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A: Paris, Île-de-France, France

Relative Costs of Producing a Missal in Paris


As stated in other entries, it is extremely difficult to assess the relative value of money from six hundred years ago. What we can appreciate are relative costs of the different components comprising a manuscript. In 1382 bookseller Thévenin Langevin commissioned the production of a missal. His component costs, preserved in La Bibliothèque de l'Ancien Collège de Dormans-Beauvais (Collège de Beauvais) in Paris, were as follows. (If these costs are relatively accurate the binding for the missal must have been extremely modest):

- copyist's salary: 24 livres
- illumination: 5 livres 4 sous (2.305 "grosses lettres" and 2.214 "verses"), and 5 livres 12 sous for "Joachim Troislivres", illuminator, who made the "histoires" and the large letters of gold and blue.
- the hiring of an exemplar : 32 sous
- binding: 32 sous
- "fermeilles" : 48 sous
- "pipe": 6 sous 4 deniers
- "chemisette" and "toille": 8 sous
- "enseignes": 3 sous

Elisabeth Pellegrin, Bibliothèques retrouvées [1990] 50.

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