SARFATTI PINA, Josua (fl. 1651-1666). Soulagement pour les Marchands, de Reduction de Changes. Amsterdam: David de Crasto Tartaz, 1663.
Half-sheet 16° (122 x 89mm). Collation: A-zas8 Aa8. Woodcut calligraphic signature of the author, pasted-over correction slip on C2r. (Lacking final leaf [pp.383-384], a few small ink stains.) Modern vellum.
FIRST EDITION, ONE OF ONLY TWO COPIES KNOWN. The Soulagement consists of foreign exchange tables, compiled, as the author states, to provide an accurate and reliable reference for international trade between Amsterdam and her chief trading partners: Hamburg, Venice, Danzig, Antwerp, Livorno, England, Spain, France, Frankfurt, and Portugal, and between London and Livorno. Sarfatti Pina cautions the reader to consult only copies of his work with his signature (reproduced in woodcut calligraphy at the end of the preface), which bear his personal corrections (see manuscript corrections of pp. 170, 174 infra). The work provided a much-needed reference work for the all-important foreign exchange, a central activity of Amsterdam bankers and merchant-bankers.
Sarfatti Pina identifies himself as an account-banker ('teneur de livres de caisse a l'Italienne'). He is also known as a pious and active member of the Portuguese Jewish congregation of Talmud Torah at Amsterdam, and he financed the printing of prayerbooks in Hebrew and Spanish between 1658 and 1666 (cf. Fuks and Fuks-Mansfeld, pp. 307, 353, and 355).
The only other known copy of the Soulagement is in the University of Chicago library. None of the standard bibliographies cite the first edition, and even subsequent editions in Italian, Dutch and French are very rare.