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Shipped but Not SoldMaterial Culture and the Social Protocols of Trade during Yemen's Age of Coffee$
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Nancy Um

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780824866402

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824866402.001.0001

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Everyday Objects and Tools of the Trade

Everyday Objects and Tools of the Trade

(p.107) Four Everyday Objects and Tools of the Trade
Shipped but Not Sold

Nancy Um

University of Hawai'i Press

Drawing on company inventories and request lists, this chapter delves into the relatively mundane objects that English and Dutch merchants imported from Bombay and Batavia, but also London and Amsterdam, for their daily use. Certain items, such as imported scales, basic writing materials, and the company seal, were essential for their trade, whereas others, such as food, drink, and raised furniture, were key to preserving European lifestyles far from home. When considered along with the cargo that was transported to be sold at port, these objects were far more than utilitarian goods. They allow us to reflect on the dynamic and multifaceted character of the import, which was not only intended for the purposes of exchange, but also to sustain the very structure of the overseas trade enterprise.

Keywords:   inventories, English East India Company, Dutch East India Company, wine, beer, alcohol, medicine, scales, writing utensils, furniture

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