Tutte le sopradette cose si venderono a benino di guccio di xxvii di Novembre anno 1388 per tutte fiorini settantasei

Usually the inventories in the DALME collection allow readers only a small glimpse into the useful lifespan of each item listed in the document, visible only at the moment the object enters into the written record. But like the recycled antique doors from Marseille described in this month’s accompanying DALME essay, many of the goods in the Florentine documents also moved from place to place and passed through the hands of multiple owners. The documents created between June and November 1388 for Gian Berniche, who may have been an Englishman and a tavern owner, provide a full listing of the decedent’s assets as well as clues about who owned and used several of them after his death. His will was recorded on the first folio of his dossier and dated to July 1388 and lists his three sons, Giovanni, Niccolo, and Almonte as his heirs and principal inheritors of his goods; but a later notation at the bottom of the dossier’s seventh folio reveals that in November of that year, many items were subsequently sold to Benino di Guiccio for the hefty sum of seventy-six florins. Benino’s purchases were largely pragmatic, including everyday objects such as barrels and basins, linens, desks, tables, and sundry housewares, but he also purchased a suite of items used for riding and combat, including four small chests to use while on horseback, a leather apron, jousting equipment, a pair of gloves, a pair of leg protectors, a breastplate or cuirasse, and decorative feathers used for armor. The logical grouping of these items, Benino’s choice to purchase them, and the record of this transaction all highlight the purchaser’s particular interests in materials used both for riding and combat, made visible as the goods changed hands.