[BALANCE BOOKS]. Balance Books 1809 & 1815. [London]: 1809 & 1815.
Two manuscript balance books, (32 x 20.5cm approx); soft marbelled paper covers with overlaid paper heart on which the date is written, written in ink by two separate unknown hands on hand-made Ruse & Turners and T Stains paper (watermarks show female figures and a lion in a crown shield); both a little brown at edges and marbelled covers worn in accordance with age, however both are fine examples.
A fascinating insight into the day-to-day spendings and lifestyles of two unknown traders in the early 19th century. The first book (1809) describes the debts and creditors of consumable goods during some 'Adventures' including to Amsterdam, East India and The Highlands. Produce includes '8 bags of saffron', '103 bags coffee', '5 box vanilla' and mustard. The names of many debtors and creditors are also listed. The second book (1815) is written in a different hand, and shows the charges, profits and losses of day-to-day life, with many commodities also seemingly bought from Dutch regions, including large purchases and sales of Gouda and Edam cheeses, as well as butter and sugar. Both persons seem to have been based in London, judging by the number of transactions which occurred in the city, but sales also seemed to have stretched much further afield.