Scartafaccio di Bart[olome]o Corsini di f[ier]a di Piacenza [manuscript].

Piacenza, 1599.
44 leaves : paper ; 290 x 202 mm. bound to 302 x 205 mm.
Corsini, Bartolomeo.
Accounting -- Italy -- 17th century.
Finance -- Italy -- Early works to 1800.
Speculation -- Early works to 1800.
Ledgers (account books)
Manuscripts, Italian -- 16th century.
Manuscripts, Renaissance.
Ledger of accounts of Bartolomeo Corsini, for the "fair" of 1599, that was held in Piacenza, northern Italy. It contains short descriptions of the transactions, which were probably made using bills of exchange, their amounts and, in certain cases, the name of the counterpart involved. A bill of exchange is a written order by one person to his bank to pay the bearer a specific sum on a specific date. Prior to the advent of paper currency, bills of exchange were a common means of exchange. Bartolomeo Corsini appears to be involved in such transactions both as a drawer and as a drawee. A fair, a usually quarterly event in northern Italy, was one of the largest markets for complex bills of exchange. In these fairs there was no physical delivery of the traded asset, but they attracted large volumes of investors nonetheless. In the event of a fair, like the one in Piacenza in 1599 mentioned in the title of the manuscript, businessmen and bankers such as Bartolomeo Corsini traded different currencies or commodities and these transactions usually happened via bills of exchange. Some merchants purchased considerable amounts of bills of exchange from various counterparts (such as Bartolomeo Corsini) to hedge the risk of the transactions, and made money betting on the difference of prices of the same asset which occurred on different markets because the same asset (in this case currencies and commodities such as gold and silver) does not trade at the same price in all markets. Front flyleaf is made of a printed leaf from a liturgical book of readings. The leaf, written in Italian in four columns, also has small woodcut illustrations of the episodes of the Gospels contained in each page.
Ms. codex.
Title from title page (f. i recto)
Pagination: Paper, 44; versos numbered [1], 2-17, [18-44], contemporary pagination in ink, modern pagination in pencil, upper left verso; rectos numbered [i], [i], ii-iii, [iv-ix], x-xvii, [xviii-xliii], contemporary pagination in ink, modern pagination in pencil, upper right recto. Each opening has a matched arabic numeral on the left and a roman numeral on the right.
Layout: Written in 3 columns with vertical bounding lines in lead; the small column on the left with the transaction number, the large central column with the name of the counterpart and a brief description of the transaction, and the small one on the right with the amount of the transaction.
Script: Written in a cursive script.
Watermark: Unidentified watermark containing a circle, a fleur-de-lis and a mountain.
Binding: Contemporary vellum; no. 259 and faded, unreadable text on upper cover; lower cover wraps around upper cover with leather tie.
Origin: Written in Piacenza in 1599 (f. i recto).
Forms part of: Gondi-Medici Business Records.
Penn Provenance:
Sold by Bernard M. Rosenthal, 1963.
Cited in:
Described in Zacour, Norman P. and Hirsch, Rudolf. Catalogue of Manuscripts in the Libraries of the University of Pennsylvania to 1800: Supplement A (4), Library Chronicle 37 (1971), no. 1, p. 17 (Ms. Lea 536).
Cited as:
UPenn Ms. Codex 1528
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