The Mercers of Parma; 1585-1739: A Microcosm of the World of Commerce
Panter, John Donald
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Examination of 21 inventories and other documents from Parma, ranging from 1585 to 1739, correlating with historical trends over the period, revealed changes in the local and internationally ramified trade in mercery: cloth, apparel, fibre and ancillary goods. Prices for denotable goods varied in an inverted U curve, lower at the beginning and end of the period, high in the middle period when war and plague placed labour at a premium. Developments in trade patterns tended toward larger firms locally, with greater international connections and toward dominance of the international trade by Northern European countries and away from Italy. Consideration was given to details of money, measurements systems, technological developments and specialized terminology, which led to compilation of a glossary, appended.