Conference paper

A View on Venetian Apprenticeship through the Garzoni Database

A sample of contracts of apprenticeship from three periods in the history of early modern Venice is analysed, as recorded in the archive of the Giustizia Vecchia, a venetian magistracy. The periods are the end of the 16th century, the 1620s and the 1650s. A set of findings is discussed. First, the variety of professions represented in the dataset reduces over time, as the proportion of venetian apprentices increases, in accordance with previous literature highlighting the decline of the venetian economy during the 17th century. Secondly, apprenticeships are found to be divided into two broad groups: those who stipulated a payment to be given by the master to the apprentice (circa 80%), and those who did not. The first group is suggested to represent contracts used in part, sometimes exclusively, to hire cheap workforce as well as to provide training. Lastly, professional profiles are introduced, as a combination of statistics which provide evidence of three typologies of professions with respect to apprenticeship market dynamics.

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