(Antwerp: Hieronymus Verdussen, 1633). 308 x 98 mm. (12 1/8 x 3 7/8").  leaves.
Contemporary sprinkled sheep, raised bands, spine attractively gilt in compartments with floral lozenge centerpiece and volute cornerpieces, maroon morocco label. WITH 3,370 WOODCUTS depicting both sides of 1,685 coins in their actual size. Minor rubbing to joints and extremities, faint stains to pastedowns (from glue?), other trivial defects internally, but AN UNUSUALLY FINE COPY, the binding with only negligible wear, and the text quite clean and fresh.
Printed on thick, high quality paper, this compendium of the coins in use in Europe during the 17th century is an excellent artifact of commerce in the Dutch Golden Age, when the Netherlands dominated trade in Europe as the most prosperous nation of the era. Our volume was printed in Antwerp, a major commercial center, and was intended for use by merchants, bankers, and money changers, all of whom needed to determine the legitimacy and value of the multitude of currencies then in circulation. Cities, duchies, principalities, dioceses, and other bodies issued their own coinage in addition to that minted by heads of state and the Holy Roman Emperor, and as leaders of these governments changed, so did the money. In short, it was nightmarishly complex for anyone conducting commerce that went beyond bartering, and the multinational trade of the Dutch presented a particular challenge. The present guide illustrates both sides of each coin, depicted in its actual size and sometimes accompanied by notations of weight and metallic content. The unusual dimensions of the book--which make the volume of interest even apart from its content--represent the size and shape of a ledger, which would have been carried by a merchant or banker in the pocket of a robe. While it seems unlikely that the present volume is unique in its content, this kind of book seems not to have been widely printed. In any case, ours appears to be the only edition under this or any similar title. It is uncommonly seen in the marketplace, and as a heavily consulted book, it is almost always found in poor condition. (ST12933)
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PJP Catalog: RBMS21.024