Eighteenth-century consumers of the Qing and Ottoman empires had access to an increasingly diverse array of goods, from home furnishings to fashionable clothes and new foodstuffs. While this tendency was of shorter duration and intensity in the Ottoman world, some urbanites of the sultans’ realm did enjoy silks, coffee, and Chinese porcelain. By contrast, a vibrant consumer culture flourished in Qing China, where many consumers flaunted their fur coats and indulged in gourmet dining.
Living the Good Life explores how goods furthered the expansion of social networks, alliance-building between rulers and regional elites, and the expression of elite, urban, and gender identities. The scholarship in the present volume highlights the recently emerging “material turn” in Qing and Ottoman historiographies and provides a framework for future research.
Contributors: Arif Bilgin, Michael G. Chang, Edhem Eldem, Colette Establet, Antonia Finnane, Selim Karahasanoglu, Lai Hui-min, Amanda Phillips, Hedda Reindl-Kiel, Martina Siebert, Su Te-Cheng, Joanna Waley-Cohen, Wang Dagang, Wu Jen-shu, Yıldız Yılmaz, and Yun Yan.
Elif Akçetin (Ph.D. University of Washington, 2007) is a social historian focusing on the Qing dynasty. She is currently preparing a manuscript on the social and cultural meanings of corruption in eighteenth-century China.
Suraiya Faroqhi Dr. phil. (Germany), University of Hamburg, is a Professor of History at Istanbul Bilgi University. She has published ten monographs and six volumes of articles on Ottoman history, and is a co-editor of the
Cambridge History of Turkey.
Table of contents
Preface List of Figures and Tables Notes on Editors and Contributors
Introduction Elif Akçetin and Suraiya Faroqhi
Setting the Stage Elif Akçetin and Suraiya Faroqhi
Part 1: Dead Grandees and Their Inventories
Elite Objects and Private Collections in Eighteenth-Century China: A Study of Chen Huizu’s Confiscated Goods Yun Yan
Ali Paşa and His Stuff: An Ottoman Household in Istanbul and Van Amanda Phillips
Cutting a Fine Figure among Pots and Pans: Aghas of the Sultan’s Harem in the Eighteenth Century Yıldız Yılmaz
Challenging the Paradigm of the Tulip Age: The Consumer Behavior of Nevşehirli Damad İbrahim Paşa and His Household Selim Karahasanoğlu
Part 2: Urban Life: Generating a Self-Image through Textiles, Pictures, and Buildings
Furnishing the Home in Qing Yangzhou: A Case for Rethinking “Consumer Constraint” Antonia Finnane
A Preliminary Study of Local Consumption in the Qianlong Reign (1736–1796): The Case of Ba County in Sichuan Province Wu Jen-shu and Wang Dagang
Women, Wealth and Textiles in 1730s Bursa Suraiya Faroqhi
Consuming Luxurious and Exotic Goods in Damascus around 1700 Colette Establet
Part 3: Food Culture
From Artichoke to Corn: New Fruits and Vegetables in the Istanbul Market (Seventeenth to Nineteenth Centuries) Arif Bilgin
Food and China’s World of Goods in the Long Eighteenth Century Joanna Waley-Cohen
Of Feasts and Feudatories: The Politics of Commensal Consumption at the Early Kangxi Court Michael G. Chang
Part 4: Materials: Precious and Modest, Luxuries and Necessities
Brass Consumption in the Qing Empire Lai Hui-min and Su Te-Cheng
Consumption as Knowledge: Pawnbrokers in Qing China Appraise Furs Elif Akçetin
Consuming and Possessing Things on Paper: Examples from Late Imperial China’s Natural Studies Martina Siebert
Diamonds Are a Vizier’s Best Friends or: Merzifonlu Kara Mustafa’s Jewelry Assets Hedda Reindl-Kiel
Of Bricks and Tiles: The History of a Local Industry in the Area of Mürefte (Thrace) Edhem Eldem
Conclusion Elif Akçetin and Suraiya Faroqhi
Chinese Character Glossary Bibliography Index
Specialists and graduate students in Ottoman and Chinese social history, and those who specialize in and/or are interested in the history of consumption, and more broadly material culture.