Florentines’ Trade in the Kingdom of Hungary in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries: Trade Routes, Networks, and Commodities*
Contract Researcher, University of Chicago, Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society
The article proposes to analyze some general characteristics of Florentine merchants’ trade in the Kingdom of Hungary in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries on the basis of written sources housed predominantly by various Italian archives. It opens with a new evaluation of the importance of Florentine merchants in long-distance trade by examining examples of the organizational framework of their enterprises in the town of Buda during the reign of Sigismund of Luxembourg (1387–1437). It also looks at the well-known cases of the families that were engaged in trade in Hungary, beginning with the period of Louis I (1342–82) and ending with the reign of Matthias Corvinus (1458–90). The second subchapter concentrates on the commodities transported by Florentines between the two states by describing their nature and their quantitative and qualitative features mentioned in the documents. Among the commercial goods, the article considers the import and export of metals like gold, silver, and copper, as well as Florentine silk and wool. It also mentions exotic animals and spices transported from extra-European territories. The third part of the article offers a reconstruction of the outreach of the Florentine network operating in Hungary, with particular consideration of its most important markets for raw materials and luxury goods. The fourth subchapter discusses the commercial routes used by Florentines when transporting their goods between the towns of Buda and Florence, emphasizing the importance of Venice as a major trading hub along the route. The conclusion puts the Florentines’ trade in Hungary into a broader picture of international trade, and it draws connections between the development of the Florentine silk industry, for which the city became famous, and the marketing of its finished products in Hungary.
Keywords: Buda, Florence, Hungary, Venice, commercial routes, merchant, textiles, silk, precious metals, merchant company, trade, network
The Florentine Community
Studies have already traced the existence of a Florentine trading community in the Kingdom of Hungary as far back as the reign of Louis I.1 Since Hungarian sources regarding commerce are very fragmented in nature, researchers mostly rely on Florentine documents, which started to be produced from the late fourteenth century. Recently found new written evidence have revealed the existence of a Latin consul in the town of Buda as early as 1392. The consul acted as a judge in cases involving the Florentines, and he was also the person in charge of mediating between the merchants and local Hungarian society. They occasionally appear also as royal relators when Florentine merchants were involved in court cases in Hungary. The Latin consulate in Buda, one of the earliest such organizations including Florentine merchants outside their homeland, functioned throughout the entire period of Sigismund of Luxemburg’s reign in Hungary (1387–1437).2 The first consul known by name, Giovanni Saracino, an important member of the royal administration, was of Paduan origins. Later, in the early 1430s, a Florentine (also a royal officer) occupied the position. In his absence, which might only have lasted for a relatively short period of time, a Sienese was elected to serve as deputy Latin judge.3 This information suggests that the judge or consul, indeed, was common for all merchants from the Italian Peninsula. No indications have been found so far suggesting that this form of organization survived even in the subsequent period. One can only suspect that, because of the general decadence of the relations between Florence and Hungary on the state level, Florentine merchants may have lost their representation in the region.4 Furthermore, King Sigismund’s order, issued sometime before 1428, authorized the town judge of Buda to act in cases involving foreign merchants who were trading within the territory of the town.5 This may have considerably weakened the role played by the Latin consul in the resolution of business conflicts between local and Florentine merchants.
Given the nature of the sources, we have no exact statistics regarding the population of the Florentine trading community in Buda or in other parts of the kingdom. All we know is that the community was well-connected to Florence and other European commercial centers. There must also have been a continuous flow of Florentine merchants between the two states. The resident Florentine community in Buda during the reign of Sigismund was seemingly more numerous than in the preceding and subsequent periods, including the reign of Matthias Corvinus (1458–90). The vivid life of the trading community in the Kingdom of Hungary probably came to an end when Sigismund’s attitude toward Florentine merchants changed, a shift that culminated in 1432 by his order to arrest all of them on Hungarian territory.6
The importance of the Florentine community is also illustrated by the fact that at least twelve Florentine trading companies were established in Buda during the first three decades of the fifteenth century. As far as we can tell, they were medium-size companies, mainly set up for the export of Florentine textiles to Hungary in exchange for precious metals from the local mines. The senior partners of these companies were important actors in long-distance Florentine trade, and they played a significant role in the textile industry of their homeland. Some of them were also leading investors in the Florentine silk industry, both in terms of domestic production and marketing abroad. In addition to the resident Florentine companies and autonomous partnerships, other merchants relied on their business networks or on independent agents when marketing their textiles in Hungary. The “accomanda” system, involving limited liability contracts, was also used in dealings between Buda-based companies and silk companies or silk firms and local agents.7
Meanwhile, the Florentine community during the reign of Louis I (1342–82), and even until about the turn of the century, was characterized by the strong presence of a small business group constituted by the business partners of Vieri di Cambio de’Medici and the Panciatichi family, the earliest documented companies operating in the region. By the first years of the fifteenth century, however, the business circle of the Scolari family had acquired a position of dominance in the Hungarian–Florentine long-distance trade. The years immediately following the deaths of the Scolari brothers in 1426 saw a power play between the Scolari nephews and the Bardi brothers, old familiares of the Scolari. Following these conflicts, the leading position of the Bardi brothers as well as other internal dynamics in Florence led probably to the reorganization of key positions in the royal administration and the network of long-distance trade.
1434 witnessed considerable changes in the history of Florence as well with the rise of the new regime headed by Cosimo de’Medici. Several families, which once had been important in long-distance trade with Hungary, lost their political influence and were exiled. Thus, their ties to domestic and international commercial networks loosened considerably. Among them, we find the Albizzi, Guadagni, and Infangati families, old friends, close relatives, and once political allies to the Scolari brothers.8
In the 1430s, this may have given rise to a new influx of Southern German businessmen to the royal administration and trade network in Hungary. Already in the 1390s, local Germans in Buda cooperated with Florentine and Venetian businessmen who sought to sell their goods in the city. Michael Nadler, a respected citizen of Buda of Southern German origins, acted as a dealer in Venetian merchants’ silk textiles with his partners, including his father, Michael Nadler senior.9 In 1427, he was among the debtors of the Melanesi di Buda, most probably because he was selling textiles for them as well.10 In the same year, he also acted as judge for the city.11 Nadler, who worked in the royal administration of mines, may have had other ties to the Melanesi, since Tommaso di Piero, a member of Sigismund’s familia and a citizen of Buda, managed copper mines in the kingdom. Nadler also established close business ties with the more influential Leonardo di Nofri de’Bardi, with whom he held royal offices.12 In the early 1430s, Leonardo and his brother Giovanni, both of whom were already Hungarian noblemen, figured in the role of Latin consul. In other words, they served as judges for the Florentines residing in Buda.13 In 1431, Leonardo Bardi was staying in Nuremberg, probably for a longer period of time, which may suggest that he actually had begun to cooperate in some way with local German merchants.14 Leonardo was probably away from Buda frequently for business purposes; another source mentions that he was staying in Bohemia for a certain time. The involvement of the Melanesi and the Bardi brothers, key figures of the local Florentine community, in business activity with some German businessmen, therefore, must have had long-term consequences.
