Production, trade and customs in Southern Eastern Europe

PEYSSONEL, Charles de

Traité sur le commerce de la Mer Noire

Publication: Laporte for Cuchet, Paris, 1787.

PEYSSONEL, Charles de, Traité sur le commerce de la Mer Noire

Attractive example of the first edition of this major work on 18th-century trade from Bulgaria and Romania to Georgia and the Caucasus, through Ukraine, Russia and Turkey. With a fantastic panorama of the products produced and traded.

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First edition of this important encyclopeadia on the flourishing trade over the Black Sea before the Russian conquest. An attractive example in full contemporary calf.

Peyssonel (1727-1790) was French consul to Crimea for more than 10 years from 1753, with a view to expand French presence and business in the region. He gathered much material during his travels, before being interrupted by the Russo-Turkish war, and published many works on the region and the relationships between Russia, Turkey and Europe.

The present book – his main work – gives lively and very detailed conclusions of his observations. “[Il] joignait à l’erudition, beaucoup d’esprit ; son style est à la fois naturel et énergique” (Biogr. univ.). A particular attention is given to the various products traded, including arms, tobacco, fish and caviar, wine, salt, slaves, etc., with comprehensive descriptions and tables covering all aspects, from their production to their price, including their packing and transport. The second volume extends his observations to the neighbouring countries of Georgia, Bulgaria, Romania (Valachia) and Moldavia among others. It also includes rich cultural and social observations on the ‘Petite Tartarie’, ie. the Ukraine, and especially on Crimea and the Tatars.


Prof. Philip Longworth (1933-2021, historian and writer, esp. on Russian history).


Biographie universelle XXXIII, 558; Goldsmiths 13414; Kress B.1314.

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Physical Description

Two volumes 8vo (19.4 x 11.7 cm). [3] ll., iv, 340 pp.; [2] ll., 377, [2] pp. with a folding letterpress table.


Contemporary cat’s-paw calf, gilt roll to leading edges, flat spine gilt in compartments, lettering in gilt to one, olive morocco label lettered in gilt to another, marbled edges and endpapers; skillful repairs to hinges.

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