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The Orient and the dawn of Western industrialization: Armenian
calico printers from Constantinople in Marseilles (1669-1686)
Olivier Raveux
CNRS (UMR TELEMME, Aix-Marseille univ.)
This research seeks to meet two objectives. First, it will analyze the
dynamics involved in the movement of persons, products and techniques
between East and West in the cotton textile sector during the early modern
period.1 To achieve this objective, we have combined two methods using two
different levels of observation. The first is micro-history. We will study a small
group of men in a specific place and time: Armenian calico printers from
Constantinople who came to work in Marseilles during the period 1669-1686.
The second method is an incursion into connected history. In examining the
careers of Asian craftsmen in Europe, this article will analyse the confrontation
of men from different cultural backgrounds and the impact of this
confrontation on the economies in two continents. What is the reason for
combining these two methods? Micro-history allows us to examine as closely
as possible ‘contact situations’ involving actors from societies that are
geographically and cultural different. The study of these interactions
constitutes one of the major objectives of connected history, since it allows us
to re-establish the significance of intercontinental connections, which are often
at best underestimated, and at worst ignored, due to linguistic, cultural or
political, or indeed institutional, compartimentalization based on academic
The second ambition for this research is linked to its aim. The decision
to study the career of Asian calico printers in Marseilles made it possible to see
the roots of European industrialization from a different perspective and analyze
the early signs of consumption and production of its first emblematic product,
printed calico.3 More specifically, the idea is not merely to understand how the
West adopted the products, craftsmen and technologies of the Oriental calico
printing industry, but also, and perhaps more importantly, to figure out how the
East became involved in the economic and social transformation of Western
society through its key role in the trade and manufacture of printed cottons in
Europe during the last third of the 17th century. This innovative approach will
not draw on documents in non-European languages. We do not have the skills
I would like to thank Gilbert Buti, Liliane Pérez and Giorgio Riello for their helpful
suggestions of improvement.
Douki and Minard 2007; Bertrand 2011.
Verley 1997: 160-179; Lemire 2006; Riello and Parthasarathi 2009.
for this type of analysis and, at this point, it seems paradoxical to take a nonEuropean-centric view while referring to documentation which comes from
European sources. We realise that our research is incomplete and that we
should undertake a search for further information from the archives of the
Ottoman Empire. This article should therefore be seen as an incomplete
contribution to a vision of the origins of the European industrial revolution
from an intercontinental perspective.
Following a succinct presentation of the small group of individuals we
have chosen to study, this article will examine two major elements in this offcentred analysis of the dawn of European industrialization, focusing first of all
on the role of Eastern merchants in the development of a market in printed
cottons in Europe and on the contribution made by Oriental craftsmen in the
early days of the Western calico printing industry. Finally, this article will
focus on how technology is transferred over the long term as a result of the
transmission of consumer habits and the movement of craftsmen between two
At the crossroads of two Eurasian circulations
How large is the group of Armenian calico printers who left
Constantinople for Marseilles in the late 17th century? Four, for sure, maybe
five to seven in all.4 This study will concentrate on those for whom we have
sufficient information to follow their movements with a certain degree of
certitude: Dominique Ellia, Georges Martin, Boudac and Serquis de Martin.
What was the period of their presence in Marseilles? The first to arrive was
Dominique Ellia, around 1669.5 Boudac joined him two years later. Georges
Martin arrived in 1672 and Serquis de Martin in 1675. 6 Only one of these was
still living in Marseilles in 1686: Georges Martin. His three colleagues had
already left Marseilles at least three years previously. Did they return to the
Ottoman Empire? We have no information on their next destination. Armenian
calico printers belonged to a group of itinerant craftsmen whose movements
are difficult to follow as they travelled from East to West within the
Mediterranean basin.
In Marseilles, these craftsmen’s careers followed a fairly predictable
path. Whether they arrived as master craftsmen or as simple workers, they
initially worked only with other Armenians. Later, as they became more
integrated into local society, they went into partnership with Marseilles
There is no clear information on three other persons, the master calico printer Joseph Simon
and two workers Grégoire de Constantin and Jacques Mekhitar. For a complete list of
Armenians involved in the production and commerce of printed calicoes in Marseilles, see
Table 1.