Following King Sigismund’s death in 1437, very few of the Florentine families which had had an interest in the region as early as the turn of the fifteenth century continued to work in long-distance trade in the kingdom. Among them, we find members of the Del Bene and the Zati families, who thanks to their contacts in Buda, Florence and Venice managed to maintain their economic activity until around the middle of the fifteenth century.15 During the reign of Matthias Corvinus, however, the allies of the Medici dominated the Florentine-Hungarian relations; among them, members of the Attavanti and Gondi families became important distributors of Florentine goods in the royal court.16
From its outset, the Florentine trading community in the Kingdom of Hungary was built upon the export of wool textiles from Florence and the import of precious metal coins/bullions to the Italian Peninsula. By the end of the fourteenth century, by which time some investors had begun to produce high quality silk fabrics in the city for the international market, Florentine merchants had already started to export silks to Hungary, among other places. Along with these goods, Florentines were occasionally involved in the administration and probably also in the marketing of salt, which was extracted in various parts of Hungary.17 Furthermore, exotic spices and animals are also mentioned in the sources. Few of the resident companies in Buda provided banking services, but a considerable share of money exchange and safe-keeping, as well as the purchase of trade insurance, may well have gone through the Florentine companies that operated in Florence and Venice. From this point of view, the Medici of Venice seem to have been especially important. Since, to our best knowledge, account books of Florentine companies based in Buda have not survived, we have only fragmented information at our disposal regarding the quantity and the quality of these commercial goods, as well as their transportation and marketing.
By the mid-fourteenth century, Florence was already considered an important producer of wool textiles; her goods had already reached the international market. There were two general types of wool textiles manufactured in the city: the high-quality San Martino cloths and the lower-quality Garbo cloths. The areas in which they were brought to market were decisively different. The high-quality cloths were sold mostly in the Italian and Iberian Peninsula, while the low-quality cloths were sold in the Levant.18 Though differences between the two were considerable, probably due to the absence of corresponding account books, Florentine sources do not refer to the type of wool textiles transported to the Kingdom of Hungary. They were generally labelled panni, a term which clearly distinguished them in the Florentine dialect from the silk drappi. Given the considerable distance between Florence and Buda, one can presume that profit-oriented Florentine businessmen sold mainly high-quality San Martino cloth in Hungary. This hypothesis is also supported by the activity of some of the merchant-entrepreneurs who had an interest in selling their goods in Hungary. In the fourteenth century, the Del Bene were among the most important entrepreneurs in the wool industry, and members of the family had already developed business connections in Hungary during the reign of Louis I.19 Similarly, around the turn of the fifteenth century, the Borghini brothers ran a wool workshop in the convent of San Martino, and they appear later as suppliers of textiles in the royal court. At that time, the Lamberteschi were also considered important producers of high-quality wool; they imported raw material directly from Flanders and sold some of their finished cloth in Hungary. They distributed wool textiles in Hungary, also by relying on other companies, like the Melanesi of Buda.20 The Melanesi brothers seem often to have acted as dealers in textiles produced by the workshops of other Florentine businessmen; they sold both finished and semi-finished cloth in Hungary.21 In most cases, the provenience of wool textiles sold in Hungary is not mentioned in the sources. Probably the earliest information on Florentine wool sold in Hungary dates back to 1387, when Gabriello di messer Bartolomeo Panciatichi sent four and a half pieces of textile to Zagreb.22
In addition to wool textiles, which definitely had a vast circle of customers, silk textiles became the other important item of Florentine trade. Richard Goldthwaite contends that silk textile was the first product manufactured in Florence which Florentine merchants sold all over Western Europe. The local silk industry underwent the earliest phase of its evolution in the first part of the fourteenth century.23 By that time, in addition to Lucca (the first major site of silk production in Italy), Bologna, Genoa, and Venice also emerged as centers of silk production. However, in the case of Florence, the manufacturers in the city only started to produce silk fabrics for the international market in the late fourteenth century. The first investments of considerable size into the sector arrived in the 1380s when maybe a handful of entrepreneurs and silk manufacturers began to invest their financial and human capital into the foundation of silk manufacturing companies.24
This important moment in the history of the domestic silk industry coincides with the earliest report about silk fabrics being sent to the royal court in Hungary. In 1376, the politician and wool manufacturer Giovanni di Amerigo del Bene advised the government to have the Florentine ambassadors heading to Hungary carry as gifts three pieces of velvet and three pieces of silk, decorated with gold.25 Though Giovanni did not specify whether or not the silk textiles should be domestic products, one can reasonably hypothesize that the gifts were intended to represent the city and therefore the domestic industry. In that particular case, however, we have no information at our disposal concerning whether these diplomatic gifts actually reached the royal court. Ten years later, in 1386, another document informs us that the count palatine of Hungary had purchased silk textiles of considerable value from a Florentine company.26 The provenience, even in this source, was unspecified. It might just as well have been Florence as Venice. However, both of the documents indicate the rise of a certain demand for silk textiles in the various courts of the kingdom.
It seems logical to assume that as soon as the volume and quality of domestic production permitted, Florentine silk companies, well-connected to the local Florentine network, tried to sell their products in Hungary too. The silk manufacturers who sent silk fabrics to the region included several pioneer businessmen of the domestic industry, such as the workshop-company of Bartolomeo di Luca Rinieri and Antonio di Giovanni Panciatichi and the workshop of Parente di Michele di ser Parente. They probably marketed their textiles in Hungary, using other Florentine companies operating in the region as agents. These silk fabrics may have consisted, for example, of red damask, the so-called “chermusi.”27 Others, like the merchant Bernardo di Sandro Talani, who maintained a very diverse business profile, purchased silk textiles in Florence in order to sell them in Hungary.28
The triple-rooted Zati family, whose members developed business and social ties simultaneously in Florence, Venice, and Hungary, had an important interest in the marketing of silk in the kingdom.29 In the 1430s, they traded in silver brocades, among other things.30 Also, the company of Zanobi Panciatichi exported silk fabrics of various colors to Hungary; velvet of black, green, blue, and red colors, green and brown silk and damask cloths.31 But they also sold “zetani,” i.e. very heavy silk fabrics, using the Melanesi of Buda as dealers.32
The Melanesi seem to have maintained a vast circle of suppliers among the producers of silk and wool textiles who used their services to bring their fabrics to market in Buda.33 The Melanesi brothers themselves also invested capital into a silk manufacturing company with the Davizi and the Corsi brothers, whose families had been engaged in silk production since the 1380s.34 Presumably, some of the silk fabrics sold by the Melanesi in Buda should have come directly from their own workshop.35 The same workshop might have provided silk fabrics for the funeral of Andrea and Matteo Scolari in Hungary, which were displayed as flags and other textiles of liturgical use during the ceremony.36
One of the leading figures of the Florentine silk industry, Tommaso di Domenico Borghini, also sold the products of his own workshop-warehouse in Hungary using his own merchant company, which he had set up with Matteo di Stefano Scolari.37 In 1424, for example, Tommaso and Matteo imported twenty braccia of heavy black silk fabrics to Buda.38 The frequent mention of Hungarian golden florins of considerable quantity in the account book of a Florentine silk manufacturing company also indicates that the royal and baronial courts in Hungary were considered important buyers of Florentine silk textiles.39 However, due to the lack of detailed references in documents closely related to the transportation and marketing of textiles in Hungary, we have only fragmented information at our disposal on the kind of silk fabrics the Florentines sold in the kingdom.
