CONFERENCE | Recycling Luxury

Friday 5 July 2019 (9.00am- 7.00 pm)



Recycling Luxury

The Recycling Luxury conference at Christie’s Education London will explore the links between luxury and the idea of recycling.

The concept of luxury is associated with ideas of excess (luxus) or even worse immodesty (luxure). An infamous example involving Cleopatra dissolving a priceless pearl and swallowing it encapsulates some common associations between luxury and immorality, or luxury as intrinsically linked to the idea of waste.

This conference, designed to coincide with Classic Week at Christie’s London, intends to go beyond the common connotations attached to the concept of luxury, and challenge them. It will posit that luxury cannot be seen entirely in the light of dissipation. Rather it will explore the links between luxury and the idea of recycling i.e. the re-using, repurposing, remaking, reshaping of luxury materials and objects across time and place, hence giving more space for discussion to this understudied historical phenomenon.

There will be speakers from Christie’s auction house, the National Trust, Imperial College London and The Holburne Museum, to name a few. Panel sessions include: ‘The Circular Economy’, ‘Thrifty Opulence’, ‘Symbolic (Re-) Appropriation’, ‘Provence as a Form of Recycling’ and ‘The Afterlife of Luxury’.  Full programme information is available at

5 July 2019 (9.00am – 7.15pm)

Christie’s Education London

42 Portland Place

London W1B 1NB


Ticket price: £40 (£25 for students)

Jacqui Ansell (

Marie Tavinor (

Tel: 020 7665 4350