Banking Scene Magnet
Who knew a banking scene could be so interesting? This magnet reproduces an image from the frontispiece of an Italian book from the Morgan Library & Museum’s collection: Book Concerning the Trade and Custom of Various Places Goods and Customs in Other Countries.
Designed for traveling merchants, this small volume discusses the customs, currency exchange rates, coins, weights, and measurements in different lands and countries. At right, two men are engaged with currency. At left, two others discuss a financial document. Beside them on the counter lie the tools of their trade: a book and inkwell with a quill pen. On the rear wall, documents recording sums paid and owed are affixed by a band or in pockets. Like today, business and banking went hand in hand in the Middle Ages and Early Renaissance. Banks granted loans, exchanged currency, and transferred money abroad, and some invested in trade and even manufacturing.
This magnet is a product made to complement the exhibition Medieval Money, Merchants and Morality on view at the Morgan Library & Museum November 10, 2023 through March 10, 2024.