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Papal Grant of nobility, countship, and a fair, including hunting and fishing rights, in Latin and Italian, illuminated manuscript on vellum, Rome, 7 January 1773.
Papal Grant of nobility, countship, and a fair, including hunting and fishing rights, in Latin and Italian, illuminated manuscript on vellum, Rome, 7 January 1773.
Papal Grant of nobility, countship, and a fair, including hunting and fishing rights, in Latin and Italian, illuminated manuscript on vellum, Rome, 7 January 1773.
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Papal Grant of nobility, countship, and a fair, including hunting and fishing rights, in Latin and Italian, illuminated manuscript on vellum, Rome, 7 January 1773.
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Papal Grant of nobility, countship, and a fair, including hunting and fishing rights, in Latin and Italian, illuminated manuscript on vellum, Rome, 7 January 1773.

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Papal Grant of nobility, countship, and a fair, including hunting and fishing rights, in Latin and Italian, illuminated manuscript on vellum, Rome, 7 January 1773.
A lavish grant issued by Pope Clement XIV (r.1769-1774) conferring the title of Counts to the brothers Giulio and Giuseppe De' Gentili of Viterbo, along with specific hunting and fishing rights pertaining to their property — and newly-created countship — of Castel Cardinale, along with the establishment of a yearly fair.

236 x 172mm. i (paper) + 18 + i (paper) leaves, complete, chirograph, 24 lines of text, names in gold, 2 full-page coats of arms (one with the arms of Pope Clement XIV and one with those of the De' Gentili family) and one historiated initial 'P' within full borders, the watermark of the first flyleaf an anchor with the letters 'G' and 'A' within a circle surmounted by a star, the letter 'F'? below, similar to a number of 18th-century watermarks from Fabriano, in the Marche (e.g. Z02196, dating from 1764), the document notarised on the final leaf by the papal secretary Sylvester Antonius Mariottus. Contemporary red morocco gilt with the coat arms of Pope Clement XIV (fragments of red silk ties survive, edges a little scuffed). Provenance: The Gentili family originated from Montegallo Piceno, and moved to Viterbo at the beginning of the 18th century, with Francesco Antonio Gentili who established their reputation as merchants in the city. In 1771, the brothers Giulio and Giuseppe were made Knights of the Holy Roman Empire by Joseph II, and allowed to add De' to their names.

Content: The chirograph of Clement XIV confirms the noble credentials of the De' Gentili brothers of Viterbo; raises their newly-purchased estate at Castel Cardinale to the status of papal countship; confers the titles of Counts to the brothers and their heirs for a discounted sum, with all associated rights in perpetuity; establishes a yearly fair on the property ('nel giorno del mese di Giugno ogni anno' — and as long as any trade that occurs at the fair is legitimate: 'qualsivoglia sorta di Robbe, Animali, e Mercanzie, non pero' proibite [...]') and grants specific hunting and fishing rights within said property: 'd'ogni sorta di Animali Selvatici, Quadrupedi, e volatili, e fare similmente la Pesca riservata in quell'Acqua, of Fiume, che scorrono dentro [...]'.
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