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Dossier. S’habiller dans la Méditerranée du Moyen Âge et de la Renaissance

Imported fabrics and their social reach in Valencia and its kingdom (14th‑15th centuries)

Juan Vicente García Marsilla
p. 19-31

Résumés

En utilisant à la fois des sources fiscales et notariales, cette étude se concentre sur le rôle joué par les tissus importés dans une grande ville de la fin du Moyen Âge comme Valence. Il montre comment la majeure partie du marché était dominée par des tissus produits localement, qui dans certains cas étaient nés de l’imitation de ces importations. Au contraire, les draps de laine étrangers, arrivés presque exclusivement de Flandre et d’Angleterre, constituaient un marché plus restreint auquel non seulement les nobles aspiraient, mais aussi un groupe relativement important de bourgeois qui avaient autrefois quelques vêtements importés pour certaines occasions. On ne peut pas dire, dans ce cas, que le commerce international du drap était à la base des habitudes de consommation de la population locale, mais plutôt qu’il s’agissait d’un secteur très exclusif dominé par quelques commerçants locaux. Néanmoins ce secteur exclusif des tissus importés était beaucoup plus important en raison de l’effet d’imitation dans la production textile locale, qui a guidé en partie l’évolution de cette industrie à Valence.

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Notes de l’auteur

This work is part of the research project L’espai domèstic i la cultura material en el regne medieval de València. Una visió interdisciplinar (segles XIII-XVI) AICO/2020/044), sponsored by the Generalitat Valenciana.

Texte intégral

  • 2 “Jo proveí/ e l’arreí:/ perles, robins,/ velluts, setins,/ conduits, marts, vairs,/ vervins, duais, (...)

I provided her
and I dressed her:
pearls, rubies,
velvets, sateen,
conduits, martens, squirrels,
Vervines, Douais,
for kirtle and gowns,
English, Brussels
and beautiful damask
2.

1In his satirical work l’Espill or Llibre de les Dones (Mirror or Book of Women), the Valencian doctor Jaume Roig, in addition to condemning all the flaws of women along the lines of the misogynist literature of the time, provides us with a complete overview of life in that city, Valencia, which was experiencing a period of economic splendour and had probably become the largest city on the Iberian Peninsula in the moment in which this work was written, around 1460. In one of his passages, the protagonist recalls one of the many wives who appeared in his life and remembers a particularly capricious one who made him buy for her personal adornment all those objects of luxury which are listed here, and among which, in addition to precious stones and animal skins, certain silk fabrics, such as velvets and satins, are mentioned, and there is reference to a whole array of imported woollen cloths with which the lady intended to have her clothes made, such as fabrics from Vervins, Douai, Brussels, and England. Although expensive, the Valencian writer describes them as accessible to the local public, even to those who, like him, were still members of a relatively comfortable middle class. To what extent is that an accurate and realistic portrayal, or is it simply a literary licence inherited from a series of misogynistic stereotypes? In other words, how widespread, from a social point of view, was the use of these imported fabrics in the city of Valencia and its kingdom during the 15th century? And therefore, what role did these fabrics play in the local market? How were they offered to the public? To what extent were they more expensive and inaccessible than those made by local craftsmen?

2All these questions are ultimately related to more transcendental issues, and especially to the degree of commercial integration of the European continent in the 15th century, no longer seen as an abstract issue, but rather in relation to the real levels of consumption of the different social classes in a city open to the Mediterranean and therefore to the most important mercantile routes of the time. To answer these questions, there are a wide variety of sources available in Valencia due to the richness of local archives. In this case, we will start with two types of documentation:

  • On the one hand, there are the notarial records, as there are abundant post-mortem inventories among the more than four thousand protocols from the medieval period that are kept in Valencia. These describe the material possessions of Valencians of all kinds and social status, including that of some fabric shops as well as auctions of goods or instalment sale deals for some of these fabrics.

    • 3 Archive of the Kingdom of Valencia (hereinafter ARV), Generalitat, Tall del Drap, 3.400.

