Letters patent granting various castles and lands to Bertrando de’ Rossi, Count of Berceto, and his heirs; 20 lines in a good humanist cursive hand, dark brown ink, Sforza’s name and the first few words of his title in capitals, initial ‘L’ never supplied, signed ‘B. Chalcus’ (the ducal secretary Bartholomaeus Chalcus) in light brown ink; creased where folded, four small holes slightly affecting two words, seal lacking (cords of purple and white thread present), in very good condition. 357 x 570 mm

Milan, 6 October 1496.

£2000

Approximately:
US $2614€2352

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Letters patent granting various castles and lands to Bertrando de’ Rossi, Count of Berceto, and his heirs; 20 lines in a good humanist cursive hand, dark brown ink, Sforza’s name and the first few words of his title in capitals, initial ‘L’ never supplied, signed ‘B. Chalcus’ (the ducal secretary Bartholomaeus Chalcus) in light brown ink; creased where folded, four small holes slightly affecting two words, seal lacking (cords of purple and white thread present), in very good condition. 357 x 570 mm

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A significant document issued during the Italian War of 1494–1498 by Ludovico Sforza (also known as Ludovico il Moro, duke of Milan 1494–1499).

The document confirms to Bertrando de’ Rossi, Count of Berceto (1429–1502), the grant of various properties made on 3 July 1490 by Ludovico Sforza’s nephew and predecessor as duke, Gian Galeazzo Maria (1469–1494). The 1490 letters patent, which is written out in full, names the castles at Berceto, Roccaprebalza, Corniana, Bardone, Roccalanzona and Carona, a tower at Cisa, and various towns and villages.

In 1495 Bertrando had for several days given lodging to Charles VIII of France at Berceto. This subsequently led to Bertrando’s arrest by Ludovico and the confiscation of his castle at Segalara. Bertrando was not pardoned and released until 1497, so the present document must have been issued during his imprisonment by Ludovico.

From a private German collection; loosely contained in a folder noting that it was purchased from Charavay in Paris on 4 January 1926.

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LECTIONARY,

in French and Latin, with readings from the Gospel of John, the Book of Wisdom, and Ephesians; a partial bifolium (leaves not consecutive), double columns of 30 lines written in a good formal gothic bookhand in brown ink, ruled lightly with ink, five two-line initials delicately painted in pink or blue against burnished gold grounds and with ivyleaf extensions, ten one-line initials in burnished gold against pink and blue grounds, capitals touched in yellow, Latin passages underlined in red, original numbering in red at head of each leaf ‘xii. xix.’ and ‘xiii. iiii.’, rubrics; trimmed at foot, without loss of text, and at fore-margins, occasionally affecting a letter or two, but in excellent condition. 202 x 141 mm (172 x 120 mm)

The use of French indicates that the parent manuscript was intended for a lay reader or audience, while the quality of the script and illumination points to a prestigious commission. The passages in French are each preceded by the first few words of the original Latin text, underlined in red.

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BOTERO, Giovanni.

Della ragione di stato, libri dieci. Con tre libri delle cause della grandezza della città ... Di nuouo in questa impressione, mutati alcuni luoghi dall’istesso autore, & accresciuti di diuersi discorsi. Con due tauole ... Venice, Gioliti, 1598.


Aggiunte di Gio. Botero benese. Alla sua ragion di stato, nelle quali si tratta dell’eccellenze de gli antichi capitani, della neutralità, della riputatione, dell’agilità delle forze, della fortificatione. Con vna relatione del mare. Venice, Giovanni Battista Ciotti, 1598.

The second Gioliti edition of Botero’s neglected masterpiece in the history of economics, first published in 1589, bound with the first Venice edition of the Aggiunte. Of the first work, Schumpeter writes: ‘Divested of nonessentials, the “Malthusian” Principle of Population sprang fully developed from the brain of Botero in 1589: populations tend to increase, beyond any assignable limit, to the full extent made possible by human fecundity (the virtus generativa of the Latin translation); the means of subsistence, on the contrary, and the possibilities of increasing them (the virtus nutritiva) are definitely limited and therefore impose a limit on that increase, the only one there is; this limit asserts itself through want, which will induce people to refrain from marrying (Malthus’ negative check, prudential check, “moral restraint”) unless numbers are periodically reduced by wars, pestilence, and so on (Malthus’ positive check). This path-breaking performance – the only performance in the whole history of the theory of population to deserve any credit at all – came much before the time in which its message could have spread: it was practically lost in the populationist wave of the seventeenth century. But about two hundred years after Botero [1540–1617], Malthus really did no more than repeat it, except that he adopted particular mathematical laws for the operation of the virtus generativa and the virtus nutritiva: population was to increase “in geometric ratio or progression”’ (Schumpeter, History of Economic Analysis, pp. 254–5).

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