Damascus: Makers of Cabinets

Date: late nineteenth century

Arabic: ṣanādiqī
These artisans produced finely crafted wood furniture in addition to wood drinking cups. The main work of the ṣanādiqī entailed the decoration of boxes (ṣundūq) and other furniture such as mirrors, sofas, and chairs. Walnut wood tended to be the preferred material for their work and they made extensive use of mother-of-pearl and decorative woods for ornamenting their products. The ṣanādiqī often collaborated with carpenters (najjār) in the construction of the furniture. Their creations were in high demand and produced for both local consumption and export to cities within the Ottoman Empire and abroad. See also: Carpenter (najjār), maker of mirrors (marāyātī).

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. 270 (chapter 194).
See also: Milwright, Marcus. “Wood and Woodworking in Late Ottoman Damascus: An Analysis of the Qāmūs al-Ṣināʿāt al-Shāmiyya”, Bulletin d’Etudes Orientales 61 (2012): pp. 554-55

Damascus: Makers of Cabinets

Date: c. 1900

Stereograph card documents boys working to inlay mother-of-pearl into wooden furniture, such as chests. These boys would have worked for the maker of cabinets (ṣanādiqī). See also: Carpenter; Dealer in Mother-of-Pearl; Maker of Clogs.

Citation: Underwood & Underwood. (ca. 1900) “Crude Makers of Beautiful Goods; Making the Famous Inlaid Pearl work, Damascus, Syria”. Retrieved from the Library of Congress: https://www.loc.gov/item/2006681010/ (last consulted: 13 February 2017).