Artisans of Empire: Crafts and Craftspeople Under the by Suraiya Faroqhi

By Suraiya Faroqhi

The manufacture and alternate in crafted items and the boys and girls who have been fascinated about this industry--including metalworkers, ceramicists, silk weavers, fez-makers, blacksmiths or even barbers--lay on the social in addition to the commercial middle of the Ottoman empire. This finished background via top Ottoman historian Suraiya Faroqhi offers the definitive view of the topic, from the creation and distribution of alternative craft gadgets to their use and pleasure in the neighborhood. Succinct but accomplished, Artisans of Empire analyzes the creation and alternate of crafts from the start of the 16th century to the early 20th century, targeting its historical past, politics and tradition. creation equipment, the association of alternate guilds, spiritual changes, the contribution of ladies and the constitution of the Ottoman economic system all come less than scrutiny during this wide-ranging heritage that mixes willing research with descriptions of the attractive and infrequently unknown works of Ottoman artisans.  Faroqhi sheds new gentle on all points of artisan existence, atmosphere the worries of person craftsmen in the context of the wider cultural subject matters that attach them to the broader world.  Combining social, cultural, fiscal, non secular and historiographical insights, this may be the authoritative paintings on Ottoman artisans and guilds for a few years to return.

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However, the present study argues that while the ‘command economy’ put in place by these powerholders dominated certain sectors such as the trades supplying the sultan’s court and military apparatus, these sections should not be viewed as identical with the Ottoman urban economy as a whole. A divergence between sectors under tight state control and others where artisans possessed more room for manoeuvre is especially apparent when we move away from Istanbul into the manufacturing towns of Anatolia and the Balkans, to say nothing of Syria or Egypt.

Furthermore, unlike the Egyptian situation, guilds formally were abolished in the Ottoman realm between 1910 and 1912, and this action may be viewed as one of the many indicators of contemporary state centralization and official involvement with the manufacturing sector. Where the Ottoman centre was concerned, a hands-off attitude with respect to urban crafts never seems to have been an option. Whether this made a substantial difference in the life chances of urban craftspeople, however, remains an open question.

Even though the world of Ottoman artisans was dominated by the spoken word, sultanic commands survive, as well as registers compiled by Islamic judges beginning in the late 1400s and increasing in number throughout the 1500s. On these early sources we will base our discussions in the following two chapters. Only 23 24 ARTISANS OF EMPIRE Ottoman ornamented jug, late seventeenth to early eighteenth centuries. (Courtesy of Völkerkundemuseum, Munich) where no older evidence has been found has some seventeenth-century material been included as well.

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