[FREDERICK III, (1415-1493), King of Germany (from 1440) and Holy Roman Emperor]. Decorated manuscript with Royal seal, A GRANT OF NOBILITY AND COAT OF ARMS to brothers Hans, Sigmund, Wolfgang and Steffan Rechwein, Linz, 15 November 1492. 1 page, 363 x 582 mm. (14½ x 23 in.), ON FINE PARCHMENT, in German, the first line of text with decorative scrolling ascenders and elaborately decorated initial capital "F"; central portion with illuminated coat of arms (a knight's helm over gold shield bearing grape vine, wing above with similar vine in elaborate lemon yellow, blue, gold and red foliage, border in burnished gold dotted with silver studs), very slight darkening along folds, one tiny hole, otherwise in fine condition. In a fine giltwood frame with sunken compartment for seal.
SEAL: A fine impression of the royal seal of Frederick III in brown wax (diameter 132 mm. (5¼ in.), obverse showing the king holding scepter and orb with cross, entroned beneath a gothic canopy, flanked by nine small shield devices), pendant on burgundy braided cord with two hanging tassles. Fine.
WITH A FINELY-ILLUMINATED COAT OF ARMS AND LARGE SEAL. The vine stock in the coat of arms is undoubtedly a rebus on the family name of the recipients ("Rechwein"). Frederick III was one of the most ineffectual of all Holy Roman Emperors, though he was the last to be crowned in Rome, and lost control over Milan, Switzerland, Bohemia and Hungary. His importance lay perhaps chiefly in arranging the marriage of his son, later Emperor Maximilian I, to the daughter of Charles the Bold, heiress to Burgundy and much of the Netherlands, an alliance which was to transform Hapsburg fortunes.