Litterae ducales

Accession number: 
MS M.434
Litterae ducales
Milan, Italy, between 1499 and 1541.
Italian 16th-century brown morocco monastic binding stamped with the crowned Virgin with the Christ child standing upon a crescent and surrounded by a flaming mandorla; stylized fleurs-de-lis in corners; hinges of three clasps.
Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1910.
31 leaves (1 column, 25 lines), bound : vellum, ill. ; 270 x 190 mm
Marchese Girolamo d'Adda (bookplate inside front cover); Charles Fairfax Murray (cat. III, 1902, p. 12, no. 16); Tammaro De Marinis (cat. VIII, 1908, no. 1, plate II-III); purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) from Alexandre Imbert in July 1910; J.P. Morgan (1867-1943).

Ms. documents concerning the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy; written and illuminated in Milan between 1499 and 1541.
Title from PML files.
As attested by various notaries, the initial documents were copied in 1499 from the original acts of donation issued by Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, to the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie. In 1525, according to the letter in Spanish on fol. 29, part of the monastery's land was given to Don Lope de Soria by the Marques de Pescara and Antonio de Leyva (Antonio de Leiva), governor of Milan. Thereupon, a change in government caused the new ruler of Milan, Francesco Sforza (1495-1535), Duke of Milan, to order the return of land to the monastery. A petition to Emperor Charles V, which was forwarded to him by the city council of Milan in 1540, brought an examination of the case by them; in 1541 they upheld the right of the monastery to the property, a decision accepted by the emperor--Cf. PML files.
Texts: letter of donations, dated 1497 (fol. 1-5v); attestations of six notaries, dated 1499 (fol. 5v-6v); blank (fol. 7-8v); Frater Vincenzo Baldelli di Castelnuovo (Vincenzo Bandelli) enumerates the gifts, expresses gratitude, and promises prayers for the Sforza family (fol. 9-16); inventory of silver and furnishings donated (17-22v); blank (fol. 23-23v); donation of land near Vigleuani, Gambolati, and the Ticino River, dated 1498 (fol. 24-25); attestations of four notaries to the foregoing donations, dated 1519 (fol. 25v-28v); copy of a letter from Emperor Charles V transmitting the petition of his councillor Don Lope de Soria, to the city council of Milan, dated Ghent, Feb. 21, 1540 (fol. 29); copy of the petition aforesaid, sent by Prince Andrea Doria to the Emperor on behalf of Lope de Soria (fol. 29-29v); answer of the officials and senators of Milan to the emperor's letter, confirming the ownership of the property by Santa Maria delle Grazie, dated Apr. 9, 1541 (fol. 30-31); the emperor's letter of acceptance of the Milan city council's decision (fol. 31v).
Scribe: Johannes de Lazaronibus and unidentified others.
Decoration: 1 illuminated frontispiece (fol. 1) with small miniature; cartouches with Sforza devices and border decoration; another small miniature with heraldic border decoration on fol. 9.
Artist: attributed to Master B.F.

Roman letters
Latin and Spanish