A wide variety of influences affected the terms which the factor in Aleppo was willing to give for silk. He had to consider actual and expected prices in England, the size of local racoltas and the likelihood of a Persian supply, the carry-over of silk from the previous season and the demand for it from local artisans and from France and Egypt. Above all he had to take into account the available supply of English cloth, in warehouse and on the way, and the state of local demand for it. Moreover, he was very far from being a free agent. His principals nearly always set him a maximum buying price for silk, for the season or for a particular cloth shipment; as Stratton wrote from London to Colvill Bridger with his 1757 consignment, ‘You are to make returns in white silk, if to be procured at 16 per Ro. against our cloth, which you are to rate so as to make at least 8 1/2 dollars per £ sterling’; on the other side it was clearly understood that if silk was obtainable during the season at prices within that maximum he was obliged to buy it and send home returns in silk for the greater part of the cloth he sold.
KeywordsHigh Prex Cloth Price Early Fifty Large Consignment English Merchant
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- 1.N. W. Posthumus, Nederlandsche Prijsgeschiednis (Leiden, 1943).Google Scholar