In addition to textiles, other luxury items like spices and exotic animals also appear occasionally in the sources. In 1386, István Lackfi bought spices from the Panciatichi company.40 In his chronicle, Bonaccorso di Neri Pitti notes that he, as an apprentice, took a load of saffron with his master, Matteo di Scelto Tinghi, to Buda.41 In 1422, Matteo Scolari mentions in his letters spices as well as exotic animals like Arabian horses, falcons, ostriches, and monkeys, which his agent imported from Tunis, probably in the intention of taking them to the royal court in Hungary and to his brother, Pippo Scolari.42
The most important import items transported to the Italian Peninsula by the Florentines were the precious metals: gold, silver, and copper. In 1429, for example, Tommaso di Piero Melanesi imported copper to Venice in the amount of 1,000 Venetian ducats.43 In 1435, Tommaso was in charge of copper mines, which suggests that he may have traded in copper bullions on a regular basis. Other Florentine merchants were engaged in the silver trade. Among them we find Bernardo di Sandro Talani, from whom King Sigismund confiscated textiles, money, and silver in 1427.44 Another Florentine, Giovanni del maestro Niccolò Falcucci, was probably also interested in the trade in silver and gold.45 In one case, Giovanni, at the demand of Andrea Scolari, sold a piece of gold in Italy (6 pesetti di Buda, 18 carats) for 522 florins, 66 denari and 100 solidi.46 Interestingly, the precious metal trade to Italy was not monopolized by Florentine businessmen. A few sources indicate that a business group from Arezzo may have cooperated with the Florentines, including the nobleman Mariotto di Biagio Griffolini, his grandson, and a couple of other businessmen, who occasionally traveled to various parts of Hungary.47 Furthermore, we have some fragmented information concerning the import of Hungarian leather to Italy.48
The Geographical Outreach of the Network
Thanks to their continuous travels and their cooperative enterprises with a number of businessmen coming from other Tuscan towns like Arezzo, Prato, and Siena, Florentine merchants operating in the Kingdom of Hungary maintained a vast business network outside their homeland. This network extended from Flanders to Tunis and from Catalonia to Alessandria. One of the most important trade hubs for Florentine merchants operating in the Italian Peninsula was Venice, which, by the late fourteenth century, was already filled with Florentines. Similarly, Ancona may have served as a port city for Florentines’ goods to be transported to Dalmatia. However fragmented, its archives may shed some light on the commercial activity of the city with the other side of the Adriatic Sea.49 Another major transit point was Genoa, which was used by Florentines who imported various luxury items from North Africa to Florence. Merchants like Matteo Scolari, the Zati brothers, and the Lamberteschi used the services of Genoese captains.50 In addition to Tunis, Florentine merchants operating in Hungary were well-connected through their networks to other extra-European markets as well. Matteo Scolari, for example, invested money into overseas ventures several times; he ordered goods with the first galley to Alessandria.51 Bernardo Lamberteschi also purchased goods in Alessandria, but his agents were mostly traveling to destinations like Flanders and Catalonia to ensure the supply of raw wool.52 In the 1430s, they relied on the services of the Florentine galleys, which departed from Pisa.
In Rome, the papal court also offered business opportunities for Florentine merchants. For instance, in cooperation with another churchman Currado di Piero Cardini, Andrea Scolari, the bishop of Várad (today Oradea, Romania), traded in textiles there.53 Matteo Scolari’s in-law, the banker Vieri di Vieri Guadagni, may have offered banking services in the papal court instead.54 Other merchants, like Filippo di Giovanni del Bene and the aforementioned Currado, became papal collectors in Hungary.
Commercial Routes between Florence and Buda
In spite of the considerable distance between the two cities, Florence and Buda became closely connected by commercial routes. The most important documents in this regard are the accounts of the brothers Rinaldo and Luca di messer Maso degli Albizzi, who traveled to the Kingdom of Hungary in 1426 and 1427.55 The two distinct collections reveal more than any other source about the itineraries and the difficulties of the most frequently used land and sea routes, on which Florentine merchants traveled for business purposes. Even though the Albizzi brothers were heading for Buda as members of diplomatic contingents, the reference to itinerant Florentine merchants in their travel accounts proves that businessmen used the very same routes.56
Both of the embassies used the commercial route leading north from Florence to Bologna through the Apennines. In Rinaldo’s case, the first segment of the trip after Bologna included Ferrara and Padua. Luca went through Corticella, Torre della Fossa, Francolino, Crespino, Loreo, and Chioggia.57 Generally, transport from Florence to Bologna was by pack animals over the Apennines. Travelers then went from Bologna to the region of Ferrara overland or by canal and river and from Ferrara to Venice by river and by sea. According to Luca’s diary, he was traveling by land until Corticella, located north of Bologna, from there he continued his trip by river to Ferrara. He then continued his journey on horseback again from Ferrara to nearby Francolino, a port on the Po River, where he boarded a boat. Turning to the north at Loreo, he left behind the Po River and arrived in Chioggia, probably by river, from where he took another boat to Venice. Including the several compulsory stops during their trip, which were made both for relaxation and networking, the travel from Florence to Venice took approximately one week.
As the main hub for the redistribution of commercial goods along the route, Venice played a crucial role in the transportation of the Florentines’ merchandise. They typically stopped there for several days to purchase goods, socialize with their fellow-citizens, and arrange shipping. After having arrived in Venice, Rinaldo continued his travels overland to the north, through Villach and Vienna, reaching Buda after 40 days of travel and diplomatic visits. At the same time, Luca took a ship in Venice and followed the coastline through Livenza (today Caorle, Italy), Daira (today Dajla, Croatia), Parenzo (today Poreč, Croatia), Fagiana (today Fažana, Croatia), Vegli (today Veli Brijuni, Croatia), Pola (today Pula, Croatia), Medulino (today Medulin, Croatia), and Ossero (today Osor, Croatia), arriving at the port of Segna after 8 days.58 Maritime navigation depended a great deal upon weather conditions, which might shorten or lengthen a trip. Because of an illness caused probably by the harsh weather at sea, Luca felt sick during their trip and was forced, after a long stay in Segna, to return to Florence, without ever reaching the royal court in Hungary. On the way back, Luca used the same sea route with smaller modifications. Having arrived from the Northwest to Hungary, Rinaldo left the kingdom in a southwestern direction, following another overland route past the Mura river, reaching Venice by following the road from Vienna.59
Given the fact that Florence was not a major transit center for commercial goods, it was the Florentine merchants who, by operating in the most important trade hubs, built up an international transport system for their goods.60 Therefore, in the travel of the Florentine ambassadors, the transportation of commercial goods, and the movement of Florentine merchants, a crucial role was given to cooperation between Florentine businessmen living in the cities situated along the commercial routes. Florentines offered each other hospitality in their foreign home, as well as shelter and supplies for their horses and sometimes even accompanying servants. Their reliable and experienced men carried messages and goods, and occasionally they offered traveling Florentines protection as well. The social network used by itinerant Florentine merchants was a business network of fellow-citizens who were active far from their homeland. Members of these networks very often maintained not only business but social ties as well with one another, thus ensuring the circulation of goods, messages, and people. Their primary concerns were weather conditions, health issues arising during their travels, and the security of their goods and people. Given this, merchants may well have often traveled together in order to guarantee their own safety and defray the otherwise elevated costs of toll and travel.61 For the safety of their goods, they might even have signed an insurance contract with one of the Florentine banks operating either in Florence or in Venice.62 Safe-conducts, obtained from the Florentine or the Venetian Signoria or from King Sigismund himself, may also have given traveling Florentine merchants a major sense of security.63
Venice as Major Trade Hub
There is no question that Venice played a crucial role in the redistribution of commercial goods transported by Florentine merchants and in their networking and business activity. The supply of raw wool in Florence and the circulation of finished Florentine textiles in the eastern Mediterranean and the eastern part of the continent depended a great deal upon the work of Florentines living in Venice. To a large extent, local and international banking, the trade of bills of exchange going through Venice, and the insurance business were in their hands.64 Thanks to its importance, Venice probably had the most sizeable Florentine business community living outside of their home city. Reinhold Mueller claims that Florentines settled in the city in high numbers as soon as the first part of the fourteenth century.65 However, in spite of the importance of the Florentines in Venetian trade and economy, Mueller’s study is the most detailed analysis of their economic activity in the city so far. Apart from the scholarship on the well-known cases of the Venetian branch of the Medici company and the settlement of members of the Gaddi family, no in-depth research has been done on Florentine merchant families who were engaged in trade around the turn of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Earlier, Zsuzsa Teke suggested that some Florentines living in the Venetian Republic seem to have developed business connections in the Kingdom of Hungary as well.66 Her hypothesis has not been put to the test so far. Only the involvement of the Medicis in the Hungarian copper trade in the 1380s has been studied.
