Damascus: Tinners

Date: Late fifteenth or early sixteenth centuries

Tinners (sing. samkarī) are recorded as having been members of the zuʿr (criminal gangs) in late Mamluk Damascus. See also: Copper Beater; Decorator of Copper Vessels.

Citation: Miura, Toru, Dynamism in the urban Society of Damascus: The Ṣāliḥiyya Quarter from the twelfth to the twentieth Centuries, Islamic Area Studies 2 (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2016), p. 164.

Damascus: Tinners

Date: c.1890-1906

Arabic: samkarī

The tinner operated from a shop equipped with a charcoal-heated stove, tin snips, pieces of tin plate, and a soldering iron. The artisan would make lamps, salt cellars, storage tins, coffee pots, and other items. The authors of the Dictionary of Damascene Crafts claim that this was a low-status craft and that most of its practitioners were Jews.

Citation: al-Qasimi, Muhammad Saʿid, Jamal al-Din al-Qasimi, and Khalil al-ʿAzm (al-Azem), Dictionnaire des métiers damascains, ed., Zafer al-Qasimi. (Le Monde d’Outre-Mer passé et présent, Deuxième série, Documents III, Paris and Le Haye: Mouton and Co., 1960), p. 239 (chapter 162).

See also: Milwright, Marcus. “Metalworking in Damascus at the End of the Ottoman Period: An Analysis of the Qamus al-Sina‘at al-Shamiyya”, in: Venetia Porter and Mariam Rosser-Owen, eds, Metalwork and Material Culture in the Islamic World: Art, Crafts and Text. Essays presented to James W. Allan (London: I B Tauris, 2012), p. 272.