While still in Constantinople, Dominique Ellia had wanted to become a priest before turning
to calico printing. Archives départementales des Bouches-du-Rhône (hereafter AD13), 356 E
455, fol.172 v°.
AD13, 357 E 163, fol.905, 906, 1.257 and 1.257 v°; Parish records of Marseilles, NotreDame des Accoules, marriages, May 11 1680.
manufacturers, often on the same footing by developing joint business
activities.7 The value of their technical skills was such that, although they
contributed less to the initial capital and were not required to provide premises,
they were entitled to their fair share of the future profits.8 Another aspect of
this group of four craftsmen is the range of their activities: even if these calico
printers sold sometimes their own products, they were not involved in retail
sales and appear for the most part to concentrate on meeting customized orders,
firstly from Armenian merchants, and later from Marseilles’ merchants and
shopkeepers.9 The predictable development of their career in the city
nevertheless carried the hallmark of intercontinental mobility of the early
modern period.
The presence of these Armenian calico printers from Constantinople in
Marseilles was in fact linked to two major migrations between Europe and Asia
during the 17th century. The first migration involved Armenian merchants who
settled throughout the Eurasian continent in order to participate in the
international market in raw materials and luxury products (mirrors, watches,
coral, silk, diamonds and printed calicoes). Their success was largely thanks to
the fact that they were Eastern Christians and that they could easily act as
intermediaries between East and West. It was also the result of having efficient
networks of solidarity that drew on a three-fold sense of belonging: the family,
their homeland, and the Armenian community. They constituted three separate
groups10: the most famous being the Armenians’ merchant network par
excellence from New Julfa, in the city of Esfahan;11 members of the second
group originally came from Greater Armenia, most of whom had settled in
Persia during the 17th century; the members of the third group, the most
heteroclite, were subjects of the Ottoman Empire.
Arapié d’Arachel belonged to this last group. Originally from Smyrna,
he was a merchant who persuaded the first Armenian calico printer, Dominique
Ellia, to come to Marseilles in 1669.12 This was a significant date: in this year,
the Édit d’affranchissement was awarded to the port of Marseilles and this led
to a growing number of Armenians in the city. This Edict contained a series of
measures which would, according to Colbert, re-launch trade with the Levant
via Marseilles and make it easier for foreign merchants to become ‘naturalized
For example: Dominique Ellia’s business with Hugues Grand, Boudac with Antoine
Desuargues and Claude Picard, and Georges Martin with Antoine Vian and later with JeanPierre Salindre. AD13, 355 E 452, fol.485; 366 E 213, fol.236; 367 E 161, fol.2.551 and 394 E
28, fol.95.
Similar situations existed for other Armenian manufacturers. Thus, in August 1679, Joseph
Simon went into business with the Marseillais Antoine Desuargues. Purchases and profits were
shared 50/50 but Desuargues provided the workshop. AD13, 351 E 998, fol.1.360.
With the larger local merchants, including Guion, Blain and Nogaret, and the city’s main
traders in printed calicoes, including Rode, Germain, Bellière and Montagne. AD13, 13 B 44,
fol.387 v°; 355 E 452, fol.483 v° and 355 E 453, fol.24.
See table 1.
On this network, see Aslanian 2011 and Raveux 2012.
AD13, 357 E 163, fol.905, 906, 1.257 and 1.257 v°.
