CDR-1279: SR Set: Vermeer and the Beginnings of Global Trade

"Vermeer's Hat, the Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World," by Timothy Brook provided inspiration for this Image Set. Sailing west, an endless need for beaver pelts (for hats)from North America and then Canada opened the door to trade on a scale not known before. With China the ultimate goal and destination and the lure of silk, brocade and porcelain (esp. blue and white, the basis for Delftware) and the need for silver, the currency of the day, merchants were competing with each other across the seas. 59 Dutch and 20 English ships sailed for Asia in 1610; ten years later there were 148 Dutch and 53 English, with many never arriving at their destination. The discovery of tobacco in America provided ballast for sailing east; slaves from Africa filled the ships going west. Silver mines in Peru provided the much needed silver (currency of the day) and the popularity and pleasures associated with tobacco all across Europe encouraged settlements along the east coast of the Americas. "The idea of a common humanity was emerging, and with it the possibility of a shared history."