This lavishly illustrated book collects papers delivered at the third Gingko conference: "The Mercantile Effect: On art and exchange in the Islamicate world during 17th ?18th centuries." Held in Berlin, this meeting brought together a group of established and early-career scholars to discuss how the movement of Armenian, Indian, Chinese, Persian, Turkish, and European merchants and their trade goods spread new ideas and new technologies across Western Asia in the early modern era. Through the newly-established Dutch, English, and French East India companies, as well as much older mercantile networks, prestigious exotic commodities--silk, ivory, books, glazed porcelains--were transported east and west. The collected essays in this volume introduce a fascinating array of not only trade objects but also customs and traditions that bring this period of intense cultural interplay to life.
Melanie Gibson is the senior editor of the Gingko Library Arts Series. Sussan Babaie is the Andrew W. Mellon Reader in the Arts of Iran and Islam at the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London.