In 1433, at the time of the second general census in the city of Florence, nine companies were recorded which had been established by Florentine merchants in Venice.67 Among them, at least five cooperated with the Florentines who worked in the Kingdom of Hungary: the Panciatichi&Portinari, the Medici&Portinari, the Gaddi, the Zati, and the Ugolini.68 Unfortunately, the scarcity of documents regarding commercial activity in Venice leaves little room for analysis of their trade connections or their involvement in the redistribution of goods directed to and from Hungary. As has been suggested, in the first decades of the fifteenth century the Medici did not completely lose their interest in the region and may have continued to play an intermediary role, offering banking services in Venice and in Florence for the merchants working in Hungary. The possible role of the Medici of Venice in providing credit for Florentine merchants operating in the kingdom is underlined by its fragmented account book, dated to 1436. It lists among its clients several Florentine businessmen who traded simultaneously in Venice, Florence and Hungary, including for instance members of the Borghini, Scolari and Zati families.69
By the first decade of the century, Branca di Rinieri Scolari, a nephew of Andrea Scolari, had already settled in Treviso. He was followed by his brother, Giambonino di Rinieri Scolari. Their third brother, Filippo, returned to Florence in order to manage the family business and properties there. They had also a fourth brother, Lorenzo, who may have served as a kind of travel agent for the family, since he was occasionally in the Kingdom of Hungary. Unlike Lorenzo, Giambonino never returned to Florence. His heirs obtained Venetian citizenship, and their families lived in Treviso for two more centuries.70 The Scolari brothers’ careers could be said to exemplify the successes of the triple-rooted Florentine merchant families who developed commercial and social ties in the three states. This model was adopted by other families, for instance the Del Bene family and the Zati family. Their cooperative enterprises with other Florentine kinship networks active outside their homeland may also be called typical, like the Scolari, Borghini, and Melanesi families, each of which was an active participant in international trade in the three states.71
The Melanesi company and the Scolari family were also closely linked to the firm of Andrea Lamberteschi, a Florentine wool manufacturer and merchant. Lamberteschi himself managed the production of San Martino cloth in Florence, together with his eldest son, Tommaso. Meanwhile, his agent, Giovanni di Cenni Ugolini, ran the Venetian branch.72 Three other sons of his lived in Hungary. They traded in the textiles produced in their father’s workshop and also worked as employees of the Scolari family. Andrea’s fifth son was in charge of the import of raw wool from Flanders to Venice.73 In fact, Andrea is mentioned only rarely in the Venetian documents, while his branch manager and partner may have been the key figure of their activity in Venice. Ugolini, who settled for life in the Stato da Mar, is mentioned several times in documents of Venetian court cases.74
Giovanni Ugolini and the other aforementioned merchants maintained strong economic connections to Filippo di Giovanni del Bene as well.75 By the turn of the fifteenth century, Filippo had moved to Hungary, while his cousin, Jacopo di Francesco, with whom he had many business ventures, was exiled to Venice in the 1390s. Jacopo had been involved in business with Andrea Lamberteschi.76 Meanwhile, the Del Bene back home turned into important wool manufacturers by the first part of the fourteenth century. In Hungary, however, they were employed in various administrative positions, and they also became papal collectors.
Similarly, members of the Zati family developed this triple-rooted social and business profile. Close cooperation between the Zati siblings and cousins and the geographical spread of members of the family guaranteed the efficiency of their business network. The six brothers, Bartolomeo, Francesco, Niccolò, Simone, Giuliano, and Uberto d’Amerigo, kept merchant companies and businesses simultaneously in Buda, Florence, and Venice. They also cooperated closely with the Medici of Venice as agnatic kin to Lipaccio di Bindo Bardi, a partner of the company.77 The Zati acquired a reputation in Florence in the fourteenth century thanks to their participation in the wool-business. Their father was a wool manufacturer in Florence, and he was still active in the second decade of the fifteenth century.78 Into the 1420s, the six brothers maintained their Florentine citizenship and continued to pay taxes there, in spite of the fact that they used Venice as the base for their activity. For their businesses, they made use of Genoa as well, the other main maritime trade hub alongside Venice.79 Some of their commercial goods came directly from the workshops they maintained in Florence. In the mid-1410s, there was a wool manufacturing company registered under Uberto’s and Niccolò’s names which was still operating in 1433.80 It seems likely to me that one of them, Giuliano, who clearly lived in Venice, was running another workshop in Florence. The Venetian company, instead, was operating under Giuliano’s and Niccolò’s names, and they were the ones who formally operated the Buda branch in the 1430s.81 Meanwhile, Uberto played the role of travel agent in Buda. Their business in Hungary lasted at least until the 1440s, when Uberto died and his brothers petitioned to the Florentine chancery as heirs to help them recuperate his credits and other belongings in the Kingdom of Hungary. In addition to wool, which was also the most common item for the Lamberteschi-Ugolini company, the Zati sold silk textiles in the Kingdom of Hungary. As far as one can tell on the basis of the available sources, the supply of silk textiles in the royal court provided by the Zati brothers did not overlap chronologically with the Scolaris’ trade in silk fabrics in Hungary. There is no direct evidence indicating that the two families obtained, in the 1420s and 1430s, a monopoly in trading with silk textiles in the royal court. However, the lack of references to other merchants selling silk to King Sigismund suggests that the two families may have managed to secure an exclusive agreement with the sovereign.
Venice, as the major producer of wool and silk fabrics, exercised a protectionist policy aimed at strengthening the domestic industry throughout the period. In spite of this, Florentine textiles made their way to the city, and from there to the international market.82 Their trade may well have been facilitated by the Florentines who received citizenship in Venice, which made it easier for their fellow-citizens to obtain permissions for the transiting of domestic products.
