CARTA EXECUTORIA DE HIDALGUIA, issued by Philip II of Spain, in favour of Juan Delgadillo, in Spanish, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
Valladolid, 2 July 1568
345 x 242mm. 34 leaves including 4 ruled blanks and blank endleaf, 38 lines written in black ink between two pairs of verticals and 39 horizontals, the top paired, ruled in red, justification at outer rulings: 219 x 316 mm, each folio with calligraphic ascenders and descenders in upper and lower margins, some decorated with birds, notary's endorsement in lower margins of versos, opening and two-line initials in liquid gold on grounds of red or blue, one full border with a gold inscription on red panels between blue cornerpieces, two full borders of richly coloured grotesque decoration on gold grounds, ONE FULL-PAGE MINIATURE WITH SIMILAR BORDER incorporating coats of arms, ONE LARGE HISTORIATED INITIAL AND ONE SMALL MINIATURE WITH SIMILAR BORDERS, one with coat of arms, on facing verso and recto (a few leaves yellowed). Contemporary red and white patterned brocade with silver cord edging and red tassels at outer corners, orange silk liners (one tassel lost, others very worn, some fraying).
This handsomely decorated carta executoria confirms, at his request, the status of Hidalguia of Juan Delgadillo, resident of Aranda del Duero in Castille, exempting him from paying any future tributes to the King and demanding to have returned to him any tributes, endowments or seizures that might have been taken earlier. By 2 July 1568 Juan Delgadillo had died so that it was his son, Juan the younger, who benefited. Two additional endorsements, f.29v, dated 24 and 27 January 1669, testify that the carta executoria was presented before the chancery of Aranda del Duero, who agreed to the terms stated by Philip II.
The borders are filled with inventive combinations of Italianate grotesque ornament -- harpies, hybrids, stylised flower and foliage -- and motifs from Netherlandish scatter borders -- birds, jewels and naturalistic flowers and fruit. The subjects portrayed are as follows:
f.1v In a full-page miniature, St John the Baptist appears in a glory above members of the Delgadillo family kneeling in a landscape: Juan Degadillo blesses Francisco, presumably his son, while Maria, presumably his daughter, looks up to his patron saint; Maria de San Roman, his wife, kneels in the border.
f.2v In an initial D, St Francis presents Francisco Delgadillo Pedraza to the Virgin and Child in a glory above; his wife Maria de Garay kneels opposite.
f.3. In a small miniature, Alonso Delgadillo Pedraza, a tonsured priest, kneels before the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception, clothed in the sun and standing on the crescent moon.