[MANUSCRIPT--SPANISH]. [FERDINAND VI, King of Spain (1746-1759)]. Carta de privilegio y confirmacion, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM, issued and signed ("Yo el Rey") by Ferdinand, conferring the title Conde del Valle de Oselle on Don Alvaro de Navia, Bolaño y Moscoso and his heirs, in Spanish, Madrid, 5 October 1750 [and Lima, Peru, ca 1750].
296 x 210mm. Originally of ten leaves interleaved with yellow silk and between two silkbacked paper endleaves, seven of the vellum leaves now disbound and framed, COMPLETE, up to 21 lines written in brown ink in a variety of formal hands with incipits, names and titles in capitals of liquid gold outlined with red, four historiated initials, seven pages with FULL-PAGE ROCOCO BORDERS of acanthus, scrolling mouldings and masks, the page with the imprinted seal of the king including harpies, monkeys, griffons etc, three-sided border of the same type and including a crown on the page with the signature 'Yo el rey', illuminated triumphal title-page, FOUR FULL-PAGE MINIATURES, all illustration and decoration executed in colors and liquid gold (seven of the leaves now disbound, glazed and framed). Original blue velvet over wooden boards (worn, lacking metalwork clasps, cornerpieces, borders and armorial centerpieces).
A PATENT OF NOBILITY WITH AN ADDITIONAL MINIATURE EXECUTED IN PERU BY JUAN FRANCISCO ROSA. This eleborate royal patent of nobility is quite exceptional for the addition of a painting on vellum by a South American colonial artist. The manuscript was issued in Madrid to Don Alvaro de Navia, Bolaño y Moscoso, Knight of the Order of Santiago, raised to the rank of Count for his service in Peru, where he was Oydor Decano in the Audiencia de Lima and honorary Minister in the Consejo de Indias. His involvement and identification with his adopted city is demonstrated by the painting that he commissioned in Peru to insert into the manuscript.
Two of the miniatures, the scene of Christ carrying the Cross and the portrait of the King and Queen, are signed by the artist Francisco Melendez; these are accomplished works executed in a subtle painterly technique where pigment is applied in tiny, almost pointilliste, brushstrokes. Like the armorial miniature and the illuminated borders, these were no doubt painted in Madrid by professional artists who specialised in decorating grand documents issued by the court chancery. But although the fifth miniature emulates the layout and handling of the others, it is painted on coarser vellum in a vigorous and charming naive style. It shows the Virgin appearing to St. Rosa of Lima and St. Toribio, second Archbishop of Lima, with a view of the walled city and the towers of its principal buildings visible behind them; it was no doubt added to the manuscript once it had reached Peru. The miniature is signed Juan Francisco Rosa and an artist of that name produced an image for the Lima church of La Merced in 1737.
The subjects of the miniatures are as follows: Christ carrying the Cross, with St. Jerome and the Blessed Alvarez of Cordova kneeling in the foreground; the Virgin and Child in Glory surrounded by clouds with cavorting cherubs, below her the kneeling figures of St. Toribio of Mogrovejo and St. Rosa of Lima flanking St. Michael vanquishing the dragon; double-portrait of Ferdinand VI and his Queen, Maria Barbara de Braganza, with a winged victory holding laurel wreaths above their heads (framed); armorial bearings of Don Alvaro de Navia (framed). (8)