    On the other hand, there are the tax sources, and especially the payment lists of certain taxes levied on the retail sale and purchase of fabrics, such as the so-called tall del drap, a duty that the Generalitat or Diputació de les Corts (the representative body of the Kingdom) charged throughout the kingdom, at the rate of one twentieth of the price of any fabric that changed hands in the city, to be paid half by the seller of the fabric and half by the buyer. Not many lists of the collection of this tax have been preserved, but we do have, for example, the accounts for two months (September and November) of the trading of woollen cloth from just two years after the book with which we opened this article, the Espill, was written, that is, from 1462, in which no less than 3,096 transactions are recorded3.

The textile market in tax sources

3Both sources are in fact complementary, and it is through them that an attempt will be made to provide a plausible answer to the questions raised. Starting with the tax lists, these were written by the scribes who served the lessee of the tax, and in the case of the tall del drap these scribes usually noted down the type of cloth that had been sold in each operation, so that, if it was a local product, only the colour of the cloth was noted down, or more rarely the type of cloth, when it was clearly typical of local production, such as cordellats, blanquetes, or frisons, the latter being originally imitations of fabrics from that region in the north of the Netherlands, which already in the 15th century were considered local cloths of low quality. Conversely, if the fabrics being bought and sold were not produced locally, reference was made to their origin, distinguishing the genuinely imported fabrics from those that were in fact imitations of foreign cloths, which, despite the diligence of the local craftsmen, were almost always of a much lower quality and, above all, at a much lower price. Thus, for instance, Bruges cloth was distinguished from “Bruges-coloured” cloth, English cloth from “English-coloured” cloth, or Brussels cloth from bruxellats cloth.

  • 4 The alna was the measure of length of medieval Valencia, and it was equal to 0.906 meters.
  • 5 On the expansion of this light drapery in Valencia see Enrique Cruselles, “El mercado telas y ‘nuev (...)

4Taking into account these facts, it can be seen that of the 3,096 operations registered in those two months – a figure which certainly indicates the great vitality of the local market– only 56 involved imported fabrics, that is, 1.8% of the total, as shown in table 1, where we can see that almost all the fabrics that appear in these accounts came from the north-west area of Europe, on both sides of the English Channel. Although there are a wide variety of prices among these fabrics, it can be seen that by far the most expensive were those from Courtrai, which were paid between 52 and 68 sous per alna4, while the average price for local cloth was around 15 sous. Far behind in price was the product of Bruges, which was paid between 30 and 37 sous per alna, similar to the highest prices for English cloth, despite the fact that in this case there were also cheaper fabrics of the same origin, which were paid between 19 and 26 sous per alna. Both the Bruges and English cloths were by far the most abundant on the Valencian market, which hence tended to prefer the “discreet luxury” represented by these fabrics which were above the cost of the local ones, but which did not reach astronomical prices either. For their part, the almost irrelevant Florentine cloths were paid at 38 sous, in a similar range to those from Bruges, while the only operation with cloths from Brussels tells us of that light Brabant cloth which was only slightly more expensive than the local production, as it was less than 22 sous per alna5.

  • 6 ARV, Generalitat, Tall del Drap, 3.400. Table 2 and 3 are based on this same document.

TABLE 16: Purchases of imported fabrics in the tables of the tall del drap (september and november 1462)

TABLE 16: Purchases of imported fabrics in the tables of the tall del drap (september and november 1462)
  • 7 Juan Vicente García Marsilla, “De la plaza a la tienda. Las infraestructuras del comercio al por me (...)
  • 8 David Igual Luis, “Política y economía durante la Baja Edad Media. El papel de la monarquía en el c (...)
  • 9 Archive of Protocols of the Corpus Christi College of Valencia (hereinafter APCCV), Protocolos de J (...)
  • 10 When the seller cuts the fabric with a pair of scissors for retail sale.
  • 11 David Igual Luis, Valencia e Italia en el siglo XV. Rutas, mercados y hombres de negocios en el esp (...)

