1778 Empress Maria Theresa patent of nobility manuscript for Polastri family


With a signature "Maria Theresa", attractive illuminated coat of arms painting, vellum leaves, attractive manuscript hand and red velvet binding, this manuscript patent of nobility, issued by Empress Maria Theresa for the Polastri family (dated 1778) is an excellent example of nobility patents.

On the 6th vellum leaf, the arms of the Polastri family, highlighted by gilt application, are painted over a beautiful landscape background with a delightful play of light.

On the 7th leaf verso, below the signature "Maria Theresa", there is a "W. Kaunitz-Rietberg, which may be the signature of Wenzel Anton, Prince of Kaunitz-Rietberg.

The rear leaf, of paper, seems to be used as a register with officials; for example, the first entry notes, "Registretur" and "Taxarum exemptione".

About Empress Maria Theresa -

Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina (German: Maria Theresia; 13 May 1717 – 29 November 1780) was ruler of the Habsburg dominions from 1740 until her death in 1780, and the only woman to hold the position in her own right. She was the sovereign of Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Bohemia, Transylvania, Mantua, Milan, Lodomeria and Galicia, the Austrian Netherlands, and Parma. By marriage, she was Duchess of Lorraine, Grand Duchess of Tuscany and Holy Roman Empress.

Physical Attributes -

Measures approx. 35 x 26 cm. Velvet binding. Decorative paper endpapers. Paper flyleaves. Eight vellum leaves. Decorative manuscript headpiece "Now Maria Theresa". Clear "hand" throughout, easy to read. Decorative initial below the signature "Maria Theresa" on the 7th vellum leaf. Last vellum leaf blank. Rear flyleaf with register of French officials dated 1779-1780.

Condition -

See pictures. There is some wear of time to the velvet, but it's in better shape than some other examples I've seen; the velvet feels like velvet, still shows signs of red, and wears all four ties (which often disintegrate). The flyleaves are paper, and the front flyleaf has bookseller notes ("WRND", "566/1080") written in pencil on it with a couple of small marks. First vellum leaf has some thumbing along the lower fore-edge. Occasional thumb at edge throughout. Tissue between leaves has some fox spots. Some of the leaves have slight cockling of vellum (wave). Rear paper flyleaf recto has the dedication, to the Polastri family, of many French officials dated 1780; the verso has several ink spots.

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