chapter  9
Almond husks, brick dust and ‘super-fine-fine’
Pages 8

EVEN IN THEORY, the specification of different parts of the root was complicated. In practice, misrepresentation of the grades together with adulteration by external substances forced the merchants to be vigilant. Shtorkh could say that “we believe that Russia can export the excess quantity of madder from the Caucasus, especially as the quality is superior to both French and Dutch madder. The initial reactions of French and Dutch textile industrialists has been to confirm its excellence.” 1 But the reality was extremely modest. European merchants had accumulated centuries of experience of quality assessment of powdered madder. Virtually none was sold to Europe because the quality could not be guaranteed. Small export orders were completed southwards to Ferabat and Zinzili in Persia from Baku, where from 1853 to 1856, between 56 and 6 poods of cheap madder were sold per annum.