Old and new ceramics: manufactures, products and markets in the Venetian Republic in the 17th and 18th centuries
This contribution aims to draw up a map of ceramics production sites in the Venetian area from 1600 to 1800, bearing particular attention to institutional and informal devices allowing local production to adapt to European markets trends and innovations. The paper investigates the logics of privileges allowance to pivate entrepreneurs outside of the guilds framework, conceived probably as a protection for offer more than for demand: they had to do with the exploitation of natural resources at a local level (water, raw materials), and of the services of a labor force accumulating specialized skills working in close contact with foreign invited artisans. The defence and seizure of industrial expertise was in fact the object of enduring court cases between manufacturers fighting to retain and attract highly qualified workers. These were the actual agents of innovation exchange among European, Italian and regional production centres. Continuous exchange and imitation allowed Venetian privileged firms to keep positions in econdary European markets providing most of the demand for local production.
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