On the 7th of June in the year 1394, a Massiliote fisherman (piscator) named Andreas de Garda breathed his last, having made a last will and testament in which he named his wife, his two sons, and his step-son as his universal heirs, each for a fourth part. A month later, his wife Hugueta appeared in court to request permission to compile an inventory of his estate for herself, their two sons, Jacmetus and Ludovicetus, and her son by previous marriage who was named Bertrandus. Andreas had neglected to make provisions for the guardianship of his youngest son, the three-year-old Ludovicetus, so she also asked to be designated as the boy's guardian. A touching detail reveals that Hugueta was still breastfeeding her young child.
The family lived in the fishermen's quarter in the southwest corner of the city, near the mouth of the port, in a house located under the shadow of the church of Saint-Jean. Found among Andreas's possessions were numerous items pertaining to his trade, including five barrels of fish or shellfish and two mariner's chests. He owned three fishing boats (sing. barca piscandi) of a type known as a "lahut." One of the lahuts was named the Saint-Jean, after the nearby church, and a second the Saint-Victor, named after the famous old monastery that would have been the most arresting spectacle just across the way, on the far shore of the harbor. The third lahut was not provided with a name, and was simply described as "ancient." The lahut (known in Mallorca as a "llaüt") was lateen sailboat commonly used for fishing. Philippe Rigaud reports a reference from 1479 to a lahut in the port of Marseille around 16 meters in length, suggesting that the boats in question could be sizable. Andreas's lahuts were furnished with a single mast, along with a sail, rigging, and oars. The compilers inventoried all of Andreas's fishing nets, thoughtfully providing the names in Provençal. Among them were two nets known in the singular as eyssanega; a sardinal, a posta d'angular, and two tonnayra. All the nets were stored in an ancient vat.
Andreas's horizons were not limited to the kinds of activities and interests one might normally associate with a fisherman. In the hall, the compilers of the inventory found a number of arms, including two fencing swords (duos enses pro ludo scrimi). He had also racked up a number of debts for a variety of purchases, including fabric bought from local drapers, suggesting that Andreas was a bit of a spendthrift. One entry notes a debt of 16 sous owed to an apothecary, Bernardus Rostagni, for diverse medicines which Andreas had presumably taken in his last days, in the hopes of staving off whatever ailment afflicted him.
Fisherman normally worked in the rich waters off the coast of Marseille. But Andreas may have ventured further abroad, though whether he might have done so as a fisherman or as a sailor is unclear. This much is suggested by several possessions from exotic lands that graced his house. In the hall, the compilers of the inventory came across a painted coffer of Neapolitan work (de opere Neapolitana), filled with a rich array of garments. In the bedroom, they found a small coffret, also from Naples. Next to it, they came across an albarello (massapanum) from Alexandria, likely a work of Egyptian lusterware. Nearby was located another painted box or coffer (boyssera), also from Alexandria. The list of items in the kitchen include an intriguing reference to twelve earthenware bowls from Bejaia, in Tunisia (de Bogia), although the notary or a later scribe had crossed out the reference to Bejaia, along with several other items. Perhaps the bowls in question only had the appearance of being North African in origin. Other exotic items found in the house included a gold ring with twelve pearls, a set of paternoster beads made of amber, another gold ring with two pearls, a silver crown with pearls, a headdress with pearls (though this was out in pledge for a loan), and other pearls.