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Trade, Marks, and the Medici

Bob Fredona

Thursday 9 June 2016, 12.00PM to 1.00pm

Speaker(s): Dr Bob Fredona


Trade, Marks, and the Medici
Sixteenth-century Medici family partnerships in Florence engaged in the global enterprise of importing raw Spanish wool, manufacturing it at home, and exporting it to Ottoman markets. These entrepreneurs, members of the influential Florentine Wool Guild, extensively used visual marks (called segni, “signs”) to identify, protect, and market their firms and their products in a highly-competitive marketplace. This presentation will present the contours of a future research program on the Medici wool trade in the the Eastern Mediterranean, the origins of the trademark, and the beginnings of global branding.


Bob Fredona received his Ph.D. from Cornell University and has been a post-doctoral fellow at the law school of the University of California-Berkeley, Stanford University, and most recently at Harvard University where he was Medici Fellow of Baker Library. He is completing a book on lawyers and political conspiracy in fourteenth-century Italy and is interested in the intersection of law, politics, and commerce in the premodern world.

Location: LMB/102b