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5 - Euro-Asian and intra-Asian trade: the phase of Dutch domination, 1600–1680

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 March 2008

Om Prakash
Affiliation:
University of Delhi
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Summary

THE DUTCH COMPANY TRADE

The Coromandel coast

We noted earlier that the first Indian region to be reached by the Dutch East India Company was the Coromandel coast where a factory was established as early as 1606. While the region had the potential of providing items such as indigo, saltpetre and diamonds for the European market, its principal attraction consisted in the availability of large quantities of textiles initially primarily for southeast Asia, but eventually also for the European market. The staple varieties included the ‘long cloth’, dyed in bright colours and with stripes and checks, and re-exported extensively by the Dutch from Europe to the West Indies under the title of ‘Guinea linen’. A variant, bleached white or dyed blue, was also extensively used in the southeast Asian trade under the designation of ‘negro-cloth’. Other staple varieties exported to Europe included bethilles, salampuris, muris and parcallas. The range of the varieties exported to the Asian markets was much larger. The principal consuming markets served by the Dutch were in southeast Asia and included the Spice Islands (the Moluccas, Banda and Celebes), Java, Sumatra, the Malay peninsula, Siam and Burma. In the Far East, limited quantities of Coromandel textiles figured in the exports to Taiwan and Japan. Other Asian markets supplied with these textiles were Sri Lanka and Persia. In Indonesia, these textiles were used primarily to procure pepper and other spices, but were often also used as a medium of payment to the soldiers in the service of the Company.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 1998

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References

Bruijn, J.R., Gaastra, F.S. and Schöffer, I., Dutch–Asiatic Shipping in the 17th and 18th Centuries, The Hague, 1987, vol. III.
Chaudhuri, K. N., The English East India Company: The Study of an Early Joint Stock Company, London, 1965.
Chaudhuri, K.N., The Trading World of Asia and the English East India Company, 1660–1760, Cambridge, 1978, Appendix 5.
Coolhaas, W. P. (ed.), Generale Missiven van Gouverneurs-Generaal en Raden aan Heren XVII der Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, The Hague, 1960, vol. 1.
Gaastra, F.S., Bewind en Beleid by de VOC 1672–1702, Zutphen, 1989.
Glamann, K., Dutch–Asiatic Trade 1620–1740, Copenhagen/The Hague, 1958.
Heeres, J.E. et al. (ed.), Dagh-Register gehouden in 't Casteel Batavia, Batavia/The Hague, 1888, 22 July 1653.
Prakash, Om, The Dutch East India Company and the Economy of Bengal, 1630–1720, Princeton, 1985, chs. 5–7.
Raychaudhuri, T., Jan Company in Coromandel, The Hague, 1962.
Santen, H.W., De Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie in Gujarat en Hindustan, 1620–1660, Leiden, 1982.
s'Jacob, H.K., ‘De VOC en de Malabarkust in de 17de eeuw’, in Meilink-Roelofsz, M.A.P.. (ed.), De VOC in Azie, Bussum, 1976.Google Scholar
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