Western and Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures | 06 December 2017

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Lot no.

91

Contract of sale of future income issued by the royal treasury in favour of...

Unsold

Est: £400–600

Contract of sale of future income issued by the royal treasury in favour of Doña Luisa Fernández Colmenero, widow of the ‘veintecuatro’ Fernan Ramirez de Cartagena of Seville , in Spanish, manuscript on parchment [Spain (Seville), dated 1615]

9 leaves (single gathering, wanting last leaf), single column of 35 long lines in a rounded Spanish bookhand, significant sections opening with rows of larger script, the whole text opening with a very large calligraphic penwork initial, bound on multi-coloured silk thread (presumably once holding a seal), the ink somewhat faded in places, rodent damage to foot of document with losses to borders there, small spots and stains, overall fair condition, 290 by 205mm., limp parchment binding with contemporary ornate lettering on front (now faded), one stitched repair to natural flaw on back cover

While this document is visually unremarkable, its content bears witness to a period of great financial instability for the Spanish crown, in which they were forced to mortgage their future income for liquidated currency, in this case to a wealthy member of the Seville elite for the sum of 187,500 maravedis “de juro”. After a number of crushing military defeats in Europe, including the Spanish Armada, Spain declared national bankruptcy four times in the late sixteenth century, before plague wiped out a tenth of its population in 1599. The early decades of the seventeenth century saw increasingly panicked attempts by the Hapsburg rulers to restart and then eventually milk dry the economy.

Western and Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures

Wednesday 06 December 2017, 2.00pm

Bloomsbury London
Bloomsbury House
24 Maddox Street
London
W1S 1PP

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Saturday 2 December
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Day of Sale from 9.30am

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