Consumption Studies and the History of the Ottoman Empire, 1550-1922

An Introduction

Edited by Donald Quataert

Subjects: Ottoman Studies
Series: SUNY series in the Social and Economic History of the Middle East
Paperback : 9780791444320, 358 pages, December 1999
Hardcover : 9780791444313, 358 pages, December 1999

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Table of contents

1. Introduction

Donald Quataert

2. Research on the History of Ottoman Consumption: A Preliminary Exploration of Sources and Models

Suraiya Faroqhi

3. Toward an Isolario of the Ottoman Inheritance Inventory, with Special Reference to Manisa (ca. 1600-1700)

Joyce Hedda Matthews

4. The Age of Tulips: Confluence and Conflict in Early Modern Consumer Culture (1550-1730)

Ariel Salzmann

5. Aspects of the Ottoman Elite's Food Consumption: Looking for "Staples," "Luxuries," and "Delicacies" in a Changing Century

Tüilay Artan

6. The Transition to Mass Fashion System Dress in the Later Ottoman Empire

Charlotte Jirousek

7. Cheap and Easy: The Creation of Consumer Culture in Late Ottoman Society

Elizabeth B. Frierson

8. Personal, Public, and Political (Re)Constructions: Photographs and Consumption

Nancy Micklewright

9. Goods in the Mahalle: Distributional Encounters in Eighteenth-Century Istanbul

Madeline C. Zilfi



An innovative application of consumption studies to the field of Ottoman history.


Tracing a host of important and exciting topics relating to consumption, this book describes and analyzes the rise of mass fashion dress, changing fashions in clothing, the transcultural significance of tulip consumption, the rise of print advertising, the use of food as a marker of elite status, and the emergence of photographs as a consumer commodity. The emphasis on consumption rather than production offers new perspectives on the Ottoman and Middle East past, and by extension that of East and Southeast Asia as well as Africa. Its findings also invite comparisons with those in U. S. and European consumption history. Also included are chapters that offer guidance in the use of archival sources for research in consumption history and a methodological overview of the utility of consumption studies for Ottoman and Middle East history.

Contributors include Tulay Artan, Suraiya Faroqhi, Elizabeth B. Frierson, Charlotte Jirousek, Joyce Hedda Matthews, Nancy Micklewright, Donald Quataert, Ariel Salzmann, and Madeline C. Zilfi.

Donald Quataert is Professor of History, Binghamton University. He has written many books, including Syria: Its Society, History, and Culture (coedited with Richard Antoun), also published by SUNY Press, and Ottoman Empire: Society and Economy 1300–1914 (coedited with Halil Inalcik).


"All students of Ottoman history will want to ponder the issues addressed in this book. " — Digest of Middle East Studies

"This book uses previously untapped sources, takes new approaches, and provides new insights. Particularly impressive is the use of visual evidence. Most of the contributors (notably Faroqhi, Salzmann, and Frierson) are well read in non-Ottoman sources. Faroqhi's incisive introductory essay deserves special mention as it puts consumption history in perspective and provides an indispensable framework for the volume. " — Jane Hathaway, Ohio State University