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Gold foil inscribed in Malayalam, Contract between the Zamorin of Calicut and the Dutch East India Company

1691

National Centre for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research

National Centre for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
Bengaluru, India

Dutch East India Company, already active in East and South East Asia since its inception in 1602, defeated the Portuguese to dominate lucrative trade from the Malabar and surrounding areas and established strongholds in the region by 1663. Zamorin of Calicut a powerful regional ruler who had initially welcomed European traders, was the last to enter into trade agreement with the Dutch. This gold foil inscribed in Malayalam, dated to 1691, is a contract between the Zamorin and the Dutch East India company regarding trading privileges accorded to the Company. This initial contract was later updated in 1711 with a silver foil, also in Malayalam. Both the gold foil and the silver foil are now in the collection of the British Library, London. The notes in the British Library accompanying the documents, signed by Govidoo of Cochin, the transcriber, is summarized as "That both parties having unanimously agreed to the above specified stipulations, two copies corresponding as near as possible with the Malayalam, have been drawn in the Dutch Language upon paper, and two copies upon gold sheets, to which both Zamorin Rajah and the Right Honorable the Commissary General have this day, 16h November, A.D. 1691 or 6th Wrichigam 867 M.S., at 13 Narrigas [about 11 O'clock A. M.] affixed their respective signatures in the presence of the younger Rajas, the Chieftans and others- each party retaining one paper and one gold sheet." (notes in the Collection of the British Library that accompanies the Foil.)

Details

  • Title: Gold foil inscribed in Malayalam, Contract between the Zamorin of Calicut and the Dutch East India Company
  • Date Created: 1691
  • Subject Keywords: Dr. Anna Spudich, India Spice Trade
  • Type: Manuscript
  • Original Source: British Library Board
  • Rights: British Library Board
  • Medium: Coiled Gold Foil Strip
  • Region: British Library, London
  • Reference/Accession No.: CAS-1036154-K7G6.
  • Author: Inscriber, Govindoo of Cochin?

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