By the second part of the reign of Louis I, the continuous trade contacts between the Florentine Republic and the Kingdom of Hungary gave rise to a lively Florentine community in Buda, which probably reached its peak in terms of political influence and economic activity during the reign of Sigismund of Luxemburg. After a depression of two or three decades following King Sigismund’s death, the period of Matthias Corvinus again saw the arrival of a considerable number of Florentine tradesmen to Hungary, who provided the royal and baronial courts with their goods. Because of the considerable distance between Florence and Buda, as well as her importance as a major trading hub and producer of wool and silk textiles, Venice played a leading role in the transportation and the redistribution of the Florentines’ goods. The commercial triangle formed between Florence, Venice, and Buda was built first and foremost upon the network of Florentine merchants. Venetians seem to have had only a minor share in this commerce. Throughout the period, the Florentines ensured the continuous distribution of their domestic products: wool textiles, initially, and later, from the 1380s onwards, also their high-quality silk fabrics. The appearance of Florentine silk textiles at this early phase of domestic production may testify to the simultaneous development of the Florentine silk industry and its marketing in the courts of Hungary. At the time, silk in the Kingdom of Hungary was often sold by the manufacturers themselves. Meanwhile, silk, which back then may have been a highly individualized item, became very popular and widespread by the reign of Matthias Corvinus, thanks to the development of the domestic industry, which made possible its continuous distribution by Florentine merchants even in the eastern part of the continent. The marketing of Florentine silk textiles, as luxury items, shaped the tastes of the local population. Imitations of silk, which were common in Florentine wall- and table-paintings, became part of the visual landscape.
Archivio dell’Ospedale degli Innocenti (AOI)
Archivio di Stato di Firenze (ASF)
Arte della Lana
Consulte e Pratiche
Corporazioni Religiose Soppresse dal Governo Francese (Corp. Rel. Sopp.)
Mediceo avanti il Principato (MAP)
Dieci di Balia
Otto di Pratica
Legazioni e Commissarie
Missive e Responsive
Legazioni e Commissarie
Archivio di Stato di Treviso
Archivio di Stato di Venezia (ASV)
Cassiere della bolla ducale
Giudici di Petizion
Sentenze a giustizia
Sentenze e interdetti
Arany, Krisztina. “Buda mint uralkodói székhely és távolsági kereskedelmi központ a 15. században, a firenzei és dél-német üzletemberek tevékenységének tükrében” [Buda as the seat of the ruler and a long-distance trade center in the fifteenth century, in the light of the activities of Florentine and southern German businessmen]. Urbs: Magyar Várostörténeti Évkönyv 7 (2012): 153–70.
Black, Robert. Benedetto Accolti and the Florentine Renaissance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985.
“Civesveneciarum.” Accessed May 24, 2016. http://www.civesveneciarum.net/.
Draskóczy, István. “Italiener in Siebenbürgen im 15. Jahrhundert.” In The First Millennium of Hungary in Europe, edited by János Barta, Klára Papp, Attila Bárány, and Attila Györkös, 61–75. Debrecen: Multiplex Media–Debrecen University Press, 2002.
Draskóczy, István. “Kamarai jövedelem és urbura a 15. század első felében” [Chamber revenues and urbura in the first half of the fifteenth century]. In Gazdaságtörténet – Könyvtártörténet. Emlékkönyv Berlász Jenő 90. születésnapjára [Economic history – Library history: Essays in honor of ninety-year-old Jenő Berlász], edited by János Buza, 147–66. Budapest: BKÁE Gazdaság- és társadalomtörténeti kutatócsoport, 2001.
Goldthwaite, Richard A. The Economy of Renaissance Florence. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009.
Guasti, Cesare, ed. Commissioni di Rinaldo degli Albizzi per il comune di Firenze dal 1399–1433. Vol. 2. Florence: Tipografia Cellini, 1869.
Hoshino, Hidetoshi. L’Arte della Lana in Firenze nel basso Medioevo: Il commercio della lana e il mercato dei panni fiorentini nei secoli XIII-XV. Florence: Olschki, 1980.
Kubinyi, András. “A budai német patriciátus társadalmi helyzete családi összeköttetései tükrében a 13. századtól a 15. század második feléig” [The social status of the Geman patriciate of Buda as reflected in their family connections from the thirteenth till the second half of the fifteenth century]. Levéltári közlemények 42 (1971): 203–69.
Mueller, Reinhold C., ed. Immigrazione e cittadinanza nella Venezia medievale. Rome: Viella, 2010.
Mueller, Reinhold C. “Mercanti e imprenditori fiorentini a Venezia nel tardo medioevo.” Società e Storia 55 (1992): 29-60.
Pataki, Vidor. “A budai vár középkori helyrajza” [The topography of the Buda Castle in the Middle Ages]. Budapest régiségei 15 (1950): 239–99.
Pitti, Bonaccorso. “Ricordi.” In Mercanti scrittori: Ricordi nella Firenze tra Medioevo e Rinascimento, edited by Vittore Branca, 366–67. Milan: Rusconi, 1986.
Prajda, Katalin. “Egy firenzei követjárás útinaplója” [Diary of a Florentine ambassadorship]. Lymbus: Magyarságtudományi Közlemények 9 (2011): 7–16.
Prajda, Katalin. “Egy firenzei sírköve a középkori Budán: Bene di Jacopo del Bene szerencsétlenül végződött követjárása” [A Florentine tombstone in medieval Buda: The tragic ambassadorship of Bene di Jacopo del Bene]. In És az oszlopok tetején liliomok formáltattak vala: Tanulmányok Bibó István tiszteletére [And lilies were formed on the top of the columns: Essays in honor of István Bibó], edited by Áron Tóth, 29–35. Budapest: CentrArt, 2011.
Prajda, Katalin. “Florentine Merchant Companies Established in Buda at the Beginning of the 15th Century.” Mélanges de l’École française de Rome - Moyen Âge [Online], 125-1 | 2013, Messo online il 21 ottobre 2013, consultato il 18 maggio 2017. Accessed May 28, 2017. http://mefrm.revues.org/1062 ; DOI : 10.4000/mefrm.1062.
Prajda, Katalin. “Goldsmiths, Goldbeaters and other Gold Workers in early Renaissance Florence, 1378–1433.” In Craftsmen and Guilds in the Medieval and Early Modern Periods, edited by Eva Jullien and Michel Pauly, 195–220. Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2016.
Prajda, Katalin. “Justice in the Florentine Trading Community of Late Medieval Buda.” Mélanges de l’École française de Rome - Moyen Âge [Online], 127-2 | 2015, Messo online il 30 settembre 2015, consultato il 18 maggio 2017. Accessed May 28, 2017. http://mefrm.revues.org/2716 ; DOI : 10.4000/mefrm.2716
Prajda, Katalin. “Levelező üzletemberek: Firenzeiek a Zsigmond korban” [Businessmen of letters: Florentines in the reign of Sigismund of Luxemburg]. Századok 197, no. 2 (2010): 301–34.
Prajda, Katalin. “Representations of the Florentine Republic at the Royal Court in the Kingdom of Hungary.” In Routledge History of the Renaissance, edited by William Caferro, chapter 23. London: Routledge, 2017.
Prajda, Katalin. “Trade and Diplomacy in pre-Medici Florence: The Case of the Kingdom of Hungary (1349–1434).” In Causa unionis, causa fidei, causa reformationis in capite et membris, edited by Attila Bárány and László Pósán, 85–106. Debrecen: Debrecen University Press, 2016.
Prajda, Katalin. “Unions of Interest: Florentine Marriage Ties and Business Networks in the Kingdom of Hungary during the Reign of Sigismund of Luxemburg.” In Marriage in Premodern Europe: Italy and Beyond, edited by Jacqueline Murray, 147–66. Toronto: CRRS, 2012.
