A recent post caused me to look again at the question of the price-code use by at least one of the Brölemanns, and found in their manuscripts.
In my much older post about the Brölemann catalogues, I wrote that If enough examples could be collected, it ought also to be possible to decipher the Brölemann price-code. From the images we have, it is apparent that x=0, and other numbers are represented by c, d, l, q, s, t, and u.
Looking at all the coded prices in that post, we find the following encoded prices: dcx, uc, ufx, qxx, udx, fc, ucx, dxx, lxx, txx, ufx, fc, and uux, which looks like gibberish.
If we re-arrange them alphabetically, however, with two-digit codes before three-digit ones, some patterns become clearer:
First, it is now clearer that there are only three two-digit numbers, and of these, two of them begin with f. This is likely to represent a high number, such as 8 or 9: most manuscripts cost a three-digit amount, so a two-digit amount is more likely to be something like 85 or 90 than, say, 15 or 20.
Second, the last digit is always x (doubtless representing 0), except in two-digit numbers, which all end with c, which therefore likely represents 5, if the currency was decimal.
Third, for three-digit numbers, the most common first letter is u (occurring 5 times) and the next most frequent letter is d (occurring twice). As I wrote in my chapter in Ian Jackson's book about price-codes:
|[click to enlarge]|
This suggests that the Brölemann code may have been based on a very simple nmemonic, in which u = un, d = deux, t = trois, q = quatre, c = cinq, and s = six / sept. The l and f that occur are currently unexplained by such a simple code, but the study of more books with the Brölemann price-code should clarify the situation.