French’, thus exempting their commercial activities from heavy taxes. They
had merely to marry a local woman, a step taken by Serquis de Martin in
1680.13 It appears that Dominique Ellia was also considering this option in
1683, as he obtained a certificate of ‘catholicity’ and celibacy from a notary.14
However, he may not have taken the next step, as there are no traces of his
presence in Marseilles after 1683. This is in fact another symbolic date: Colbert
died in 1683 and Armenian calico printers in Provence found themselves in a
delicate situation, especially after 1686, when painted and printed cottons were
banned in the Kingdom of France.15 The death of the minister who encouraged
Armenian trade and the end of calico printing sealed the fate of this little group
of Oriental calico printers in Marseilles.16
The second international circulation in calico printing in which
Armenian calico printers in Marseilles contributed was the transfer of Asian
techniques in cotton printing and dyeing to Europe. Numerous studies have
documented the spread of calico printing methods from India to Persia,
Armenia and Anatolia. We do not know exactly how and when these
techniques were transferred, but two key elements have been identified. 17 First,
Armenian craftsmen played an important role and, second, Constantinople was
one of the principal centres for Ottoman calico printing during the second half
of the 17th century with workshops located in Unkapanı, a neighbourhood on
the southern bank of the Golden Horn, where there was a large community of
Armenians.18 These Armenian calico printers were not necessarily born in the
Ottoman Empire’s capital city: Serquis de Martin certainly was, but were the
others? We have no information for Boudac and Dominique Ellia, but Georges
Martin was born in Malatya.19 Many Armenian craftsmen in Constantinople
during this period came from towns in central and eastern Anatolia (Sivas,
Tocat, Diyarbakir) which were centres for calico printing with substantial
populations of Armenians, many of whom moved to the Empire’s other cities,
whether to the capital for its access to local markets, or to Aleppo and Smyrna
which were major cities for exports to Europe.20
The propagation of Oriental techniques for printing calicoes reached
Europe during the last third of the 17th century: Marseilles in 1669, Holland
and in particular Amersfoort in 1678, Genoa in 1690 and perhaps Livorno and
Tuscany during the 1680s. The arrival of Armenian manufacturers and workers
allowed these cities to use Oriental methods for dyeing on cotton fabrics with
AD13, Parish records of Marseilles, Notre-Dame des Accoules, marriages, May 11 1680.
AD13 356 E 455, fol.172 v°.
Arrest du Conseil d’estat concernant les toiles de coton peintes aux Indes ou contrefaites
dans le Royaume du 26 octobre 1686, Paris, 1686.
All traces of Georges Martin, the last of these Armenians, disappear in 1689, the date that
1686 bans on printed cotton came into force in Marseilles.
Baker 1922: 52; Fukasawa 1987: 43; Schwartz 1968: 709.
Mantran 1962: 52, 419, maps 11 and 14.
AD13, 367 E 161, fol.2.573.
Kurdian 1940: 79.
fast colours.21 The success of printed calicoes, which became fashionable in
Europe at this precise moment, can be attributed in large part to the presence of
these Orientals.
Growth and construction of a European market in printed calicoes
An analysis of probate inventories provides clear evidence of this
phenomenon: in Marseilles during the years 1667-1692, the market for printed
calicoes grew and spread to all classes.22 In less than three decades, printed
calico was a major product in the local material culture in furnishings and
clothing. This was similar to a European-wide trend, as can be seen in the
figures for imports of Indian printed cottons by British, French and Dutch East
India companies. The number of these companies increased almost fivefold
over the same period23. With the arrival of these fabrics, which “became an
avalanche”,24 and also increasing imports of Persian and Ottoman imitations
often of inferior quality, printed calico was now available in Europe in a very
wide range of patterns and types that were attracting customers from all social
classes from craftsmen to elite groups.25
Until the 1660s, printed calicoes had difficulty finding its place in the
European textile market. Asian cottons were certainly attractive because of
their intrinsic qualities, the solidity of its colours and fairly low price, but they
were somewhat snubbed by Westerners, mainly because of the rather dark
backgrounds and patterns that were thought to be too ‘exotic’.26 The situation
changed radically during the last third of the 17th century, thanks to the East
Indies companies’ campaigns to adapt Asian products to European tastes. In
particular, the British East India Company sent samples for copying in India
and British craftsmen who could train Indian printers to produce fabrics for
Western consumers.27 In other words, Europeans were deliberately developing
a dynamic consumer market for printed calicoes in Europe. The attitude of
Marseilles agents in the Levant seems to confirm this interpretation of the
situation: an agent decided to establish a factory for printed calicoes in Smyrna
during the 1680s explicitly to produce fabrics with white backgrounds and
elegant designs for export to Marseilles in line with European customers’
Riello 2010; Homburg 1999: 221; Spirito 1964: 4; Macler 1904: 11 and Raveux 2008.
See table 2.
See table 3.
Morineau 1995: 27.
Berg 1998: 385.
Irwin 1955: 109 and 1959: 57; Riello 2008: 337-340.
Styles 2000: 133; Archives Nationales d’Outre-Mer, C 2 193, Letter to the directors of the
French East India Company, April 7 1686.
