Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Khans & The Royal Exchange

Julie Flavell has written a book titled When London Was Capital of America.  One of the illustrations is a print by Thomas Malton of  The Royal Exchange in 1798.  The illustrations I have below are by different artists, but show the same detail.  What struck me most, was how much The Royal Exchange resembled  the Khans we saw in Syria.  Queen Elizabeth I decided that merchants and traders should have a place other than coffee shops to do business, so the first Exchange was opened in 1551.  Khans had been in use throughout the Ottoman Empire long before that.  I am curious to know if the architect of The Royal Exchange had seen sketches of the khans brought back to Britain by traveling traders.

The Royal Exchange
The Royal Exchange

A Khan, Aleppo

Khan off the souk, Damascus

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