Traité des parties doubles, ou, Methode aisée pour apprendre à tenir en parties doubles les livres du commerce & des finances: avec un traité de finance.

Paris, J.-G. Nyon, 1721.

8vo, pp. [viii], 300, [2]; with approbation and privilege; woodcut vignette to title, head- and tail-pieces; occasional light browning, but a very good copy, in contemporary catspaw sheep, panelled spine gilt, gilt morocco lettering-piece; some wear to extremities.


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First edition of this important manual of double-entry bookkeeping by the first man to teach commercial arithmetic in France, a mathematician whose impact on accountancy has been acknowledged to this day. This book, now rare, was published posthumously by his son, who had helped his father run an academy of commerce.

The role of the memorial, journal and grand livre is complemented by several auxiliary books, with many examples. Two particular features appear here, which would be taken up in later manuals of double-entry bookkeeping: the author is the first to introduce a two-fold division of ledger accounts, comptes generaux and comptes particuliers; and much space is given to the accounts of profit and loss as well as to the administration of opening and closing accounts.

The influence of this book was immediate, lasting, and deep. Its tenets and suggestions re-occur in two of the earliest Portuguese books on the same subject, Bonavie’s Mercador exacto (1758) and the anonymous 1764 Tratado, and in much successive literature up to Degrange’s La tenue des livres rendue facile, 1804.

Historical Accounting Literature, p. 158; Herwood, 592.

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