5Nevertheless, it is hard to believe that the circulation of imported fabrics was really so meagre in a large port city, well connected to foreign markets, and which must have been inhabited by at least 40,000 inhabitants at that time. The key to understanding part of this scarcity probably lies in the source itself, given that this tax, the tall del drap, basically taxed the retail sales made in their shops by the kingdom’s native merchants, but not the operations carried out by foreign merchants based in the city, who instead had to pay other, higher duties, such as the dret italià paid by those of that origin, or the dret alemà i saboià paid by the Germans. The Valencian municipality tried, especially later, in the 1480s, to prohibit foreigners from retail trade in Valencia, because of the strong competition that this meant for local merchants. Indeed, in 1483, the local council issued an ordinance regulating the quantity of goods that a foreign merchant could sell directly in the Valencian market, and in the case of cloth it was imposed that these had to be dispatched “a bales”, meaning packed in large bundles as they were transported on their ships7.The Germans were the most affected by these prohibitions, as important companies, such as those of the Ravensburgs or the Ankereutes, had profitable shops open in Valencia at that time8. Nonetheless, it should be borne in mind that some foreigners did associate with local merchants, as was the case of the Flemish Antoni de la Raç – probably from Arras– with Joan Almenara, whose inventory, drawn up in 1490, listed as many as 239 rolls of cloth, all of wool except 7 of silk, valued at a total of no less than 34,000 sous9. These sales made al tall10 would, however, appear in the accounts of the Generalitat tax, so that, even considering the possible frauds and absences in the list, one would not expect a very significant incidence of foreigners in this retail market of woollen fabrics, especially if we take into account that Italian merchants, for example, were more involved in the silk trade at that time, while the Germans brought mainly cotton and linen whips to the local market. Likewise, in the imports made by the Genoese, which paid the duty known as lleuda de Tortosa between 1462 and 1464, in fact, only silk, cotton, fustian, and stamen fabrics were found, and these were not the most frequent goods either, being second only to paper, spices, weapons and dyes11.

  • 12 ARV, Generalitat 3.324, Manifest de les Sedes de 1474, f°10v°-14r° and 39v°-47r°.
  • 13 Germán Navarro Espinach, “Los negocios de la burguesía en la industria precapitalista valenciana de (...)
  • 14 Rafael Narbona Vizcaín, “Oficios y conversos ante la Germanía de Valencia (1458‑1519)”, En la Españ (...)

6Therefore, there must not have been too much difference between the image provided by this tax source and the reality, so that the trade in imported woollen cloths must have been a fairly exclusive business, monopolised by a few local retailers who seemed to have specialised in the highest segment of the market. In fact, those few foreign cloths that paid the tall del drap were sold by a very small group of Valencian merchants, barely twelve, of whom three stood out powerfully. Among them, Jaume de Monrós was responsible for half of the sales of imported cloth in those two months of 1462, with 28 operations, being, for instance, the only one to sell Florentine cloth and the largest supplier of English or Courtrai cloth. Only Pere Navarro was truly his competitor in the fabrics of Bruges, and in everything else, it was Francesc Torí. It should also be noted that some of these merchants were also very prominent sellers of silks, as can be seen in another tax list, that of the Manifest de les Sedes of 1471, in which Francesc Torí was quoted for another 3,076 alnes of fabrics such as velvet, satin, camelote or brocade, while another Monrós, Gabriel, perhaps Jaume’s brother or son, paid for another 1,097 alnes of silk fabrics that he had sold12. The Monrós lineage was, in fact, present with some frequency in the municipal council of Valencia, representing the trade of drapers (cloth merchants). Jaume de Monrós appears as a conseller (member of the local government) in 1462 and 1465, and Gabriel in 1466 and 1469. Gabriel also had two sons, Lluís and Bernat13, who were also merchants. Rafael Narbona suggests the possibility that they were a converse family who would have started their business in the initially more modest activity of resellers of second-hand clothes, whose guild they began to represent as early as the second quarter of the 15th century14.

  • 15 The bishop’s purchase took place on 15 November 1462 (ARV, Generalitat 3.400, f°32r°), among the me (...)

7In any event, the Monrós would be one of those few family groups that stood out especially in the buying and selling of luxury fabrics, whether it was silk or wool. A select circle that in those months, as we have said, was formed by only twelve local merchants who included imported pieces in their stocks, and whose clientele comprised people from a wide variety of backgrounds, including great magnates of the clergy and the nobility. For instance, among them was the bishop of Segorbe, Lluís de Milà i de Borja, who bought from Jaume de Monrós an alna of black Courtrai cloth for his vestments for 60 sous, or members of the most distinguished families of the local aristocracy, such as the Tous, Vila-rasa, Montpalau and Corella, all of whom appear buying cloth from Bruges or England15. However, there are also frequent records of craftsmen who are known as mestre (master), most probably tailors who bought fabrics commissioned by their clients for the manufacture of previously designed clothes.

