Consumption in Ottoman Manastir (Bitola) and Manisa: a long term perspective
Canbakal, Hülya (2011) Consumption in Ottoman Manastir (Bitola) and Manisa: a long term perspective. In: Workshop on Ottoman Consumption in a Comparative Perspective, AHRC International Network, Global Commodities, Istanbul, Turkey
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This paper provides an indirect perspective on the changes in patterns of consumption in Manastir and Manisa from the 17th century to the 19th century. More specifically, it traces ownership of some luxury items (books and watches) and the relative share of personal belongings (personalty) and household items in probate inventories from the period. Preliminary examination of about three thousand inventories from the two cities suggests that while social polarization increased, so did the real wealth of the larger part of the population. Moreover, more people came to own luxury items although the price of the respective goods did not necessarily decline. This may indicate a change in consumption preferences, perhaps, facilitated by a decline in the price of other goods. At the same time, it calls for a consideration of the question of the ‘industrious revolution’ in the Ottoman context. The paper discusses these findings in relation to different wealth and social groups.
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