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Textile Trade In Bulgaria In The Mid-Nineteenth Century And The Gümüşgerdan Family

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Chapter Summary

Studies on textile production and trade in Bulgaria in the nineteenth century are still very sparse; however, the present studies indicate that in nineteenth-century Bulgaria the largest economic sector was the wool trade and particularly the production of aba (coarse wool cloth) and kaytan (woolen cords and braids). Both in the Ottoman Archives in Istanbul and in the Historical Archives in Sofia, there are many documents on the family's trade activities that have not as yet been studied. This chapter briefly describes the Gümüşgerdan family and their trade activities with the help of these documents. In particular, it discusses the family history, their genealogy, the production system they created, their relations with the Ottoman state, and their system of payment. As the region's most active trader, Mihalaki Gümüşgerdan kept up economic and political ties with the Ottoman administration.

Keywords: Gümüşgerdan family; nineteenth-century Bulgaria; Ottoman administration



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