Milan, 6 October 1496.
US $2566 €2332
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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
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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the opening of the Canon of the Mass; a complete leaf, 18 lines, written in a fine gothic liturgical script, dark brown ink, ruled lightly with ink, capitals touched with red, rubrics, initials in red and blue, large (five-line) initial ‘T’ (Te igitur) in a stylized leafy design in blue within a pink and green frame and against a burnished and tooled gold ground with leafy and floral extensions in two margins; recovered from use as a binding, with consequent soiling and creasing, burnished gold rubbed and slightly flaked, margins and corners trimmed. 375 x 240mm (276 x 184mm).
Southern German style illumination of a type that seems to have spread well beyond the borders of the German-speaking lands: compare, for instance, the opening of the Canon of the Mass in a Missal supposedly prepared in the diocese of Esztergom c. 1480 for a church in Poszony (Esztergom, FK MS I.20, fol. 67r; see I. Berkovits, Illuminated manuscripts in Hungary, 1969, p. 58 and pl. XXIII).