The world of ambassador jacobus colyer: material culture of the dutch 'nation' in Istanbul during the first half of the 18th century
Cornelissen, Marloes (2016) The world of ambassador jacobus colyer: material culture of the dutch 'nation' in Istanbul during the first half of the 18th century. [Thesis]
This dissertation concerns the study of material culture of the Dutch 'nation' residing in Istanbul between 1700 and 1750. This 'nation,' connected to each other through Ambassador Jacobus Colyer (d. 1725), was a community of diplomats, merchants and other individuals that enjoyed Dutch protection in Ottoman realms. The topic of this dissertation, then, stands at the crossroads of the study of Ottoman and Dutch history as well as material culture and consumption studies. Its main objective is to recreate the material 'world' of the members of the Dutch 'nation' through an analysis of personal belongings, which they left behind when they died or departed the Ottoman capital. This dissertation is primarily based on their inventory records, auction records and final wills which were recorded in multiple languages and infused with Ottoman terms. The Dutch community was nearly all but Dutch and consisted mainly of people whose families had lived in the Ottoman Empire for several generations. Many of them enjoyed Dutch protection because they shared religious beliefs, worked for the Dutch Embassy or had managed to set up (a connection with) merchant companies on Dutch grounds. They not only had close ties with other Europeans but they were also in contact with Ottoman merchants, brokers and members of the local elite. They navigated between multiple consumption cultures, and created a cultural context of their own of mixed European, Ottoman and Asian material culture. While most studies on material culture and consumption focus on supply and demand, this dissertation shows that the understudied topic of re-circulation of goods was equally important in eighteenth-century Istanbul.
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