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    [Early Fur Trade] Ledger Sheet from a Dutch Albany Merchant's Book, 2 pages (recto and verso), 12.75" x 8", Albany, Circa 1703-1709. In Dutch (not translated), listing entries dating from July 1703 through 1709. There are seven entries employing pictograms, including an entry for July 30, 1703 recording a transaction for 16 beaver pelts. Writer is unknown, but attributed to Evert Wendell (1681-1750). This may be a page from a ledger used to trade with Indians, which would explain the use of pictograms alongside the written word ("bever", Dutch for beaver). Reinforced with Japanese rice paper, the page has been professionally restored to protect it from further wear or deterioration. A scarce exemplar recording transactions in the fur trade.
    The commercial fur trade in North America grew out of the early contact between Indians and European fisherman who were netting cod on the Grand Banks off Newfoundland and on the Bay of Gaspé near Quebec. Indians traded the pelts of small animals, such as beaver, for knives and other iron-based products, or for textiles. Exchange at first was haphazard and it was only in the late sixteenth century, when the wearing of beaver hats became fashionable. Trade would continue until its eventual decline in the early eighteenth century. Ex. William Guthman.

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    14th-15th Thursday-Friday
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