• Čeština


The exchange of agricultural and artisan´s products in the economic system of traditional communities. The in-kind exchange between particular producers can be understood as the simplest form; another forms included the direct sale of an agricultural product or an artisan´s product in homestead (e.g. to a peddler) or workshop. In towns, the above-mentioned products were mostly sold at fairs. Certain types of products were sold by door-to-door sale, whereby a tradesman or an artisan attended their customers´ households. This type of sale, called peddlery, was operated mostly by lower classes of population. Peddlers offered haberdashery, tinker´s products, glasses, knives etc. Peddlery survived until the 21st century, in the form of permanent or occasional dealers.

The fairs were divided according to their frequency, assortment, and seller into:

  1. daily fairs, which took place in cities mostly, and offered farm products and foods;
  2. weekly fairs, which took place once or twice a week and offered agricultural products, corn and foods;
  3. annual fairs, which took place more times a year and offered a rich assortment of agricultural and artisan´s products and which were attended by sellers from near and far
  4. fairs with cattle, linen and yards, and wool were a special form of fairs;

Several forms of fairs began to disappear from the 19th century as a consequence of developing networks of brick-and-mortar stores. The daily and weekly fairs, which featured the offer of agricultural products – mostly fresh fruits and vegetables (sold not only by farmers, but also by re-sellers) extended by cheap textiles sold by Vietnamese tradesmen from the 1990s, survived for the longest period of time.

The second half of the 20th century saw the struggle to rehabilitate traditional fairs with specific assortment (products made by folk producers, regional creators, and thematic fairs of particular handicrafts).

Literature: Z. Martínek: Řemeslná, domácká a manufakturní výroba a obchod v Čechách v letech 1752–1756 [Artisan´s, Homemade, and Manufacture Production in Bohemia between 1752-1756]. Etnografický atlas Čech, Moravy a Slezska III. Praha 2000.

6.1. In-kind exchange (an in-kind barter for work done)

6.2. Direct sale

6.3. Sale at regular fairs

6.4. Rehabilitation of fairs