Venice: [Per Comin da Trino di Monferrato], 1574.
Quarto: 20.5 x 14.8 cm. , 20, , 44,  leaves. a-b8; A-B8, C4; D10; E-L8.
FOURTH EDITION, 2nd issue. First published in 1540 under the title “Quaderno doppio col suo giornale novamente composto et dilegentissimamente ordinato secondo il costume di Venetia”.
Bound in near-contemporary limp vellum, remains of ties, paper label chipped. Contents fine. Light soiling to title, short worm-trail in the inner margin of gatherings F and G, small portion of blank corner of leaf F6 snipped away. Five parts in one volume; Four divisional title pages dated 1573. All editions of this book are extremely rare, no doubt due to the practical nature of the book.
An important book in the history of accounting, the first with sample entries; it played a key role in the dissemination of the double-entry accounting method used by Italian merchants, first described systematically by Pacioli (1494), whose method Manzoni incorporates into his text.
“Dominico Manzoni, an accountant, played an important role in the development and the spread of double-entry bookkeeping method after Luca Pacioli's ‘Summa Arithmetica’(1494), the first book to identify and systematize the rules and relations of the double-entry bookkeeping method… Manzoni, of whose life little is known, was an expert accountant for a well-known Venetian merchant: Alvise Vallaresso. In the first part of his ‘Quaderno doppio’, he deals with the theoretical part of accounting in a way explicitly inspired by Pacioli; the second part is more practical, full of sample entries (Gordon, 1913; Stoner, 2011). Manzoni’s was the first book to give such sample entries, which includes specially-cut type reproducing notation in chancery, mercantile, and bastard hands, making the book of interest to those interested in the history of typography. “[T]he presence of examples, appearing for the first time in the history of instructional accounting books, makes Manzoni's work particularly interesting and innovative.”(Mari and Picciaia)
Pacioli and Manzoni:
“The publication of Luca Pacioli's ‘Summa Arithmetica’ in 1494 marks a fundamental turning point in the history of accounting, as it identified and systematized the rules and relations of the double-entry bookkeeping method. After centuries of merely practical and empirical accounting techniques, for the first time the methodical structure of the Venetian technique was presented. Pacioli's system allowed merchants to identify not only accrued incomes but also lawful and licit ones (Cavazzoni, 2006). Soon after the dissemination of his work, those who kept accounts began to acquire different qualifications, and the art of bookkeeping started to break away from the arithmetic in which it had developed, and professionals began to replace mathematicians as teachers of the art of bookkeeping ‘in a mercantile way’ (Ciambotti, 2016).
“Manzoni was the first accountant, or quaderniere, who used the double-entry bookkeeping method to serve the great merchants of the time; then, he described and disseminated accounting techniques according to the Venetian method, for the benefit of all who were interested in them. However, the central contribution of Manzoni's work is doubtless the exemplification of theory, which formed a structural element, with an almost pedagogical intention, taken from his work experience. His aim was not only to empirically apply what is described in the theoretical section of his work but also to make certain technical steps understandable, such as those related to the closing and the reopening of accounts, which were not yet supported by precise theoretical explanations…
“Manzoni's professional experience in the mercantile business pervades his entire book, which albeit it in many parts echoes the findings of Pacioli, his most illustrious predecessor, is more essential, freed from many cultural elements that distract from the techniques and rules, and is much better organized and easier to understand (Alfieri, 1891). An example of this ease and linearity can be found in Manzoni's discussion of the logic of double-entry bookkeeping, noting that there will always be ‘one who gives, the other who receives, and that thing that is given or received, and also the cause or why’. Thus, the presence of examples, appearing for the first time in the history of instructional accounting books, makes Manzoni's work particularly interesting and innovative (Besta, 1922; Lauwers, Willekens, 1994; Masi, 1997; Saporetti, 1898), allowing the reader to follow and understand, with a clear pedagogical approach, all the steps that form the basis of the proper keeping of accounts and registration of entries (Coronella, 2014).
“Manzoni's book met with a considerable reception and acquired an enviable reputation, as evidenced by the editions of 1540, 1554, 1564, and 1573 and certain adaptations, such as the book of one Schweicher from Nuremberg, who in 1549 published a work entirely drawn from Manzoni's Quaderno doppio (Masi, 1997). In the last two editions of Manzoni's work, the title changed to ‘Libro mercantile ordinato col suo Giornale e Alfabeto per tenere i conti doppi al modo di Venetia’ (Mercantile book ordered according to the ledger and index of account to keep accounts in the Venetian way), while the structure remained the same, with a division into two parts. The structure of the book is very clear and precise.
“[The book’s] two parts show the method of keeping the two main merchant's books: the journal (giornale) (Part 1, with 15 chapters and a summary table of 300 accounting entries as examples) and the ledger (quaderno) (Part 2, with 12 numbered and 1 unnumbered chapters). The conclusions of the two parts contain examples of the two registers. At the beginning of the book, following Pacioli's example, Manzoni highlights what is absolutely essential to any merchant or to anyone else who wishes to diligently carry on business. He limits himself to indicating only two things: the capital, in the absence of which one is unable to engage in business, and well-ordered accounting, which allows information about what has been done to be obtainable quickly. He does not focus on the third thing which Pacioli considered to be equally important: being a good accountant. This omission can be justified by the fact that Manzoni himself was a ‘computista’, an accountant, so he could have considered this to be implicit.” (Mari and Picciaia “The Quaderno doppio… of Dominico Manzoni (1540)” in “The origins of accounting culture: the Venetian connection”, M. Sargiacomo, ed. (2018), Chapter 3.)
North American copies traced: 1540 1st ed.: Columbia, Berkeley, Hopkins; 1554 2nd ed.: no copies traced in North America; 1564 3rd ed.: Columbia, Berkeley; 1573-4 4th ed.: Harvard, Texas State San Marcos, NYU, USF, Case Western, Berkeley.
Tomash & Williams M33; Kress (supplement) S.55 (1573 edition); Massa, G. Trattato completo di ragioneria, 1905-1907, vol. XII, page 198; Luchini, E. Storia della ragioneria Italiana, 1898, page 164; Brown, R. History of accounting and accountants, 1905, page 120; Woolf, A.H. Short history of accountants and accountancy, 1912, page 121; Murray, D. Chapters in the history of bookkeeping, accountancy & commercial arithmetic, 1930, page 179.