parallel with the development of Ottoman archaeology, see: Zainab Bahrani, Zeynep Çelik and Edhem Eldem (eds.), Scramble for the Past: A Story of Archaeology in the Ottoman Empire, 1753-1914 (Istanbul, SALT, 2011); and Zeynep Çelik, About Antiquities: Politics of Archaeology in the Ottoman Empire (Austin, University of Texas Press, 2016).

41 Igor Kopitoff, “The Cultural Biography of Things: Commodization as Process” in Appadurai (ed.), The Social Life of Things, ibid., pp. 64-91, esp. p. 69.

42 For a literature review, see: Thierry Bonnot, Bérénice Gaillemin et Élise Lehoux, “La biographie d’objet: une écriture et une méthode critique”, Images Re-vues 15 (2018), DOI: https://doi.org/10.4000/imagesrevues.5925.

43 Louise Tythacott and Kostas Arvanitis (eds.), Museums and Restitution: New Practices, New Approaches (London, Routledge, 2013); Dan Hicks, The Brutish Museums: The Benin Bronzes, Colonial Violence and Cultural Restitution (London, Pluto Press, 2020); Felwine Sarr and Benedicte Savoy, The Restitution of African Cultural Heritage: Toward a New Relational Ethics, November 2018, https://www.about-africa.de/images/sonstiges/2018/sarr_savoy_en.pdf; Jos van Beurden, Kathleen M. Adams & Paul Catteeuw, “Dekolonisatie e restitutive” special issue, Volkskunde 3 (2019).

44 British PM David Cameron confessed on New Delhi Television Ltd in 2010: “If you say yes to one [return, here of the Koh-i-Noor] and you suddenly find the British Museum would be emptied”. See the interview at: https://youtu.be/aAun-xH2UB0?si=c9ex-Kkh_dTpiEBj.

45 See the legal argument made regarding the Koh-i-Noor by India’s Supreme Court Case: Central Information Commission, B K S R Ayyangr vs Archaeological Survey Of India, 21 August, 2018. https://indiankanoon.org/doc/19109337/.

46 See for instance: William Dalrymple and Anita Anand, Koh-i-Noor: The History of the World's Most Infamous Diamond (London and New York, Bloomsbury, 2017); Laura-Maria Popoviciu & Andrew Parratt, “Enduring Victoria: Iconoclasm and Restoration at the British Embassy in Tehran”, 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century 33 (2022), https://doi.org/10.16995/ntn.4710.

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List of illustrations

Title Figure 1: Emperor Qianlong’s Gift log (roll 1), 1792-4.
Credits RA GEO/ADD/31/21A. Royal Archives/ © His Majesty King Charles III 2024.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/rfcb/docannexe/image/12135/img-1.jpg
File image/jpeg, 804k
Title Figure 2: Covered circular box, Lacquer on wood (6.9 x 15.2 cm, diameter).
Credits RCIN 10823. Royal Collection Trust / © His Majesty King Charles III 2024.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/rfcb/docannexe/image/12135/img-2.jpg
File image/jpeg, 780k
Title Figure 3: Cleopatra’s Needle in London seen from the River Thames, 2005.
Credits Photographed by Adrian Pingstone. Wikipedia.21
URL http://journals.openedition.org/rfcb/docannexe/image/12135/img-3.jpg
File image/jpeg, 700k
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References

Electronic reference

Ladan Niayesh and Stéphanie Prévost, “Introduction – The Narratives of Gifts: Agencies, Resignifications and Transmissions”Revue Française de Civilisation Britannique [Online], XXIX-3 | 2024, Online since 10 June 2024, connection on 22 July 2024. URL: http://journals.openedition.org/rfcb/12135; DOI: https://doi.org/10.4000/11vhb

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About the authors

Ladan Niayesh

LARCA/CNRS-UMR 8225
Université Paris Cité

Ladan Niayesh is Professor of early modern English studies at Université Paris Cité and a member of the LARCA (UMR8225) research centre. Her work focuses on early modern English travels to Muslim Asia and their historical and literary receptions in Europe. Some past publications include Three Romances of Eastern Conquest (Manchester University Press, 2018) and the coedited collection of essays Eastern Resonances (Routledge, 2019). She has just finished coediting the collective Writing Distant Travels and Multilingualism in Early Modern England with Chloë Houston and Sophie Lemercier-Goddard (forthcoming with Brepols).

By this author

Stéphanie Prévost

LARCA/CNRS-UMR 8225
Université Paris Cité
Institut universitaire de France

Stéphanie Prévost is Senior lecturer in 19th-century British history at Université Paris Cité, a member of LARCA, and a junior member of the Institut universitaire de France. She has extensively published on British-Ottoman nineteenth-century relations and the allophone press, on which she recently co-edited Immigration and Exile Foreign-Language Press in the UK and in the US : Connected Histories of the 19th and 20th Centuries with Bénédicte Deschamps (Bloomsbury). As part of her IUF project, she is currently researching late-19th-early 20th century practices of refuge in Britain and the Empire well before the advent of a refugee status.

By this author

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The text only may be used under licence CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. All other elements (illustrations, imported files) are “All rights reserved”, unless otherwise stated.

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