TABLE 2: Main sellers of imported fabrics or imitations and their sales in alnes (0’9 m.)

TABLE 2: Main sellers of imported fabrics or imitations and their sales in alnes (0’9 m.)

8These same cloth merchants also offered other goods of inferior quality in their establishments, an important part of which were, as we have already mentioned, imitations of these expensive Flemish or English cloths. For example, they sold five times more “Bruges-coloured” cloths than the originals from this city, and this is normal, because their average price was usually half that of the imported cloths, which were therefore between 15 and 17 sous per alna. Nevertheless, the variety of quality was much greater in this case, as some of these cloths could be found for barely 9 or 10 sous per alna, while others cost almost as much as the imported ones. The price scale of the imitation cloths generally copied that of the authentic ones: those that copied the English cloths were cheaper than those that reproduced the ones from Bruges, and 13 sous per alna was their most normal price, while the bruxellats were in an intermediate position. No one dared to imitate the more expensive Courtrai cloths, but on the other hand, in accounts where Vervins’ cloths do not appear –which are present in the inventories of the period– their local reproductions, called vernoys, had a certain presence, among which there is also a wide range of qualities, with prices varying between 9 and 24 sous. Even though the sellers of all these local cloths also included some of the names already mentioned for imported fabrics, there were many other drapers who must have focused especially on this more modest segment of the market, among them a certain Martí Gil, who sold up to 27 Bruges-coloured cloths, 3 bruxellats and 3 English-coloured cloths.

TABLE 3: Purchases of imitations of imported fabrics (september and november 1462)

TABLE 3: Purchases of imitations of imported fabrics (september and november 1462)
  • 16 On this early process of import substitution as the origin of the Valencian cloth industry, see Agu (...)

9Altogether, 172,125 sous and 4 diners changed hands in the 3,096 transactions registered in these notebooks of the tall del drap, of which just 7,766 sous and 4 diners were due to sales of imported cloths, the equivalent of just 4.5% of the overall capital. For their part, the 88 sales of imitations of these cloths, given the lower price of these fabrics, amounted to just 5,390 sous and 3 diners, which represent 3.13% of the total for 2.84% of the sales. But the most important matter is that the local production of woollen cloths, which had begun between the end of the 13th and the beginning of the 14th century as a result of a process of import substitution that began with Occitan cloth and continued, as we can see, with Flemish and English cloth, accounted for more than 90% of the transactions recorded for tax purposes in the second half of the 15th century and of the economic value of said deals16.

Imported fabrics in private wardrobes and in shops

  • 17 This is a provisional analysis to which several hundred more inventories will soon be added. For th (...)

10This image is confirmed by notarial sources. Specifically, out of a sample of 205 inventories and auction records from the years 1395 to 1500 that I was able to examine in the Archive of the Kingdom of Valencia, only 28 registered the presence of some imported cloth, including a few pieces of silk in this case. Thus, from these documents we can calculate that one in seven people in Valencia could have access to these fabrics although, in reality, those who could afford them only owned between one and three garments made from imported cloth, while the bulk of their wardrobes were also made up of garments from local cloth17. The occupations of these privileged consumers that we have been able to list are shown in Table 4 which clearly highlights those who simply referred to themselves as ciutadans. These were normally rentiers retired from other trades who were involved in loans, property speculation and political activity, and for whom appearance was particularly important, especially if we bear in mind that many of them aimed at the future ennoblement of their families. They are followed by the merchants themselves, who obviously enjoyed much more direct access to these goods, and certain “liberal professionals”, such as notaries and jurists. Only two nobles and a clergyman appear here, which is due more to the randomness of the sample than anything else. Also noteworthy is the presence, episodic but illustrative, of some craftsman, sailor or farmer who might have a garment of special importance which they would surely display with pride on special occasions.

