Resilience of proto-industrial manufacturing sectors in the early modern global markets: the case of Venetian glass and silk industries (17th-18th centuries)

Post-doctoral research (November 2024 – November 2025)

Scientific supervisor: Walter Panciera

Pierre Niccolò Sofia

The project aims to study the evolution of Venetian glass and silk manufacturing sectors between the 17th and 18th centuries through the lens of trade and its impacts. In recent decades, important research work has been conducted on the world of Venetian guilds, their evolution and adaptation to international competition between the 17th and 18th centuries. In doing this, the study of internal mechanisms and power relations, production and labor organization, and technological innovation has been rightly privileged within an intense historiographical debate. The study of the commercialization of the products of these manufacturing sectors, on the other hand, remains largely unexplored, as does that of the impact that the dynamics of international trade and the circulation of manufactured goods had on the productive world. In this regard, several works in recent decades have analyzed the role of external events (such as wars, epidemics etc.) on the performance of economic activities, studying their resilience and recover capacity. Through a comparative analysis conducted on both Venetian and European quantitative and qualitative sources, the project aims to explore the resilience of the Venetian glass and silk sectors in the face of frequent disruptions in international trade or sudden changes in demand. By doing so, it will be possible to better trace the network of diffusion of the products of Venetian manufactures to international markets, understand the characteristics of these trades and their variation over time, and reconstruct the impact that global circulations had on the productive sectors of the Early modern period.