Crafts and Craftsmen of the Middle East: Fashioning the by Randi Deguilhem, Suraiya Faroqhi

By Randi Deguilhem, Suraiya Faroqhi

This quantity offers examine on craft employees inside and outdoors the guild constitution from the trendy and modern Mediterranean global. numerous of the essays are in keeping with study in terms of the past due sixteenth-century Ottoman Empire whereas different stories care for conventional type crafts in twentieth-century Turkey and Egypt resembling tanning or the guide creation of copper vessels the place Ottoman craft traditions have been nonetheless of value.

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28 UNDERSTANDING OTTOMAN GUILDS Guilds thus provided social status and self-confidence if nothing else. But what happened to craftsmen who continued in handicraft industries after the demise of the guilds? Claudia Kickinger’s study of the coppersmiths and their workshop organisation deals with a location in downtown Cairo where this craft has been practised for centuries. 58 This includes the trays which, in present-day Turkey, are regarded either as objets d’art or as items suitable for the tourist trade.

By the sixteenth or seventeenth century, city states and largely autonomous towns in most parts of Europe were in full retreat in the face of the expanding absolutist state so that the political function of the guilds had largely become obsolete. This fact had long been known but, while in the first half of the twentieth century the political powerlessness of artisan guilds had been one of the reasons for their neglect by scholars, the establishment of social history as an independent field changed this perspective significantly.

As to the inventories which record registers outside Turkey, see Faroqhi, 1999, pp. 76–80. Taeschner, 1979. This volume contains articles written in earlier decades. Gölpınarlı, 1949–1950. As one of the very few possible exceptions that I know of, the keepers of wine-shops in Istanbul were obliged to furnish rowers for the Ottoman galleys, perhaps because their lowly status made them seem fit company for the criminals and prisoners of war who otherwise did the rowing; see Bostan, 1992, pp. 199ff.

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