TABLE 4: Profession or social condition of owners of imported fabrics in valencian notarial inventories

TABLE 4: Profession or social condition of owners of imported fabrics in valencian notarial inventories
  • 18 ARV, Protocolos de Antoni Altarriba 53, 16th July 1429.
  • 19 ARV, Protocolos de Joan Comes 601, 11th January 1498.
  • 20 ARV, Protocolos de Bartomeu Tolsà 2.232, 20th June y 8th July1440 respectively.
  • 21 APCCV, Protocolos de Joan d’Aguilar 14.091, 3rd June 1395.

11However, they were not the only ones to have few garments made from foreign fabrics. The same was true of most houses, and the number of garments was usually limited. For instance, the notary Pere Savartés, one of those who had the largest wardrobe, owned at his death in 1429 a purple coat of Florentine cloth with the sleeves lined with squirrel fur and a black coat of Flanders cloth, also lined with the same fur, as well as a drap de coll, a kind of foulard and a trescoll or scarf for a woman’s hat, both made of “cloth of France”: just four garments out of a total of 24 that he had in his house, counting his own and those of his family18. For his part, the citizen Joan de Gallach, who died in 1498, although had several silk and velvet garments, only owned a shawl of Courtrai cloth for which, of course, his executors obtained 90 sous at the auction of his goods, more than for the tapestries from Tournai, the chairs from Genoa or the German linen tablecloths that adorned his house19. Much further down the social scale, the rope-maker Francesc d’Anyó owned in 1450 “a coat of English cloth lined with green cloth” and a pair of Flanders tights, as did the baker Miquel Vicent, owner of another coat of English cloth lined with Frisian cloth and a pair of cotton doublets from Cyprus20. Only the merchants possessed more abundant imported clothing, probably because their constant contact with the foreign market allowed them to obtain these luxury goods more easily, the quality of which they also advertised in this way. Hence, for example, Andreu Llopis, who died in 1395, as well as having several pieces of silk from Lucca and Cologne, had red tights made of cloth from Vervins, and above all his wife wore a gown from the same city and three Florentine mantillas21.

  • 22 ARV, Protocolos de Andreu Gasull 4.393, 18th September 1415.

12In all these cases, the variety of provenance of the cloths is greater than that found in the tax lists. Thus, genuine Vervins, which came from that town in Flanders, and linen from Mechelen, as well as tablecloths and towels from Germany or Holland, made of linen, frequently appear in the inventories of goods. A cloth merchant, that is, a professional second-hand cloth merchant, such as Domingo Çoma, who died in 1415, had a gown, three cloaks, a gonela (skirt) and tights, all made of Vervins from Flanders22. Most of these were outer garments, such as gown, cloaks and capes, in which the use of good cloth, of high-quality wool and with a solid weave, was important, making them visible banners of the wearer’s well-being. On the few occasions when such garments appear to be valued, their prices are very high indeed. Among those owned by Domingo Çoma himself, the price of the Vervins coat was estimated at 88 sous, so that buying such a coat could cost a skilled master craftsman a month’s work.

  • 23 On these measures see Antoni Llibrer Escrig, Los orígenes de la industria de la lana en la Baja Eda (...)

13The comparison of these imported fabric prices with the local ones can be made more accurately when looking at the inventories of cloth shops such as the one mentioned above of Joan Almenara, from 1490 (see note 6). In his store there were 193 rolls of locally produced woollen fabrics and 29 rolls of imported ones. The local fabrics were classified by their colour and the number of weft threads, which was directly related to their width, thickness, and weight, from the catorcenos (14s) -of 1,400 weft threads- to the veintisietenos (27s), being much more common those of 2,100 threads, which had a width of 86 cm, and those of 18, which measured 82 cm23. Tables 5 and 6 show the price variations in relation to these two parameters –colour and weft thickness– in comparison with foreign fabrics. A striking feature is precisely the variety of prices of fabrics with identical descriptions, up to ten different ones in some cases, which makes us wonder to what extent there were other variables that we do not know today, such as the quality of the wool used, the perfection of the carding or felting, or the type of dye used to achieve the indicated colour.

  • 24 APCCV, Protocolos de Jaume Albert 11.257, July 13th 1490. Table 6 is based on the same source.