Skorka, Renáta. “Levél a városháza tornyából” [Letter from the tower of the city hall]. Accessed September 17, 2015. https://tti.btk.mta.hu/lendulet/kozepkori-gazdasagtortenet/havi-szines/1917-havi-szines-szeptember-level-a-varoshaza-tornyabol.html.
Spallacci, Giulia. I rapporti commerciali tra le città delle due sponde adriatiche nella documentazione dell’archivio di Ancona tra 1345 e 1514. PhD. diss. Università di Bologna, 2017 – submitted for defense.
Teke, Zsuzsa. “Economia e politica nei rapporti tra Firenze e l’Ungheria durante il Quattrocento.” In Mattia Corvino e Firenze: Arte e Umanesimo alla corte del re di Ungheria, edited by Péter Farbaky, Dániel Pócs, Magnolia Scudieri, Lia Brunori, Enikő Spekner, and András Végh, 68–75. Florence: Museo di San Marco, 2013.
Teke, Zsuzsa. “Firenzei kereskedőtársaságok, kereskedők Magyarországon Zsigmond uralmának megszilárdulása után, 1404-37” [Florentine merchant companies and merchants in Hungary following the consolidation of the reign of Sigismund]. Századok 129, no. 2 (1995): 195–214.
Teke, Zsuzsa. Velencei-magyar kereskedelmi kapcsolatok a XIII–XV. században [Venetian–Hungarian trade relations from the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries]. Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1979.
Tognetti, Sergio. Il banco Cambini: Affari e Mercanti di una compagnia mercantile-bancaria nella Firenze del XV secolo. Florence: Olschi, 1999.
Tognetti, Sergio. “The Development of the Florentine Silk Industry: A Positive Response to the Crisis of the Fourteenth Century.” Journal of Medieval History 31 (2005): 55–69.
1 For earlier scholarship on Florentine–Hungarian trade contacts see: Prajda, “Florentine merchant companies.”
2 For a detailed analysis of the sources regarding the Latin consulate see: Prajda, “Justice in the Florentine Trading Community.”
3 “…dinanzi a voi Sano degli Ugorgieri da Siena vice giudice de latini in luogo di messer Lionardo di messer Giovanni di Nofri da Boymoy…” Archivio di Stato di Firenze (thereafter: ASF), Mercanzia 4379. 98v. In reality, the document concerns the brothers, Leonardo and Giovanni di Nofri de’Bardi.
4 For the diplomacy between Florence and Hungary during the reign of Louis I and Sigismund of Luxembourg see: Prajda, “Trade and Diplomacy in pre-Medici Florence,” 85–106.
5 Skorka, “Levél a városháza tornyából.”
6 Teke, “Firenzei kereskedőtársaságok,” 195–214.
7 For the history of Florentine companies during Sigismund’s reign see: Prajda, “Florentine merchant companies.”
8 For the various forms of ties between the aforementioned families see: Prajda, “Unions of Interest,” 147–66.
9 “…quod assignare debeat dicto per Michael Nodoler et sotiis dictos pannos serici…” Archivio di Stato di Venezia (thereafter: ASV), Giudici di Petizion 22. 77r.
10 The hypothesis concerning possible cooperation between Florentine and southern German businessmen has already been advanced but not proven. See: Arany, “Buda mint uralkodói székhely,” 153–70.
11 Nadler was mentioned as judge of Buda in the years of 1419, 1425–27, 1433–34. Pataki, “A budai vár középkori helyrajza,” 271; Kubinyi, “A budai német patriciátus,” 264.
12 Nadler and Giovanni di Nofri de’Bardi worked together in the Buda mint. Draskóczy, “Kamarai jövedelem és urbura,” 147–66.
13 “…per la quale ragione messer Lionardo di Nofri giudice, per conto del re scrisse da Neurimbergo…” ASF, Notarile Antecosimiano 1876. (1431); Mercanzia 271. 118v-119r. (1436). I am indebted to Lorenz Böninger for drawing my attention to the documents. The Bardi received nobility from King Sigismund and appear in the Hungarian sources as Noffry de Bajmócz or Noffry de Pölöske. The brothers’ role as Latin consuls may also explain why Leonardo acted as relator in the case of the Florentines who were imprisoned in Hungary at the king’s order. See the case of Gianozzo di Giovanni Cavalcanti. For the original document see: ASF, Diplomatico, Normali, Firenze, Santa Maria della Badia 12/04/1428. For other related sources see: Prajda, “Justice in the Florentine Trading Community,” n. 59.
14 In Leonardo’s absence, a deputy judge was elected to serve. This suggests that he was away for a longer period of time in Nuremberg. ASF, Mercanzia 4379. 98v; 114v-115r (the source cited here is one of the copies of the original source referred to in footnote n.10.).
15 For the inheritance of Uberto d’Amerigo Zati, who died in 1445, see the letters of the Florentine chancellery: ASF, Signori, Missive, Cancelleria, I. 36. 103r, 106r-v. For the heirs of Niccolò d’Amerigo Zati in Hungary see: Cancelleria I. 42. 164v. For Filippo di Jacopo del Bene in Hungary see: Cancelleria I. 36. 59r, Cancelleria I. 42. 43v.
16 For Alessandro Attavanti and Simone Gondi see: Cancelleria I. 48. 85r. See the privilege issued by King Matthias in favor of Florentine merchants. ASF, Signori, Dieci di Balia, Otto di Pratica, Legazioni e Commissarie, Missive e Responsive 77. 129r. For some general characteristics of Florentines’ trade in Hungary during the reign of Matthias Corvinus see: Teke, “Economia e politica,” 68–75.
17 For Florentines’ involvement in salt minining see: Draskóczy, “Italiener in Siebenbürgen,” 61–75.
18 Goldthwaite, The Economy, 273.
19 For the participation of the Del Bene in the wool industry see: Hidetoshi, L’Arte della Lana, 153–229.
20 “Simone Melanesi e compagni di Buda venderono più anni fa panni, mandava in Ungheria…” ASF Catasto 27. 202r.
21 We find him among the debtors of Giovanni del maestro Niccolò Falcucci: “Panni mandati a Buda per le mani di Tommaso Melanesi; furono otto panni de fecondi e de fini fi. 392 s. 11” ASF, Catasto 52. 1096v.
22 “Dinanzi a voi signori consoli dell’Arte della Lana, io Gabriello di messer Bartolomeo Panciatichi lanaiuolo mi richiamo di Giovanni e Michele di Benedetto di Carmignano di fiorini centoquarantadue di soldi LxxVi a fior di buona moneta d’Ungheria… i quali denari me deono dare per resto di peze quatro e mezo di panni fiorentini e due coltri che vende de mia ragione in Sagabria d’Ungheria Maruccio di Pagolo Marucci di Firenze per me, insino a dì xvi di giugno MCCCLXXXVII….” ASF, Arte della Lana 542. 28v.
23 Tognetti, “The Development,” 55–69.
24 For an overview of the development of the Florentine silk industry see: Goldthwaite, The Economy, 282–95.
25 “Johannes Amerigi pro gonfaloneriis dixit quod nota ambaxiatores Hungarie videatur per duos per collegium et de octo et corrigatur… Et quod portent ad filius regis tres petias velluti et tres drappi ad auri.” ASF, Consulte e Pratiche 14. 38r.
