20 From the Corpus Iuris to ‘psalterioli da puti’, on Parchment, Bound, Gilt... The Price of Any Book Sold in Venice 1484-1488
The ledger of the Venetian bookseller Francesco De Madiis, known as the Zornale (1484-88), which is currently being studied by Cristina Dondi and Neil Harris, offers a unique insight into the market value of the earliest printed books, of any sort. The essay offers the analysis of a variety of subjects, prices, sales, customers, and comparison with the cost of living in Renaissance Venice, the largest place of production and distribution in 15th-century Europe. The focus is first and foremost on the cheapest and most popular items, a production and trade enabled by the new technology.
Keywords: Incunabula • Corpus Iuris • Book trade • Francesco De Madiis • Book prices