TABLE 524: Prices of local fabrics in Joan almenara’s shop (Valencia, 1490), (highest and lowest price in sous)

TABLE 524: Prices of local fabrics in Joan almenara’s shop (Valencia, 1490), (highest and lowest price in sous)

TABLE 6: Prices of imported fabrics in Joan almenara’s shop (highest and lowest price in sous)

TABLE 6: Prices of imported fabrics in Joan almenara’s shop (highest and lowest price in sous)

14In addition to an extraordinary variety, typical of a highly specialized market, it is clear from these tables that, although there were some foreign cloths that were more expensive than local ones, especially those from Courtrai and most of those from Bruges, there were others that competed, also in price, with local production, even with the most affordable, as was the case with the English cloths. The Valencian workshops were therefore also capable, by the end of the 15th century, of obtaining high quality cloths, some of which, especially those dyed with scarlet, or with the always expensive black dyes, were really high priced. Nevertheless, some of the imported fabrics were still clearly considered elements of distinction, when both the merchants who sold them and the notaries who registered their presence in homes pointed out their foreign provenance as an added value. In fact, we must consider too the possibility that garments made with luxury, and specially imported fabrics, could pass, due to their quality, and therefore due to their greater durability, more easily from one generation to another, since very often older garments were adjusted to the changing fashion.

Imported cloth: an additional luxury and a sign of status

  • 25 Stephen R. Epstein, An island for itself: Economic development and social change in late medieval S (...)
  • 26 Juan Vicente García Marsilla, “Empeñando la vida. Los préstamos con prenda mueble en la Valencia me (...)
  • 27 Juan Vicente García Marsilla, Germán Navarro, Carles Vela, “Pledges and Auctions. The Second-Hand M (...)

15Nonetheless, what the data we have obtained in this research indicates is that the imported textile sector was clearly a minority in late medieval Valencia. All the sources seem to agree that at least 90% of the woollen cloth bought in the city was produced locally, which indicates the high degree of development of this industry and seems to coincide fully with approaches such as the one Stephan Epstein once put forward regarding Sicily, questioning the supposed dependence of the local economy on foreign markets25. At least as far as these woollen garments were concerned, which were used by the vast majority of the population, the kingdom of Valencia was practically self-sufficient in the second half of the 15th century, as well as exporting part of its production to other markets, such as Castile, North Africa, southern Italy and the islands of the western Mediterranean. Dressing in expensive fabrics from Courtrai or Bruges was therefore a consumerist decision that clearly sought differentiation and an expression of social success, which was usually limited to the possession of a few pieces that were exhibited perhaps on special dates, such as Sundays, or at certain festivities and ceremonies. At that time, the dress or the shawl were talking elements that, above all, demonstrated the solvency of their owners. For this reason, when Jaume Roig criticised his wife’s wastefulness, as well as pointing out a moral flaw in her, as vain and spendthrift, he was basically also emphasising that he, as a wealthy bourgeois, was capable of indulging such whims. However, a deeper social analysis of this behaviour leads us to understand that, in addition to the credit, in the sense of good fame, which was obtained through appearance, these valuable garments also served, literally, to obtain loans in times of difficulty. In fact, the legal sources of late medieval Valencia quite frequently show consumer loans being obtained by leaving one of these cloaks or quotas as a guarantee until the debt was cleared26. In this sense, buying a Flemish cloth garment at very high prices was not simply a luxury, but an investment in a secure asset from which, at a given moment, cash could be obtained. The very active second-hand market, which was fed by the unreturned garments and the goods sold at the auctions, demonstrates the possibilities of these goods27. Consequently, the universe of buyers of these semi-luxury pieces, although small, was not limited to the nobility or the wealthiest bourgeoisie. A certain sector of the “middle classes”, such as notaries, lawyers and even some artisans or well-off peasants, could invest part of their money in the purchase of some of these fabrics to make one or two garments of which they were particularly proud. It should also be noted that around a fifth of the transactions included in the records of the tall del drap tax involved very small quantities of cloth, which were not measured in alnas but in palms. This means that they were used either to make small items (bags, headdresses, etc.) or more frequently to decorate garments made from other, cheaper fabrics. In 15th century Valencia, therefore, imported cloth was no longer a basic necessity in a supposed “outskirt” of the European economic system, but rather an object of a certain rarity that served to publicly display acquired social status. On the other hand, the presence of garments that were based on the imitation of these imports, much more numerous, allows us to reflect on another important effect of the presences of those foreign clothes on the Valencian market: this was the impact on local production, which tended to imitate them. Therefore, these sources seem to demonstrate to what point the evolution of Valencian fabric industry was linked to innovations coming from abroad and which were copied with some speed at much cheaper prices, but they specially show the dynamism of this local textile, and its capacity to satisfy the huge local demand, leaving imported cloths a small and very exclusive sector of the local market.