26 “Ardingho e compagni dicono che la promessa solo di fior mille e non più e di quali mille dicono il granconte ebbe per la sua donna di settembre e d’ottobre 1386 in panni di seta, spezerie e confetti per fior cento sedici d’oro. … Di più ebbe secondo si dice dal decto Maffio per se e per la donna sua spuole d’oro e panni di seta e speziere…” ASF, Mercanzia 11310. 34r. I am indebted to Cédric Quertier for calling my attention to the corresponding volume of the Merchant Court.
27 See Bartolomeo di Luca Rinieri’s tax declaration of 1433: “Antonio di Giovanni Panciatichi per drappi a tempo di 18 mesi fi. 254 s. 5 d. 5. Drapperie che sono in Ungheria che tengo anni sei perduti fi. 202 s. 1 d. 0. ASF, Catasto 484. 369v. See the declaration of Antonio di Giovanni Panciatichi in the same year: “Peze nove di drappi mandamo a chomune tra Bartolomeo di Lucha Rinieri e io a Buda nelle mani di Antonio Popoleschi…delle quali retrassi un taglio di domaschino chermusi articho per mio vestire de braccia 17 ¾ e resto mandamo a Buda sino l’anno 1431…” ASF, Catasto 474. 878r; “…Antonio di Aghinolfo Panciatichi di Buda de avere fiorini ottanta cinque d’oro per le spese m’asegna avere fatte a drappi mandati a compagnia tra me e Bartolomeo Rinieri…” ASF, Catasto 474. 879r. Parente di Michele di ser Parente’s debtors: “Pagolo di Berto e Antonio di Piero di Fronte per una ragione di drappi mandavo in Ungheria più tenpo fa per loro e per noi…” ASF, Catasto 483. 345r.
28 “Fecci una chonpera di drappi di fiorini 512 i quali mandai a finire in Ungheria più tenpo fa…” ASF, Catasto 450. 254r.
29 In the tax declaration of Uberto, Giuliano and Niccolò d’Amerigo Zati, submitted in 1433, we read about “merchatantie e drapperie abiamo in Ungheria.” ASF, Catasto 453. 824v. “Niccolò Zati in Ungheria si truova nelle mani d’Uberto nostro i peze di drappi e schampoli ch’abiamo dal detto poi di un anno fa gli avea venduti a baroni per fi 120. Uberto Zati si truova in Ungheria, aver portato secho di suo proprio più drappi di seta...” ASF, Catasto 453. 825r. “Troviamo in Ungheria e in Rascia in mano di’Uberto Zati nostro, drappi di seta e altre chose della compagnia...Più troviamo in Ungheria in dette mani di Berto della ragione di Firenze per lo simile modo in sopra in drapperie di seta di fi 763 s. 27 d 6.” ASF, Catasto 453. 827v.
30 “à il detto in Ungheria uno panno di brochato d’ariento...” ASF, Catasto 453. 824v.
31 Prajda, “Florentine merchant companies.”
32 “…una balla di panni e una pezza di zetani” which Tommaso di Piero Melanesi sold for the company of Zanobi Panciatichi of Florence to the king. ASF, Mercanzia 4379. 100v.
33 Giovanni del maestro Niccolò Falcucci also sent silk textiles by the Melanesi to Buda: “Drappiera di seta dati a Melanesi detti per mandare a Buda la somma di fi. 1020…” ASF, Catasto 52. 1096v.
34 For their company see: ASF, Catasto 447. 528r.
35 See the Melanesi’ tax declaration of 1427: “…Drappi di seta di mandare in Ungheria fi. 3944” ASF, Catasto 46. 652v.
36 See the letter of Simone di Lapo Corsi to Lodovico di ser Viviano (04/07/1426): “…noi avemo a fornire le bandiere e drapoloni de mortorio di messer Matteo Scholari e del veschovo di Varadino…” ASF, Carte Strozziane I. 229. 55r.
37 Prajda, “Goldsmiths,” 197–221.
38 “…braccia venti di zetani nero raso…” ASF, Mercanzia 7114bis. 63v. “Si provede e dice Tomaso di Domenico Borghini per se e in nome di suoi compagni setaiuoli che heredi di Matteo Scolari sono loro debitori in scripta di fi. 730 s .8 d. 3 per più pezze di drappi e altre cose auti e recevuti dalla loro bottega e fondaco e per lui come volle decto messer Matteo mandate a Buda in Ungheria…” ASF, Mercanzia 7114bis. 135r.
39 See the “libro mastro” of the company of Andrea della Casa, in 1427: “Conto di chassa tenuto per me Antonio della Casa…in un sachetto fiorini ungheri nuovi fiorini iii mille fiorini 3000 soldi.” Archivio dell’Ospedale degli Innocenti, Estranei 12744. 30v.
40 See footnote n. 27.
41 Pitti, “Ricordi,” 366–67.
42 “…Magiori miei qui vi dirò apunto quello mi à rubato due chavalli barbereschi, 18 sparveri, 2 sori, 216 mudati, 2 bertuccie, 2 struzoli…uno anno ch’io tenuto un fante per mandare queste frasche, salvo le sparveri alla reina a messer Filippo…” ASF, Mediceo avanti il Principato (thereafter: MAP), 1.44r.
43 See the correspondence between Giambonino and Filippo di Rinieri Scolari: ASF, Corporazioni Religiose Soppresse dal Governo Francese (thereafter: Corp. Rel. Sopp.), 78. 326. 332r, 355r, 348r.
44 See the Signoria’s letter to Piero di messer Luigi Guicciardini and Luca di messer Maso degli Albizzi, ambassadors to King Sigismund: “Bernardo di Sandro Talani nostro cittadino alla suprementia del re raccomanderete…gli sono stati sequestrati molti denari, ariento, drappi et altre mercatantie…” ASF, Signori, Legazioni e Commissarie 7. 80v. (1427)
45 Falcucci writes to the bishop: “…ci voresti mandare scodella d‘argiento…e vi rispondo, prego, se possibile a mandare fiorini d’oro perché a madare argento poi faticha a trovare della moneta fiorini d’oro…” ASF, Corp. Rel. Sopp. 78.326.277r.
46 “…La chagione di questa sia che chosti mando a una merchatantia, un pezzo d’oro per fi. 522 d. 66 di s. 100 pesa …5 pesetti di Buda di carati xviii…” ASF, Corp. Rel. Sopp. 78.326. 388r-v.
47 For the trade of the Griffolini family in Hungary see: Black, Benedetto Accolti, 7. “…Agnolo d’Arezzo dimora in Buda, per retratto di suo rame…” ASF, Catasto 46. 254v. For further information on Aretine businessmen in Hungary see: Prajda, “Representations.”
48 Teke, “Firenzei kereskedőtársaságok,” 195–214.
49 Spallacci, I rapporti commerciali.
50 For Andrea Lamberteschi’s declaration see: ASF, Catasto 27. 203r, Giuliano d’Amerigo Zati’s letters from Genoa: MAP, 139. 194; 1.53 (1422); Matteo Scolari’s letters from Genoa: MAP, 1.44; 1.50; 68.410; 1.42.
51 See the summary of the payments made to Francesco di Vieri Guadagni for Matteo Scolari following his death: “da una achomanda in sulle prime ghalee da Giorgio del maestro Christofano fi. 180” ASF, MAP 150. 17r.
