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Spice merchant

At the end of the 17th century there were five spice dealers shown in the Judengasse.
Spices were used in Jewish rituals, for example at the end of the shabbat and on other Jewish holy days, and they were also luxury articles which generally only rich citizens and nobles could afford.
This was particularly the case if the spices came from abroad, like coffee, sugar or cocoa.

In the Middle Ages Nuremberg was the centre of the spice trade in Germany.
As the trade routes changed following the discovery of new sea routes to the Far East, the trade expanded sharply in Frankfurt as well.
However, it seems to have remained largely a preserve of Christian merchants.
At the end of the 17th century there are reported to have been over 200 small spice traders (in the broadest sense of the term), only five of which were Jews.




© Jüd. Museum Frankfurt 1992-2002 /  Sources