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Document Details :
Title: 'White, silk, striped commerbands with silver heads'
Subtitle: Textiles in the tollhouse of seventeenth-century Al-Mukhõ, listed by Dutch traders
Author(s): BROUWER, C.G.
Volume: 1 Date: 2005
Al-Mukh_ or Mocha, a Yemeni seaport on the Red Sea flourishing in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, was renowned for its coffee export to all quarters of the world. Only recently it has been demonstrated that also spices, minerals, chinaware and slaves were traded on the city’s market. In the present contribution, based on a wealth of contemporary records preserved in the archives of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), conclusive evidence is adduced that at the turn of the seventeenth century hundreds of distinct sorts and varieties of fabrics and clothes, in addition to raw materials, reached the port city, either in the holds of cargo vessels or on the back of camels. Al-Mukh_’s tollhouse, in fact, was the epicentre of a textile emporium stretching from Eastern Asia to Southern Europe.