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DECREE OF FRANCESCO GONZAGA, 4TH MARQUIS OF MANTUA, to Cristoforo Poggio of Bologna, in Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum, Mantua, 25 October 1490.
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DECREE OF FRANCESCO GONZAGA, 4TH MARQUIS OF MANTUA, to Cristoforo Poggio of Bologna, in Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum, Mantua, 25 October 1490.

Details
DECREE OF FRANCESCO GONZAGA, 4TH MARQUIS OF MANTUA, to Cristoforo Poggio of Bologna, in Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum, Mantua, 25 October 1490.

A fine, noble decree of Francesco Gonzaga — ruler of the city of Mantua, husband to Isabelle d'Este, described in his time as 'short, pop-eyed, snub-nosed and exceptionally brave [...], the finest knight in Italy' — written by Sigismondo Golfo, his secretary.

A single sheet, 370 x 560mm, ruled in ink for 24 lines written in brown ink in a fine upright humanistic minuscule probably by Sigismondo Golfo, secretary of the Marquis of Mantua, and subscribed by him, ruled space 200 x 430mm, the first line with a large illuminated initial ‘F’ with white vine interlace and large capitals in burnished gold. two roundels: one with the Gonzaga device of a muzzle with a scroll and the inscription ‘Cautius’ (most cautiously); the second with a scroll and the inscription ‘Bider Kraft’ (righteous strength). Signed by the chancellor Antimachus (upper right corner missing and restored with old vellum, some splitting along fold, some rubbing and offsetting, lacking seal).


Provenance:
(1) Cristoforo Poggio (or Poggi) of Bologna, secretary to Giovanni Bentivoglio, lord of Bologna. Both Poggi and Sigismondo Golfo were humanists: Golfo instructed and provided books for Francesco Gonzaga’s wife, the great Renaissance patron and collector, Isabella d’Este. Poggi’s background may account for the unusual richness in the decoration of the decree, which was probably painted by one of the illuminators who decorated books for Isabella d’Este and Francesco Gonzaga.

(2) Rizzo, Milan (until 1989).

(3) Sam Fogg Ltd., London.

(4) Schøyen Collection, MS 567.


Text:
The decree grants Cristoforo Poggio concessions and exemptions in respect of his villa, Corte Villagrossa in Roncaferraro. The chancery copy of the decree is likely to be still in the Mantuan archives, most probably in the ‘Copialettere in busta 2903, F II 9/133, 134 or 135’.
Special notice

These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

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Eugenio Donadoni
Eugenio Donadoni

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