This was Pierre Chaulier. With regard to the preference of Marseillais and more broadly of
Europeans for printed calico on a white background, see correspondence between the Rampal
company and Tiran of Smyrna in the 1670s. AD13, 9 B 175, letters of April 29 and July 21,
1679; Savary de Bruslons, 1730: III, 607; Irwin 1955: 109; Riello 2009b: 337-340.
Did this market develop only through the hands of the European
merchants and companies? The history of Armenian calico printers from
Constantinople in Marseilles allows us to go further in our analysis of this
Euro-centric approach and to reveal the Orient’s contribution to the
development of a European market in printed calicoes. Dominique Ellia,
Boudac de Martin, and later Georges Martin were encouraged to come to
Marseilles by an Armenian merchant from Smyrna, Arapié d’Arachel, with
whom they had worked until 1672. Thus the presence of Armenian workshops
for printed calicoes in Marseilles can be seen as an Oriental trading strategy. In
Asia, Armenian merchants had already helped set up calico workshops in the
main cities where they were operating. In order to sell more marketable
products for Persian, Ottoman and European markets, the Armenians from
New Julfa imported white fabrics from India to Isfahan and had them printed
by local craftsmen according to precise specifications that corresponded to
their clients’ tastes.29 These merchants located in Persia then extended their
business as manufacturers to other regions where they achieved some success,
particularly in several areas of Mughal India since the 1630s at the earliest.30
The installation of several Armenian workshops in Marseilles was the
next logical step in the transfer of calico production from East to West,
initiated in Asia and entering Europe. Armenian merchants in Marseilles were
looking for the same opportunities for profit margins as their colleagues in
Persia and India: shortening the distance to market and reducing the time
required to transfer information on customers’ tastes and expectations to
factories in order to adapt production as quickly as possible. Like the major
European East Indies companies, the Armenians did not limit their business to
making a profit on higher sales of printed calicoes in Europe. They also wanted
to encourage the development of this market by their participation in
transforming Asian merchandise which had previously had difficulty entering
the European market.
To conclude this section on the market for printed cottons, we must
mention that Armenian calico printers in Europe did not compete directly with
the East Indian companies. On the contrary, their business activities were in
fact complementary. The East Indies companies were involved in selling
luxury Indian cotton fabrics mostly to wealthy European consumers. In
Marseilles, Armenian calico printers were more interested in producing printed
calicoes of lower quality and fairly simple designs31 and their fabrics had to
compete locally with goods brought from the Ottoman Empire. The first
Bibliothèque Nationale de France (hereafter BNF), ms fr. 7.174, « Mémoire de Mr d’Ortières
touchant les Échelles du Levant » Aleppo, 1686, fol.460.
For custom trade, they used craftsmen from Ahmedabad (Gujarat region), Sironj (Malwa
region) and the Coromandel Coast for exports to Persia, the Ottoman Empire and Europe.
BNF, ms fr. 14.614. « Rapport du sieur Roques de la Royale Cie française des Indes
orientales » (1676-1678), fol.16; Raynal 1776: I, p. 425.
They worked on ‘boucassins’ from Smyrna, ‘boutanes’ from Cyprus and fabrics from
Jerusalem for making printed calicoes in one or two colours (see figure 1).
market to be affected by the inter-continental competition in the manufacture
of printed calicoes was the niche section for average or low quality cottons in
Europe.32 The positioning of the Armenian calico printers of Marseilles was
caused by two reasons. First, as the products were cheap and transport costs
were high, it was obviously more profitable to produce printed calicoes and set
up workshops as close as possible to the consumers and to the market. It was a
question of balancing transaction costs with the nature and value of the
merchandise offered for sale. Second, it was impossible for producers from
Europe, the Ottoman Empire or Persia to enter the market for high-quality
printed cottons. Labour costs and high-level technical fabrication made it
difficult for any manufacturer from these regions to compete with the major
centres of production in Gujarat, the Coromandel Coast and Bengal.
Transfer of Turkey red techniques, or what the West learnt from the East
Growing consumption of printed calicoes in Europe and Western
Mediterranean countries was thus the reason for the presence of Armenian
craftsmen in Marseilles. However, this does not explain why they were so
successful, since they were competing in a well-established sector in the city.33
They did have one important advantage: they had experts in the so-called
‘kitchen of colours’ that local craftsmen did not know and in particular in the
mastery of madder red dye.
