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Le Parfait Négociant, French Full Set Pioneer Commerce Books 1749 Paris

Le Parfait Négociant, French Full Set Pioneer Commerce Books 1749 Paris


Title1 (Full set) : Parfait négociant (Le)

Ou Instruction générale pour ce qui regarde le commerce des marchandises de France, & des pays étrangers. Pour la banque, le change & rechange. Pour les sociétés ordinaires, en commandite, & anonymes. Pour les faillites, banqueroutes, séparations, cessions & abandonnemens de biens. Pour la manière de tenir les livres journaux d'achats, de ventes, de caisse & de raison. Des formulaires de lettres & billets de change, d'inventaire, & de toutes sortes de sociétés. Comme aussi plusieurs parères ou avis & conseils sur diverses matières de commerce très-importantes 

Author: SAVARY Jacques, SAVARY des BRUSLONS Philémon Louis


Publisher: Chez la Veuve Estienne & Fils

Publication date: 1749

Binding: Hardcover

Language: French

Country: France

Measurements: Quarto (4to) 26 cms x 20 cms 

Binding: marbled calfskin, spine with five raised bands, compartments decorated with gilt floral motifs, title label in red morocco.

Illustrations: frontispiece engraving by Pierre LANDRY representing commercial activity in a port, decorative bands, tailpieces, initials, plate representing scales


Good condition, wear and tear consistent with its age, some flacking present in the binding.


More information about this book:

At the end of a successful career as a haberdashery merchant, Jacques SAVARY, thanks to the support of Nicolas FOUQUET, reached a profitable and envied position: the farm of the estates of the crown. Unfortunately for him, he finds himself drawn into the disgrace of his protector and loses his office without being able to be compensated for the sums he had invested in it. On the verge of ruin, he managed to attract the benevolence of Chancellor SÉGUIER who asked him to participate in commercial arbitrations. In 1670, COLBERT, in recognition of his merits, appointed him to the Trade Reform Council. Responsible for setting the rules to be followed in the practice of trade on land or sea, this organization developed an Ordinance on trade which was published in 1673. This document will go down in history under the name of Code Savary, proof of the role eminent that SAVARY played in its elaboration; this edict will mark a milestone by requiring traders to keep accounts for the first time.


Solicited by the major trading houses, and on the strength of his new reputation, Jacques SAVARY undertook the drafting of a real practical manual intended to introduce merchants to “modern” commercial techniques and knowledge of current legislation. To carry out his task, he refers to the many reports and memoirs he was able to consult during his previous mission. Published for the first time in 1675, The Perfect Negotiator immediately proved to be a great editorial success which, going beyond borders, was translated into German, Italian, Dutch and English. In the end, the book will know no less than eighteen official editions, not counting a dozen “pirated” editions printed in Geneva, Amsterdam and Lyon.


In 1688, he supplemented The perfect trader with the book Parères, or Opinions and advice on the most important matters of commerce. This second work would subsequently be included in all the corrected and amended reissues of Le Parfait negociant that would follow one another until 1800. The Comptroller General of Finance then entrusted him with a very profitable task of examining the accounts of the Domaines d’Occident. Illness and infirmity will darken the last years of SAVARY's life, who will die in Paris in 1690. Of his seventeen children, two will follow in his footsteps: Jacques SAVARY des BRÛLONS, author of the famous Universal Dictionary of Commerce and Philémon Louis SAVARY des BRÛLONS who, although an ecclesiastic, contributed to the writing of his brother's book by providing it with a supplement. The latter is also the author of corrections included in Le Parfait Négociant from the seventh edition dated 1713.

The book presented here is above all a practical and methodical guide for anyone who wants to enter a commercial career. Aware that a good merchant must in all circumstances maintain a clear and vigilant analytical mind, he warns novices against three major pitfalls: ignorance, imprudence and poorly controlled ambition associated with excessive greed. , "because there is no profession where wit and good sense are no longer necessary". Considering that the origin of these deviations is essentially due to a lack of instruction, he devotes the first part of the book to the description of a “minimal” program of practical and technical training for apprentices. He describes a base of knowledge that they must have assimilated during their training, such as weights and measures, rules of exchange and discount. Morals are not forgotten, as evidenced by a long chapter entitled “How apprentices should behave in their master’s house”.


While taking care to quote the edicts, decrees, rulings and other royal, parliamentary or consular writings, supposed to have the force of law in France, Jacques SAVARY reviews subjects as diverse as the choice of commission agents, wholesale trade, the brokerage, the transport of goods or the various commercial techniques. He advocates the attractiveness of international trade and is interested in foreign markets on which he gives a lot of information relating to competition, local rules to be respected and the most advantageous products to import or export.

Many articles are devoted to foreign exchange, an essential basis of trade, but one of great complexity due to the disparity of rates and commissions as well as the diversity of types of notes and bills of exchange. This subject is completed by the addition of two short treatises: The art of bills of exchange by a certain Jacques DUPUIS de LA SERRA and the Treaty of foreign exchange by Claude NAULOT, spelled here NOLOT.


One of Jacques SAVARY's fights will consist in campaigning for the development of limited partnerships that allow sponsors to invest their fortune without derogating from their membership of the nobility. Indeed, following the author's journey, many wealthy merchants are tempted to buy a charge to join the nobility of robe, but, in doing so, they risk diverting their capital from the exchange economy and stop investing in trading.


Until the promulgation of the French Commercial Code in 1807, Le Parfait Négociant, continually corrected and updated in its various editions, enabled a wide audience to keep abreast of the commercial rules in force. However, the practices described in the book are neither exhaustive nor universally adopted by the entire mass of small traders, so that in commercial matters local usage and practices will remain preeminent until the Revolution.


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