Title
Skills, trust, and changing consumer preferences: the decline of Antwerp's craft guilds from the perspective of the product market, c.1500-c.1800 Skills, trust, and changing consumer preferences: the decline of Antwerp's craft guilds from the perspective of the product market, c.1500-c.1800
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Arts. History
Publication type
article
Publication
Amsterdam ,
Source (journal)
International review of social history / International Institute for Social History. - Amsterdam, 1956, currens
Volume/pages
53(2008) , p. 197-233
ISSN
0020-8590
1469-512X
ISI
000258549300001
Carrier
E
Target language
Dutch (dut)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
The main reason for the decline of craft guilds in Antwerp should not be sought in the labour market but rather in the product market. Apprenticeship systems, master pieces, and trademarks were conducive to a]about market monopsony but at the same time to the representation of product quality. On the one hand, product quality was legitimized through the superior manual skills of masters; on the other, it was objectified through the attribution of quality marks to the characteristics of the raw material used. This strategy was successful for the sale of the durable, expensive, luxury products Antwerp was renowned for until the first half of the seventeenth century, but economic elites and customers stopped favouring corporative regulations when demand shifted towards less expensive and more fashionable products. As guild-based skills were not necessarily superior in reallity, and consumer loyalty ultimately depended upon the masters' trustworthiness, the craft guilds were bound to lose credibility.
Full text (open access)
https://repository.uantwerpen.be/docman/irua/b619cc/4ee329d9.pdf
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