Turkey red was a technique involving a vivid and changing set of skills
for dyeing with madder and alum which had come from India and been adapted
several times by craftsmen in the territories through which it had passed.34 The
history of the Armenian calico printers in Marseilles offers us an opportunity to
understand the complex history of this technique, the development of dyeing
procedures, and its arrival in Europe. The introduction of Turkey red was
particularly significant, since it was one of the key elements in the
emancipation of Western technology in the cotton industry.
What is this Turkey red dye that 17th century Armenian craftsmen were
so skilled in using? Information on this technique can be found in an article by
a Russian German-born naturalist, Peter Simon Pallas, who visited a workshop
for dyeing cotton yarns in the 1770s in Astrakhan, a town that had welcomed
Armenian refugees from Persia after 1747.35 This technique involved three
major steps.36 First, to ensure the solidity of the colour on the cotton fibres, fish
oil was used during the scouring phase. Then, calves’ or sheep’s blood was
This situation is quite different from the process of industrialization in the European calico
sector during the 18th century which occurred as part of the competition with Asia with regard
to product quality (Berg 2009).
First evidence of calico printing in Marseilles dates back to 1648. See Chobaut 1939 and
Raveux 2009.
Pérez and Verna 2009: 35.
Emigration began after the sack of Esfahan by the Afghans in 1722 and increased with the
violent policy of Nadir Shah in 1746-1747. See Aslanian 2011, chap. 8.
See table 4.
added to the vats containing the madder to make the red more homogenous.
Finally, seawater was used in rinsing the fabrics in order to give tone to the
colour and to wash the cotton.37
Until the 1670s, European craftsmen were unable to work correctly
with Turkey red on cottons. As a result, calico printing was not common on the
Old Continent and substitutes for Asian products were usually of very
mediocre quality.38 The arrival of Armenian craftsmen changed this situation
because they brought with them the techniques needed for use of these dyes in
Europe. Thus, during Colbert’s ministry, Dominique Ellia, Georges Martin,
Boudac and Serquis de Martin were actively contributing to the widespread use
of Turkey red in Provence. According to documentation available today,
Dominique Ellia could be seen as a pioneer in this migration of men and
techniques, not only in Marseilles, but in the whole of Europe. During the
1670s, he introduced Eastern techniques for printing and dyeing cottons
through his business connections with local calico printers and the recruitment
of workers and apprentices whom he agreed to teach how “to paint the calicoes
using the colours and methods from the Levant […] in his power without
hiding anything from him”.39
Transmission of these techniques was not limited to Marseilles.
Armenian calico printers in this city also contributed to transferring the recipe
for Turkey red to other towns in Southern France and Italy. Many documents
demonstrate that Marseilles-trained calico-printing workers took their skills to
Arles, Nîmes, Avignon and to Tuscany, Genoa, the Papal States and perhaps
even to Holland.40 Many of them had worked with the Armenian craftsmen or
were trained directly or indirectly by them. For example, Pierre Salindre was
trained in Marseille by Georges Martin and later by Serquis de Martin during
the 1670s and then set up his own workshop in Arles during the 1680s.41
Transmission of Turkey red to Europeans by Armenians during the last
third of the 17th century was merely the first step in a long process. The
adoption of madder red by Europeans coincided with another key phase during
the second half of the 18th century, when Greek craftsmen from Thessaly,
Macedonia, Thrace and Asia Minor were brought to France, the AustroHungarian Empire and Great Britain because of their skill in colouring
techniques known as Andrinople red, a bright red dye which was particularly
During the 1670s, Serquis de Martin and Dominique Ellia worked for a while in the Arenc
district, near Marseilles’ abattoirs, and their hanging areas were located very near to the shore.
AD13, 351 E 993, fol.2.015 and 355 E 453, fol.24.
Riello 2010 and Raveux 2008.
