Resens Cambale, also known in Latin by the name "Rixendis," was one of Marseille's great women-merchants of the early fifteenth century. The archives preserve a number of notarial acts and court cases arising from her activities. When she died in 1410, her estate passed to her grand-daughter, Jacmoneta, the daughter of her deceased son, Jacme. Immediately after the inventory was made, the little girl's guardian and step-father did something unusual: he auctioned off elements of Resens's estate piece-by-piece to the highest bidders, including a number of Jewish resellers. Was this a damnatio memoriae, a medieval variant of a practice of the ancient world whereby all traces of a person's existence would be removed from social memory? It is tempting to think so. In point of fact, however, the objects fetched bargain-basement prices and the number of things sold does not even begin to approach the volume listed in the inventory. It is very likely that the guardian was simply selling off household junk that had accumulated and was no longer needed.
As revealed in the inventory, Resens lived in a substantial house in Marseille's Candler's Quarter. The inventory lists a kitchen, a small bedroom and corridor near the entry to the house, a dining hall, a mezzanine level, and several bedrooms. In addition, her estate included an apothecary's workshop containing a number of albarelli or apothecary's jars (called mactapan in the Provençal-Latin of the record), such as the one depicted above, as well as a number of other houses and vineyards. Among the remarkable items found in her house we find a work of the philosopher Aristotle, a piece of distilling equipment, numerous golden rings, a number of paternoster beads, and a small silver cross.