52 See the Lamberteschis’ tax returns in 1427, in 1431 and in 1433: ASF, Catasto 27. 92r, 202r; 348. 35r; 445. 27; 445. 116v.
53 See the agreement between the bishop and Currado, dated to 1423, regarding the businesses they were running together: “Già manifesto a ciaschuna persona che legierà o vidirà legiere la presente scritta chome messer Andrea Scholari, veschovo di Varadino d’una parte e messer Churado Chardini, preposto di Varadino dal altra parte amendue dachordo ànno fatto ragione e salldo insieme di più diverse chose ànno auto a ffare insieme chosì di danari chontanti chome di panni o d’altro o di promessi o pagamenti o chomesioni o lettere di chambio fatte l’uno al altro o l’altro al uno chome per lo passato achaduto e piaciuto a ciaschuno dessi chosì ne reame d’Ungheria chome fuori de reame in Italia o altrove a Firenze, Roma o qualunque altro luogho…” ASF, Corp. Rel. Sopp. 78. 326. 332r.
54 For the business activity of the Guadagni-Cambini bank see: Tognetti, Il banco Cambini.
55 For the documents produced by Rinaldo during his trip see Guasti, Commissioni. For the complete edition of Luca’s diary written during his trip to Hungary see: Prajda, “Egy firenzei követjárás,” 7–16.
56 Also Luca degli Albizi’s diary mentions three Florentine merchants who were traveling at that time from Venice through Segna (Senj, Croatia) to the Kingdom of Hungary; two of them lived permanently in Buda. The names of the three merchants were Tommaso di Piero Melanesi, Filippo di Giovanni del Bene, and Tommaso di Jacopo Schiattesi.
57 Commissioni di Rinaldo degli Albizzi, 607–08.
58 Prajda, “Egy firenzei követjárás,” 10–11.
59 Guasti, Commissioni, 590–91.
60 Goldthwaite, The Economy, 119.
61 See the case of the travel of Gianozzo Cavalcanti, Filippo Frescobaldi, and Matteo Scolari: “Tomaso Borghini mandò in Ungheria drappi in sino di marzo 1425 e mandò chon essi Gianozzo Chavalchanti e Filippo Freschobaldi e mandogli insieme e in compagnia chon messer Matteo Scholari che allora andò inbasadore in Ungheria. E questo fu perché andassino più salvi anche per non paghare ghabelle e passaggi.” ASF, Corp. Rel. Sopp. 78. 321. 98r.
62 The company of Niccholò Baldovini and Giovanni di Antonio di Santi of Buda, for example, appear in the insurance book of Piero di Gabriello Panciatichi’s company. See the copy of the document in the tax declaration of the Panciatichi, in 1433: ASF, Catasto 477. 471r.
63 See the safe-conduct of the Florentine Signoria for Giambonino di Rinieri Scolari. ASF, Corp. Rel. Sopp. 78. 326. 318r. Antonio di Giovanni Panicatichi wished to obtain safe-conduct from King Sigismund. See Antonio’s declaration in 1433: “…e itò dietro al’onperadore più tenpo fa per avere salvo chondoto per potermi stare e tornare…” ASF, Catasto 474. 881r.
64 Goldthwaite, The Economy, 180–81.
65 The main focus of his work was the question of citizenship obtained by Florentine merchants in the Venetian Republic and the activity of merchant-bankers and artisan-entrepreneurs in the city. Mueller, “Mercanti e imprenditori,” 8. According to his studies, between the mid-fourteenth and mid-fifteenth centuries, more than one hundred fifty Florentines received citizenship. See “Civesveneciarum”. For the original sources see: ASV, Cassiere della bolla ducale, Grazie, 12–25; Mueller, ed., Immigrazione e cittadinanza nella Venezia medievale.
66 Teke, Velencei-magyar, 86.
67 I have systematically looked through all of the corresponding volumes of the catasto 1433, which contain the original declarations of Florentine citizens. The database encloses the companies that were included into the tax declaration of one of their partners. ASF, Catasto vols. 487–500 (campioni) and 454 (Santa Maria Novella, Vipera, portate since the campioni did not survive).
68 For mentions of these companies by one of the partners see: the Gaddi: ASF, Catasto 474. 5v; the Zati: Catasto 453.825r; the Ugolini: Catasto 437. 745r; the Panciatichi&Portinari: Catasto 484. 650r, the Medici& Portinari: Catasto 482. 371v.
69 See fragments of the account book of the Medici of Venice, in 1436: ASF, MAP 134. Filza 1. Among the business partners of the Medici of Venice were: Giuliano, Niccolò and Uberto d’Amerigo Zati, Giambonino and Lorenzo di Rinieri Scolari, Agnolo di Taddeo Gaddi.
70 See the earliest surviving tax declaration of Giambonino Scolari’s heirs, dated to 1462. Archivio di Stato di Treviso, Estimi, busta 70.
71 For their correspondence see: Prajda, “Levelező üzletemberek,” 301–34.
72 Sources mention him as “socio” of Andrea Lamberteschi. ASV, Giudici di Petizion, Sentenze a giustizia 20.12v-15r., “Dinanzi a voi messer ufficiali s’pone e dice Andrea di Tomaso Lamberteschi lanaiolo cittadino e mercatante fiorentino Johanni di Cenni Ugolini per adietro factore del decto Andrea in Vinegia…” ASF, Mercanzia 7114 bis. 73r. (1427).
73 For the activity of the Lamberteschi see: Prajda, “Florentine merchant companies.”
74 ASV, Giudici di petizion, Sentenze a giustizia, 36. 88v (1424), Sentenze a giustizia 21. 104v (1410)
75 See Giovanni’s tax declaration in 1433: ASF, Catasto 437. 745r. For the genealogy and history of the Del Bene in Hungary see: Prajda, “Egy firenzei sírköve,” 29–35.
76 See his correspondence: ASF Del Bene 49.
77 The mother of the Zati brothers was Lipaccio de’ Bardi’s niece Margherita, the daughter of Giovanni di messer Bindo de Bardi. See the declaration of Margherita in 1433: ASF, Catasto 450. 620r. In 1433, one member of the extended family, Andrea di Francesco di Giovanni, married Sandra di Piero della Rena, Matteo Scolari’s adopted daughter. Prajda, “Unions of Interest,” 152.
78 In 1410, Amerigo di Bartolo Zati deposited money for Betto di Giovanni Busini. ASF, Mercanzia 11775. 74r.
79 Giuliano had business interests in Genoa. See his letters sent from the city, in 1422. ASF, MAP 1.53r.
80 For mentions of the workshop see: ASF, Arte della Lana 319.130r, ASF, Catasto 453. 824r, 825r. We find among the partners his brother, Niccolò, and Bernardo del maestro Francesco. ASF, Catasto 450. 273v.
81 See the tax declaration of the brothers in 1433: ASF, Catasto 453. 824r, 825r.
82 Information on Florentine textiles sold in or through Venice is found in the documents concerning several court cases: ASV, Giudici di Petizion, Sentenze e interdetti 8. 53r; Sentenze e interdetti 9. 19r; Sentenze a giustizia 12.21v.
* The study benefited from the support of the National Research, Development and Innovation Office - NKFIH no. PD. 117033 (entitled: Italy and Hungary in the Renaissance). Research at the Venetian National Archives and the National Archives in Treviso were supported by the Vittore Branca Center, The International Center for the Study of Italian Culture.