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Building Trust Relationships in Business

The De Vogel-Cardamici association in Amsterdam and Izmir and an eighteenth century Dutch masterclass on trading
Despina Vlami
p. 47-70


The Dutch company Thomas De Vogel & Co., one of the major merchant houses in Amsterdam, collaborated with the Greek Ottoman enterprise Bartholo Cardamici & Co., in Izmir. The two commercial houses had an ongoing association from 1760 to 1771, with De Vogel acting as an intermediary for the Cardamicis in the Amsterdam market. The letters addressed by Thomas De Vogel to Bartholo in Izmir and his nephew Rafael in Istanbul shed light on the course of their business transactions and the development of their personal relationship. They thus allow us an insight into the operation of Levantine trade conducted between Amsterdam and Izmir. The letters also reveal the flexible and efficient strategies and practices used by the companies, in the context of the structure and customs of international trade.

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The association
Building a Trust Relationship: an 18th century Dutch Masterclass on Trading
Building a Trust Relationship: the Context
“Nous aurons l’ honneur de vous en Instruire…pour que vous puissiez prendre vos Informations…”
Market intelligence
Quality control
Business Planning-Intuition and Sensitivity-Timing Awareness

First lines


Business correspondence has been utilized extensively by historians as a valuable tool for reconstructing and analyzing international trade during the modern period. Although business letters do not contain quantitative data and national aggregates, provided by company registers, ledgers and national statistics, they nevertheless depict everyday trade transactions, offering, at the same time, an insight into the behavior, tactics and ideas of the central characters in many individual stories of mercantile activity. In the following paper, we present briefly the story of a collaboration between a Dutch and a Greek Ottoman enterprise, unfolding in three of the major sites of international and Levantine trade of the eighteenth century, Amsterdam, Izmir and Istanbul.

The Dutch company “Thomas De Vogel & Co” was one of the major merchant houses in Amsterdam in the eighteenth century. De Vogel engaged in the import-export trade of manufactured, colonial and Levantine commodities be...

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Bibliographical reference

Despina Vlami, « Building Trust Relationships in Business », Rives méditerranéennes, 59 | 2019, 47-70.

Electronic reference

Despina Vlami, « Building Trust Relationships in Business », Rives méditerranéennes [Online], 59 | 2019, Online since 01 January 2021, connection on 27 January 2020. URL : ; DOI : 10.4000/rives.6773

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About the author

Despina Vlami

Centre de recherche médiévale et néo-hellénique de l’Académie d’Athènes

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