Decorative arts

Arts or crafts concerned with the design and manufacture of functional, beautiful objects

Modern understanding of the art of many cultures tends to be distorted by the modern privileging of fine Visual arts media over others, as well as the very different survival rates of works in different media. Works in metal, above all in precious metals, are liable to be "recycled" as soon as they fall from fashion, and were often used by owners as repositories of wealth, to be melted down when extra money was needed. Illuminated manuscripts have a much higher survival rate, especially in the hands of the church, as there was little value in the materials and they were easy to store.