CARTA EXECUTORIA DE HIDALGUIA, issued by Philip II, King of Spain, in favour of Carlos de Vallesteros Saabedra, in Spanish, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
Granada, 15 July 1597
300 x 211 mm. i + 171 leaves, 12, 223(xxiii a singleton), 3-424, 512, 6-1112, 1211(i a singleton), 132, 142(ii as pastedown), 44 lines written in a neat round bookhand in black ink between two pairs of verticals and 45 horizontals ruled in red, justification: 250 x 148mm, a notary's endorsement in the lower margin of each folio, three decorative rulings with flourishes to upper margins, opening words of each section in letters of liquid gold and silver on red grounds accompanying TWENTY-ONE LARGE INITIALS with calligraphic staves in gold on blue, green, purple or red grounds, THREE FULL-PAGE MINIATURES, ONE PORTRAIT AND TWO ARMORIAL, ONE MINIATURE of 10 lines height, of St Peter, two papered seals, miniatures protected by interleaved green silk. Contemporary green velvet over wooden boards, with pierced silver corner pieces and clasp and cast and chased centrepieces engraved with the Vallesteros arms (three clasps and all catches lacking, velvet frayed at extremities). Modern green morocco box.
1. Sotheby's 24th November 1947, lot 106
This attractive and skillfully painted carta executoria endorses the right of Carlos de Vallesteros to bear arms and confirms his status as hidalgo. This provision extends to his sons, Hernando de Vallesteros Aguilera and Juan de Vallesteros and to Juan's own sons. The document comprises the city's official recognition of the good name and pure lineage of the Vallesteros family, proven by the numerous testimonies of the inhabitants of Porcura. An additional endorsement from Madrid on folios 169v-170, dated March 1598 and bearing paper seals, provides an explanation by 'Diego de Urbina Rey de armas' of the symbols on the Vallesteros arms and of the history of the family name. Still further endorsements and signatures, including that of Carlos de Vallesteros himself, have been added on folios f.170v-171.
The subjects of the illuminations are as follows:
f.1v Three-quarter-length portrait of the recipient, wearing a black doublet and white ruff, within a frame border decorated with strings of pearls on a red ground and blue and gold cornerpieces
f.2 Armorial miniature with coat of arms, with Vallesteros' arms impaling those of his wife (Elvira de Aguilera), with helmet and feathered crest and elaborate acanthus mantling, on a green ground with frame border similar to f.1v. The Vallesteros arms, with a gold castle set on rocks on a blue background with three crossbows, derives its symbols from the seige of Alcaraz, in which Fernando Sanchez de Vallesteros helped drive the Moors out of Toledo.
f.3v St Peter, standing in a landscape, holding a book, keys and knife with Malchus' ear
f.170 Armorial miniature with Vallesteros's coat of arms on a red ground with a similar frame border to ff.1v and 2