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Notes

2 “Jo proveí/ e l’arreí:/ perles, robins,/ velluts, setins,/ conduits, marts, vairs,/ vervins, duais,/ per cots, gonelles,/ anglès, bruixelles/ e bell domàs”, in Jaume Roig, L’Espill, ed. Antònia Carré, Barcelona, Quaderns Crema, 2006, p. 140‑141.

3 Archive of the Kingdom of Valencia (hereinafter ARV), Generalitat, Tall del Drap, 3.400.

4 The alna was the measure of length of medieval Valencia, and it was equal to 0.906 meters.

5 On the expansion of this light drapery in Valencia see Enrique Cruselles, “El mercado telas y ‘nuevos paños ligeros’ en Valencia a finales del siglo XV”, in Acta historica et archaeologica mediaevalia, no 19, 1998, p. 245‑272.

6 ARV, Generalitat, Tall del Drap, 3.400. Table 2 and 3 are based on this same document.

7 Juan Vicente García Marsilla, “De la plaza a la tienda. Las infraestructuras del comercio al por menor en la Valencia medieval”, in Daniel Muñoz Navarro, ed., Ciudades mediterráneas. Dinámicas sociales y transformaciones urbanas en el Antiguo Régimen, Valencia, Tirant Humanidades, 2020, p. 83‑84.

8 David Igual Luis, “Política y economía durante la Baja Edad Media. El papel de la monarquía en el comercio exterior valenciano”, in Juan Antonio Barrio, ed., Los cimientos del Estado en la Edad Media. Cancillerías, notariado y privilegios reales en la construcción del Estado en la Edad Media, Alcoi, Marfil, 2004, p. 251‑252, p. 266‑267.

9 Archive of Protocols of the Corpus Christi College of Valencia (hereinafter APCCV), Protocolos de Jaume Albert 11.257, July 13th 1490.

10 When the seller cuts the fabric with a pair of scissors for retail sale.

11 David Igual Luis, Valencia e Italia en el siglo XV. Rutas, mercados y hombres de negocios en el espacio económico del Mediterráneo Occidental, PhD Thesis, Universitat de València, 1996, vol. IV, p. 178‑179.

12 ARV, Generalitat 3.324, Manifest de les Sedes de 1474, f°10v°-14r° and 39v°-47r°.

13 Germán Navarro Espinach, “Los negocios de la burguesía en la industria precapitalista valenciana de los siglos XIV-XVI”, Revista d’Història Medieval 11, 2000, p. 67‑144, p. 84.

14 Rafael Narbona Vizcaín, “Oficios y conversos ante la Germanía de Valencia (1458‑1519)”, En la España Medieval, no 42, 2019, p. 35‑57, p. 41.

15 The bishop’s purchase took place on 15 November 1462 (ARV, Generalitat 3.400, f°32r°), among the members of the aforementioned noble lineages bought fabrics in those months Galceran and Francesc de Tous; Guillem Ramon de Vila-rasa; Jofré, Joan and Pere de Montpalau and a mossen Corella, who could well be the writer Joan Roís de Corella or rather his father.

16 On this early process of import substitution as the origin of the Valencian cloth industry, see Agustín Rubio Vela, “Ideologia burguesa i progres material a la València dels Trescents”, L’Espill 9, 1981, p. 11‑38; José Bordes García, Desarrollo industrial textil y artesanado en Valencia de la conquista a la crisis (1238-1350), Valencia, Comité Económico y Social de la Comunidad Valenciana, 2006; and Antoni Riera Melis, “Els orígens de la manufactura textil a la Corona catalanoaragonesa (c. 1150-1298)”, in Rafael Narbona, ed., La Mediterrània de la Corona d’Aragó, segles XIII-XVI, VII Centenari de la Sentència Arbitral de Torrellas, 1304-2004: XVIII Congrés d’Història de la Corona d’Aragó, València 2004, 9‑14 setembre, Valencia, Universitat de València, vol. 1, 2005, p. 821‑902.