This quotation comes from the apprenticeship contract signed by Dominique Ellia and
Léonard Bonet in November 1677. AD13, 392 E 102, fol.1.214. We find similar terms in
partnerships between local masters in calico printing. Thus, during the creation of the company
that links him to Hugues Grand in 1679, Dominique Ellia promised his partner “to teach him
his secret for painting calicoes as they are painted in the Levant [...] without making mystery”.
AD13, 355 E 452, fol.485.
Raveux 2009.
AD13, 366 E 213, fol.236; Puech 1887: 134.
prized by Europeans.42 Was this technique so complex that it had to be
imported several times? Even though the success of Turkey red in European
workshops could have been limited by the numerous ingredients, the long
series of procedures and the very empirical nature of its use, the response is in
fact negative. Are we in fact really talking about the same red? Is the
Andrinople red used by Greeks the same dye as the Turkey red used by
Andrinople red seems to have been one of the many shades of Turkey
red. Until the mid-17th century, dyes using madder were the prerogative of
several towns in Asia Minor, including Diyarbakir and in particular Smyrna,
where Greeks and Armenians were the principal craftsmen.43 After 1650,
Greek artisans from Smyrna emigrated to Thessaly and Thrace and improved
the recipe for Turkey red. After visiting workshops in Ampelakia at the end of
the 18th century, Baron Felix Beaujour, France’s Consul General in Greece,
observed that the Greeks in Thessaly had introduced two major changes in this
method of dying44: local olive oil replaced fish oil and the final phase for
brightening was revised and transformed. These changes contributed to the
vividness so characteristic of Andrinople red.45 We can see here how
techniques, after their transfer, were altered and reinterpreted in response to
local difficulties and resources. This is a fine example of the process of
technical hybridization, as a result of transmission and ‘creative imitation’.46
How can we analyse these two phases in the transfer of the Turkey red
technique? The first phase introduced by Armenians in Marseilles during the
1670s was marked by the cult of secrecy and the energy displayed by these
craftsmen. This energy led to the transfer of a technology and the men who
mastered it throughout the Mediterranean. Prior to benefiting from the presence
of this technique, the Provencal port was merely the theatre for productive and
mercantile strategies launched by a group of Oriental Christians. By the second
half of the 18th century, the Greeks and the arrival of Andrinople red in Europe
changed everything. The Orientals were no longer initiating the circulation of
men and their techniques. Western entrepreneurs and nations had also become
active. Europeans travelled to Asia in order to seek out local craftsmen, while
ministers introduced policies to attract Oriental workers. With the involvement
of governments, these skills could no longer be kept secret and the practices
Between 1746 and the 1780s, dyeing methods using ‘rouge d’Andrinople’ spread widely
throughout France (Aix-en-Provence, Aubenas, Darnetal, Marseilles, Montpellier and SaintChamond), Alsace, England (Manchester), and the Austro-Hungarrian Empire (Vienna and
Trieste) in the cotton yarn industry. See Chabaud 1883: 250; Musson and Robinson 1969: 344;
Hilaire-Pérez 2002; Katsiardi-Hering 2008.
Kinini 1999: 71. In the early 18th century, Jacques Savary des Bruslons still referred to the
presence in Smyrna of ‘Greek and Armenian masters’ who worked in calico printing, in
particular for the European market. Savary des Bruslons 1730: III, 607.
See table 4.
“The high quality of Greek olive oil used during the scouring phase which contributed
considerably to the beauty and the solidity of Thessalian colour”. Kinini 1999: 82.
With regard to hybridization and innovation, see Pérez and Verna 2009.
brought by the Greeks were now codified in order to ensure their dissemination
and guarantee the long-term future of the production.47 Research by Liliane
Hilaire-Pérez on Jean-Claude Flachat and the Royal Factory at Saint Chamond
and by Olga Katsiardi Hering on the role of the Habsburgs in spreading
techniques for Andrinople red throughout the Austro-Hungarian Empire
perfectly illustrates the changes that occurred during these two periods and
provides evidence of a turning point in the circulation of Eurasian techniques.48
From now on, and notably thanks to the combined efforts of governments and
entrepreneurs, it was the Europeans who took control and this innovation was
perhaps emblematic of the times and the first signs of a ‘great divergence’ in
economic development in Asia and Europe.
