CHARLES V (1500-1558, Holy Roman Emperor 1519-1558). Document signed ('Yo el rey'), Castello Nuovo, Naples, 22 March 1536, confirming exemption from taxation, and other privileges, to the town of Cava [modern Cava de' Tirreni], in Latin and Italian, written in a humanist hand on vellum. The document is also issued in the name of Charles's mother Joanna the mad, who was co-ruler with him of Castile.
(328 x 223mm). Collation: . 8 leaves, foliated 53-60.
BINDING: Neapolitan binding, last quarter of the 15th century; gold-tooled red-brown morocco over flexible pasteboard, blind fillet borders, sides with 8 compartments formed of repeat knot tools, each with ropework stamp at centre, sun faces, winged heads and cinquefoils in borders, pastedowns without watermark, remains of two pink silk ties (remboîtage, scuffed, rubbed and a little stained, small losses at corners, head of spine and small area of upper cover).
PROVENANCE: sale Christie's Rome, 10 June 1997, lot 21.
A REMARKABLE NEAPOLITAN BINDING by an unidentified binder. No other example from the workshop is known to us. The repeating pattern is a characteristically Neapolitan device, to be seen in works by the 15th-century royal binder, Baldassarre Scariglia, e.g. De Marinis, La legatura, I, pls. xiv-xv, xvii, xix, etc. Naples enjoyed a flourishing industry of gold-tooled bookbinding under the Aragonese kings. This almost disappeared when it became a Spanish viceroyalty. After Masone di Maio ceased working c. 1509 (Hobson, Humanists, pp. 109-111, and app. 4), and the bindings commissioned by Andrea Matteo Acquaviva (ibid., pp. 111-112), there is little to show except an extraordinary multi-plaquette binding of the second quarter of the 16th century (ibid., p. 140, pl. 108).