Prix Courant - Trading slips and Commodity price lists for goods traded between France and the Middle East, with merchandise from Europe, Latin & South America, India, Batavia, Turkey, Egypt, North Africa, Russia and the Carolinas.
1730-1821. A group of 37 documents principally recording international trade between the Middle East and France, from 1730 to 1821. The largest group (13) is between Smyrna and France; another 7 between the Middle East (Cairo, Salonica, Acre, Seyde, Levant, Aleppo) and France, dating 1736-1787. Most are preprinted forms, all with manuscript notations of prices and dated. Most have a header of "Prix Courant" with two columns below, with varying headings - listing merchandise of France for Smyrna or from Smyrna to France; "Ocques" (unit of measurement?) and "Battemens" or "Entree" and "Sortie". One from "Salonique" (Salon, dated 1760 is titled "Prix-Courant des Marchandises de Chretiente" (Christendom). They are various sizes, from 6 x 8", 8 x 13", all with manuscript notations of prices or other details.
Commodities traded include sugar, salt, wine, soap, olive oil, coffee, cacao, cloves, pepper, opium, ash (potash) cinnabar, ginger, gum arabic, leather, paper, myrrh, etc. Wine & spirits include Eaux de Vie, wine and wood for barrels; sugars of different grades from Martinique, Havana, Vera Cruz, Bresil, Bengale, Batavia, Manila & Egypt.
A multitude of grains are sold from all over Europe & North Africa, including rye, barley, beans, flour, rice, lentils, millet, peas & wheat from Tunis, Alger, Tangarok, (Russia) Odessa, (Ukraine) Archangel (Russia), Dantzik (Poland), Venise, Cagliari, Gascoyne, Carcassone, Lombardie, Piemont, Trieste, Tunis, Alger, Bretagne, Bourgogne, Provence, Italy, etc.
The trade in fabrics is extensive - silk, cotton, taffeta, cotton in wool from Kirkagach, cotton files fins de Jerusalem (1770s), cochineal, saffron, etc. Trade in indigo from the Carolina's appears as early as 1736, with 6 more listings dating 1737, 1760, 1764, 1779, 1785 & 1787.
Currency is traded from 1734 on. Denominations include piastres sevillianes, Collonnes & Patines; escudo, a currency used from the 1500s; sequins de Venise and Hongres, Lettres sur Constantinople, Marseille, Livourne, Holland, London, Vienne. (Sequins from Venice were a gold coin used from the 1300s.) The slip from Cairo in 1736 includes under the heading "Especes d'Or & d'Argent", Pistoles d'Espagne, Croizats de Portugal, Sequins Venitiens, Sequins Torely, Sequins Gengerli, Sequins Fondoxli, Piastre de Reaux, Piastre de la Rose de Livorne. The slip from 1734 lists draps mahout de France, Londrine premier, seconde & large, serges imperiales, cadis de Nimes, Cadissons, toile de Troye, Sequens rouspy, Hongres & d'Alemagne.
Other items include
- a manuscript receipt, dating from the French Revolution with official stamp for "Regule de Enregistrement et du Domaine National. Liquidation Consomee du 24 Primaire An 6" (on verso 14 de may 1792, j'aiy de bource xxx a monsieur Hougran pour pe'e (?) le pre Sipre de xxxx de Charbos.")
- a manuscript list with an accompanying letter dated 1730. The list, entitled "Notte des Prixxxx des marchandiser vendue a la foire de Talape. Scavoir" records fabric traded at a fair in Talape (N.W. Italy). The majority of items sold appear to be various types of fabric & brocades, and some spices including saffron (dye?) and cloves. 10 x 3". The other is "Lettre de Talape du 14 mars 1730 - Quoy que l'on n'ai pas encore commanee la tenue de la foire l'on peu pourtant la compter..." This accounting records goods sold after the fair, including taffeta, steel, eau de vie, vin, etc.
- a group of 13 merchants trading slips, with the brokers names, some listed as "Royal Brokers", all from Marseille, including "F." & "J.J.G." (1812), Dodon (1816), Savine (1813-16), Mari (1819 - wine), Madon (1821), J.J. G. (1812), Joseph Nitard (1812).
Condition is generally very good, although some of small tears, ruffled edges or marks, a couple missing corners.
A fascinating group of ephemera that gives a window into the vast trading networks between east and west, as far afield as the Carolinas, South and Latin America. Item #26148