With this research at the crossroads between micro-history and
connected history, our intention is to show the heuristic value of our
hypotheses. This article emphasizes the benefits to be gained from analyzing
the role that Oriental communities played in the construction of new
consumption markets in 17th century Europe and in taking the initiative of
transferring techniques from one continent to another. Printed calicoes and
madder red dyeing techniques do not represent an isolated case. Further
research should be carried out into the activities of other groups, such as
Maronite and Syriac Christians, and other consumer products and production
methods, such as coffee, Turkish baths, coral, silk and Angora wool. More
importantly, a study of the migration of tastes, products, men and techniques
across the Eurasian landmass offers promising results that could provide a new
approach to the underlying causes of economic, social and technical
transformations that led to the first industrial revolution in Europe49.
We can quote for example the publication, by the French government, of dyeing methods
used by François Goudard in Aubenas (Mémoire contenant le procédé de la teinture du coton
rouge incarnat d’Andrinople sur le coton filé, Paris, 1765). On the desire to codify and diffuse
these skills, see Hilaire-Pérez 2002.
Hilaire-Pérez 2002; Katsiardi-Hering 2008.
On this topic see Berg 2012.
Table 1: Main Armenians involved in trade and production of printed calicoes in
Marseilles in the late 17th century
Native from
Documented period
Originating from Isfahan
Bogous de Acoub
New Julfa
Grégoire de Arabet
New Julfa
Grégoire de Constans
New Julfa
Melchion de Nazar
New Julfa
Raphaël Ruply
New Julfa
Sarougan de George
New Julfa
Zacharie de Georges
New Julfa
Paul de Serquis
New Julfa
Merchant and manufacturer
Serquis de Jean
New Julfa
Merchant and manufacturer
Originating from Greater Armenia. Districts of Guegharkounik, Goghtn, Erndjak and Nakhitchévan
Petrous de Aghanaly
Nascib de Grégoire
Thorous de Piron
Bogous de Anat
Marcara de Garubian
Jacob de Mirza
Originating from Ottoman Empire
Chain de Amiras
Jean de Chéliby
Minas Thorous
Mirza de Simon
Paul Alexandre
Arapié d’Arakel
Merchant and manufacturer
Serquis de Martin
Dominique Ellia
Joseph Simon
Printer and after MasterGeorges Martin
Grégoire de Constantin
Jacques Mekhitar
Sources: AD13. Parish ledgers and notarial acts of Marseilles (1666-1695). We have preserved
the orthographies of the Armenian names as they were found in the documents.
Table 2: Printed calicoes for furnishing and garments in the probate inventories with
textiles of Marseilles (1667-1693)
Numbers of
Inventories with
Inventories with
inventories with
calicoes for
compared to
calicoes for
compared to
the total
the total
Sources: AD13, 2 B 803-807 (sénéchaussée of Marseilles, inventories). First period: from 1st
January 1667 to 17th February 1667 and from 11th November 1667 to 31st.December 1668.
Second period: from 1st January 1680 to 4th March 1681. The third and last period: from 1st
January 1692 to 1st August 1693.
Table 3: Numbers of Indian cotton pieces exported to Europe by East Indies Companies.
Annual average (1665-1684)
50,000 *
100,000 **
* Covers the period 1670-1680. ** Covers the period 1680-1685.
Sources: Riello 2009a and Haudrère 2008.
Table 4: Turkey red techniques used by Armenians and Greeks in the 18th century
Scouring and oiling
Mordanting (aluming)
Armenian refugees from Persia
in Astrakhan (c. 1770)
Fish oil mixed with an alkaline
solution (soda)
Crushed gall nuts
Alun and soda solution
Madder and calves’ or sheep’s
Digestion in a soda bath
Greeks from Thessaly (1797)
Boiled soda solution
Soda and sheep’s droppings
Treated with olive oil
Crushed gall nuts or sumac baths
Alun and soda solution
Madder and cow’s or sheep’s blood
Boiled alkaline solution with soda
and soap
Sea water
River water
Sources: O’Neill 1876: 219; Château 1876: 39; Beaujour 1800: I, 261.
Figure 1: Cotton fabric with floral prints from the 17th century (Anatolia, Kurdistan or
Armenia) (lining of an Armenian bound manuscript)
Source: Matenadaran (Yerevan), with thanks to Director Hrachya Tamrazyan for permission to
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