Anciens et nouveaux statuts de la ville et cité de Bourdeaus. Esquels sont contenues les ordonnances requises pour la police de ladicte ville, & de tous les estats & maistrises d’icelle. Avec un indice des principales matieres

Bordeaux, Simon Millanges, imprimeur ordinaire du Roy, 1612.

£1,950

4to. pp. (viii) 342 (i.e. 336). ( )4, A-Z4, Z4, Aa-Ss4. Roman letter some Italic. Title within typographical border, printer’s device finely engraved on title, woodcut initials typographical ornaments, interesting occasional marginalia in an early hand. Age yellowing, a little spotted on a few quires, upper margin cut a little close just shaving running headlines on a few leaves. A very good copy in speckled calf c. 1900, spine with gilt ruled raised bands, double gilt ruled in compartments, fleurons gilt, red morocco label gilt.

Very rare, excellent second edition in French, finely printed by Simon Millanges (Montaigne’s printer), of this important description of the history of the statutes of the town of Bordeaux by the historian Gabriel de Lurbe, a native of Bordeaux who published several works on the subject. The first edition was published in Latin in 1589 and then translated and expanded by the author and published in 1594. The work offers a fascinating insight into the every day life of the town as the statutes concern the regulation of its every aspect from the duties of the police and the Judiciary to fishmongers selling fresh fish or fishmongers selling salted fish (as a port town the trade in salt fish for the fleet was important). Naturally many of these statutes concern wine and give a very vivid description of the business with eleven chapters devoted to every aspect of the wine trade from the manufacture of barrels to the prohibition of the purchase of wines from areas outside Bordeaux, such as Armagnac. There is a specific regulation concerning the (very lucrative) trade with the English in wine which prohibits anyone taking an Englishman to buy wine from anyone other than the ‘bourgeois’ of the town, and forbids English merchants from seeking to buy wine directly ‘sur les champs’ unless with express permission from the relevant authorities.

There are specific statutes concerning the labelling of wine, wine to be drunk in taverns, wines that are forbidden to be brought into the town, at what times wine from specific regions inland (such as the Gaillac) can be brought in town, the use of barrels, regulation of wine merchants, the growing of vines etc. These statutes are especially interesting as they clearly show the protection given to local merchants in their quasi monopoly on the wine trade and demonstrate the particular importance of this trade with the English market. Many also concern food such as butchers, the regulation of the trade in flour, fishmongers etc. Amusingly, the first line of the statute regulating ‘des tondeurs’ or hair cutters states that it is strictly forbidden to cut the hair or wash the sheets of an Englishman if his ship was berthed within twenty leagues of the town. There are also particularly interesting statutes concerning the book trade and paper and parchment makers. A rare work, that gives fascinating insight into a town that was intimately linked, through its trade in wine, with the English.

Brunet III 1238. Not in Simon Bibl. Bacchia or Oberlé les fastes de Comus et Bachus.

L2053

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