288 pages | 2 B/W Illus.
The Arte dei rigattieri (merchants of second-hand goods in Florence) have never been the subject of a systematic study, even in scholarship devoted to the history of trades. Underpinned by a large collection of archival material, this book analyzes the social life and economic activity of rigattieri in fifteenth-century Florence. It offers invaluable information on issues such as the relationship between socio-political affiliations and economic interest as well as the structures of consumption and the spending power of different social groups. Furthermore, through the lens of the Arte dei Rigattieri, this work examines the connection between the development of the political bureaucracy, the establishment of Medicean power, and contemporaneous processes of identity construction and social mobility.
Part I: The Guild, Identity of Artifices and Economic Activities
1. Methods and Problems in the Study of the Guild of Second-Hand Dealers in Florence
2. The Structure of the Guild and Statutes
3. The Rigattieri in the Socio-Economic System of Fifteenth-Century Florence
Part II: Work, Investments and Social Mobility
4. Credit, Concurrent Activities and the Appraisal of Goods
5. Land Ownership, Investments and Profits
6. From Sellers of Old Rags to the Urban Elite