# 41978

MESSRS. BROWN & CO. (SYDNEY)

Manuscript “price book” of Messrs. Brown & Co., wine and spirit merchants, Sydney, New South Wales, recording imports of alcohol, tea, sugar etc., 1879-1908.

  • Sold

Octavo (215 x 140 mm), original full green calf (boards scuffed, corners worn), spine with gilt rule and lettered in gilt ‘’Price Book’’; marbled endpapers; comprising approximately 410 pages filled with manuscript entries in a neat clerical hand, arranged by commodity and providing details of date of order, ship name, quantity of merchandise, commercial brand (where applicable), alcoholic strength (in the case of wine and spirits), and costings; front hinge split, rear hinge cracked, but holding firm; very clean and legible throughout.

From 1852 until 1908, Sydney wine and spirit merchants Messrs. Brown & Co. occupied an imposing stone building on the corner of Spring and Pitt Streets which extended all the way back to O’Connell Street. This fascinating “price book” contains a comprehensive and unique record of this major Sydney company’s import activity over a thirty-year period at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century. Among the many dozens of different types of product described are Australian and European wine varieties (claret, champagne, chablis, etc.); fortified wines (sherry, port, brandy); spirits (whiskey, rum, liqueurs); teas (India, Ceylon, China and New Guinea); cigars; sugar; and utilitarian domestic hardware items such as tin plates, candles and wire nails.

Provenance: Brown family; by descent.