(1,278 words)

1. Definition

The word antiquary denotes a type of scholar in the early modern period—to the best of our knowledge usually male—in whose hands formerly functional objects like coins, inscriptions or gems from sarcophagi, altar stones, documents, or manuscripts became historical “monuments.” The (modern) abstract noun “antiquarianism” thus covers a range of early modern erudition that is wildly heterogeneous both in approach and in the objects studied. Unlike the pol…

Cite this page
Sawilla, Jan Marco, “Antiquary”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Executive editor of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy. Consulted online on 19 March 2018 <>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321

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