17 This is a provisional analysis to which several hundred more inventories will soon be added. For the time being, the sample includes all the protocols of the public notaries Antoni Altarriba, Joan Amalrich, García Artés, Andreu Artigues, Joan de Aymes, Pere Badía, Marc Barberà, Francesc Bataller, Pau Agustí Beses, Bertran de Boes, Joan Bonanat, Arnau Bonet, Nicolau Bonet, Damià Brugal, Arnau Cabrera, Joan de Campos senior and Joan de Campos junior. Some of the inventories and auctions of the Corpus Christi Archive have also been used, although they have been studied more occasionally and therefore have not been included in this estimation.

18 ARV, Protocolos de Antoni Altarriba 53, 16th July 1429.

19 ARV, Protocolos de Joan Comes 601, 11th January 1498.

20 ARV, Protocolos de Bartomeu Tolsà 2.232, 20th June y 8th July1440 respectively.

21 APCCV, Protocolos de Joan d’Aguilar 14.091, 3rd June 1395.

22 ARV, Protocolos de Andreu Gasull 4.393, 18th September 1415.

23 On these measures see Antoni Llibrer Escrig, Los orígenes de la industria de la lana en la Baja Edad Media, Valencia, Consell Valencià de Cultura, 2008, p. 84.

24 APCCV, Protocolos de Jaume Albert 11.257, July 13th 1490. Table 6 is based on the same source.

25 Stephen R. Epstein, An island for itself: Economic development and social change in late medieval Sicily, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1992.

26 Juan Vicente García Marsilla, “Empeñando la vida. Los préstamos con prenda mueble en la Valencia medieval”, in Mauro Carboni, and M. Giuseppina Muzzarelli, (ed.), In Pegno. Oggetti in transito tra valore d’uso e valore di scambio (secoli XIII-XX), Bologna, Il Mulino, 2012, p. 133‑168.

27 Juan Vicente García Marsilla, Germán Navarro, Carles Vela, “Pledges and Auctions. The Second-Hand Market in the Late Medieval Crown of Aragon”, in Il Commercio al Minuto. Domanda e offerta tra economia formale e informale. Secc. XIII‑XVIII, Florence, Firenze University Press, 2015, p. 295‑318.

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Table des illustrations

Titre TABLE 16: Purchases of imported fabrics in the tables of the tall del drap (september and november 1462)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/rives/docannexe/image/9259/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 218k
Titre TABLE 2: Main sellers of imported fabrics or imitations and their sales in alnes (0’9 m.)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/rives/docannexe/image/9259/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 189k
Titre TABLE 3: Purchases of imitations of imported fabrics (september and november 1462)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/rives/docannexe/image/9259/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 213k
Titre TABLE 4: Profession or social condition of owners of imported fabrics in valencian notarial inventories
URL http://journals.openedition.org/rives/docannexe/image/9259/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 157k
Titre TABLE 524: Prices of local fabrics in Joan almenara’s shop (Valencia, 1490), (highest and lowest price in sous)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/rives/docannexe/image/9259/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 227k
Titre TABLE 6: Prices of imported fabrics in Joan almenara’s shop (highest and lowest price in sous)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/rives/docannexe/image/9259/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 84k
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Juan Vicente García Marsilla, « Imported fabrics and their social reach in Valencia and its kingdom (14th‑15th centuries) »Rives méditerranéennes, 64 | 2023, 19-31.

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Juan Vicente García Marsilla, « Imported fabrics and their social reach in Valencia and its kingdom (14th‑15th centuries) »Rives méditerranéennes [En ligne], 64 | 2023, mis en ligne le 15 mai 2023, consulté le 18 juin 2024. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/rives/9259 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/rives.9259

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Juan Vicente García Marsilla

Universitat de València

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