15. Ship and caravan cargo from Syria to Genoa

16. Cargo from Alexandria (Egypt)

17. Register of foreign exchange operations and transfers of Francesco di Marco Datini and his partners in Barcelona

18. Chief accountant Matthäus Schwarz writes to Veit Hörl in Spain. Handwritten entry in the ‘common trade’ copy book (1524–34)

19. Tariffe Mercantili del Levante

20. ‘Re della China’. Compendio di geografia e statistica.

21. Book of accounts and exchange charges marked ‘A’, Del Vernaccia & Arrighi trading firm (1637–39)

22. Merchant’s declaration of the current exchange rates between Dutch and Smirnese coins

23. Journal of the deputation of the ship La Santissima Concezione captained by Sebastien Gay of Marseille

24. Attestatie (general witness testimony) notarial deed, drafted by notary Daniel Bredan

25. Contract between merchant Antonio de Lespaul and Jan Brouwer

26. Transaction for the purchase of silk for export abroad

27. Letter from Hernando de Morales in Lisbon, to Simón Ruiz in Medina del Campo

28. Royal Warrant from the infanta and regent, Juana de Austria

29. Inventarium mercium raubarum recuperatarum a navi naufragato in hoc portu, patronigiata per Joannem Fure

30. An inventory of the brigantino of Antonio Gusman with one bill of lading

31. Register of expenses and profits involved in the maintenance and furnishing of a ship for use in a court appeal

32. Trade fair notebook. Medina del Campo, 17 June 1584 to 7 August 1586

33. Novi Fair scrapbook or blotter (1641–42)

12. Francesco di Marco Datini and company’s balle notebook

Archivio di Stato di Prato: Datini
Registro 1028
SENDER: Unknown
ADDRESSEE: Francesco di Marco Datini
PLACE OF DEPARTURE: Majorca
PLACE OF ARRIVAL: Florence
GENERAL INFORMATION: Majorca, between the years 1396 and 1397.

This type of record, registered on paper and bound in parchment in the characteristic royal cowhide format, was used to annotate data on the goods that passed through the company, providing valuable information about the circulation and the costs of this merchandise. They frequently contain data on miscellaneous topics, and give information – as in this case – on receipts of company cash paid to, or returned by third parties. A closer examination of this section of our notebook reveals how the different receipts are separated from each other by a line; each is written in the hand and the language of the respective beneficiary, from the volgare of the Italian merchants, and the languages of the Majorcan and Catalan merchants, to entries in Hebrew by those of Jewish origin. The document thus gives us a multilingual snapshot of the lively and extraordinary complexity of relations between people of different cultures. The employees of the Datini company in Majorca knew the language of the area in which they operated and, when faced with the difficulties raised by the receipts of Jewish merchants, they inserted a sort of translation for greater clarity, e.g., ‘Questo dicie che Maghalufo à ’uto contanti l.20, dì 29 di novembre (1397)’ (c. 182v, no. 2), i.e., ‘This means that Maghalufo has received 20 liras in cash on 29 November 1397’.

(Chiara Marcheschi)

15. Ship and caravan cargo from Syria to Genoa

16. Cargo from Alexandria (Egypt)

17. Register of foreign exchange operations and transfers of Francesco di Marco Datini and his partners in Barcelona

18. Chief accountant Matthäus Schwarz writes to Veit Hörl in Spain. Handwritten entry in the ‘common trade’ copy book (1524–34)

19. Tariffe Mercantili del Levante

20. ‘Re della China’. Compendio di geografia e statistica.

21. Book of accounts and exchange charges marked ‘A’, Del Vernaccia & Arrighi trading firm (1637–39)

22. Merchant’s declaration of the current exchange rates between Dutch and Smirnese coins

23. Journal of the deputation of the ship La Santissima Concezione captained by Sebastien Gay of Marseille

24. Attestatie (general witness testimony) notarial deed, drafted by notary Daniel Bredan

25. Contract between merchant Antonio de Lespaul and Jan Brouwer

26. Transaction for the purchase of silk for export abroad

27. Letter from Hernando de Morales in Lisbon, to Simón Ruiz in Medina del Campo

28. Royal Warrant from the infanta and regent, Juana de Austria

29. Inventarium mercium raubarum recuperatarum a navi naufragato in hoc portu, patronigiata per Joannem Fure

30. An inventory of the brigantino of Antonio Gusman with one bill of lading

31. Register of expenses and profits involved in the maintenance and furnishing of a ship for use in a court appeal

32. Trade fair notebook. Medina del Campo, 17 June 1584 to 7 August 1586

33. Novi Fair scrapbook or blotter (1641–42)