Latin Document of 1437 on Vellum from Barcelona

August 13, 2018 in Manuscript Studies, Uncategorized

Large-Format Single-Sheet Document in Latin on Vellum
Circa 58.4 cm × 34.1 cm|
With a Matching, and Still Conjoint, Pair of Records
for a Sale in 1437 (Perhaps Effected?)
between 2 Named ‘Transporters of Animals’
in the ‘City of Barcelona’

Large Single-Sheet Latin Document on Vellum recording a sale of land of 1437. Private Collection. Reproduced by Permission.[Published on 20 August 2018.  Our blog continues to report discoveries among dispersed manuscript fragments and documents of varying dates and provenance. See the Contents List, arranged principally by genres.]

Recycling in Action

As a reused older document, the large vellum sheet served for a time as the parchment cover from some later register (now lost, or lost track of).  With an undulating and irregular upper edge, the sheet now measures circa 584 mm × 341 cm.

Bipartite 1437 Document in Latin from Barcelona.  Docketing Inscription on verso or dorse of the vellum sheet, with information about the former volume which the vellum sheet formerly covered.  Private Collection, reproduced by permission.Placed on one side of the sheet, the original text comprises two documents, one after the other, or rather two copies of a single document, regarding the same sale, dated 1437 and supplied with the same notarial signature.  The other side of the sheet carries a set of inscriptions which provide information concerning the contents of the former register, rather than docketing information for the document itself. 

Such docketing inscriptions appear, for example, on some other subjects of our blog, as with some other documents not pressed into service as reused covers: here and here. These differ from the titles or identifying inscriptions for the volumes which the reused sheets formerly covered. Such cases appear, for example, on large vellum sheets, from documents or manuscripts, pressed into service as covers, as here.

The document now resides in a Private Collection, obtained through an online transaction.  We thank the owner for bringing this item to our attention and supplying information as well as images.

Size Matters

The size of the object required a piece-meal set of scans for its reproduction.  Preparing the image shown here, the owner reports that, given the size of the available scanner,

I had to fit four scans together, and it [that is, the image] isn’t quite complete, although it is missing at most three or four letters from [the end of] each line.  One of the parties is a certain Johannem Sabaterii curritorem animalium civem Barchine who sells the property to one Berengario Doluge curritorem animalium civem Barchine.

And so, with that resourceful tesselation, the face of the document appears here more-or-less in full:Large Single-Sheet Latin Document on Vellum recording a sale of land of 1437. Private Collection. Reproduced by Permission.

From One “Animal Transporter” To Another

The transaction(s) on the document concern(s) the sale of property from one “transporter of animals” to another.

Various documentary records which survive and have online access for research cite this occupation for individuals engaging in transactions of some kind or other, as here: curritorem animalium.

Both Agents Based in, or From, the ‘City of Barcelona’

On this document, both individuals which engage in the transaction are identified moreover as coming from, or belonging to, the civ[itat]em Barchine.  That is, presumably, the city of Barcelona: civitatem barcinoniae, or Barcelona.

Astronaut photo of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain (3 June 2004).  Via Earth Observations Laboratory, Johnson Space Center.  NASA, public domain.

Astronaut photo of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain (3 June 2004). Via Earth Observations Laboratory, Johnson Space Center. NASA, public domain.

Docketing for the Former Contents:  Cabreo de Castelloni for 1488

On the verso (or dorse) of the document there stands a set of inscriptions written in two stages in two different inks and by two or more different hands identifying the contents.  In three lines, the inscriptions state:

Añ[n]o 14.88.
Cabreo de Castello[n]i.
32 . . . . 3 . . . . 2

“Year 1488.
Cabreo of the Castle
32 . . . . 3 . . . . 2″

The first two lines state their case in a tall, imposing script written in dark brown ink.  The third line rests its case in a series of numerals and dots written in mostly darker ink with a thinner pen (or pens) and partly retraced and add components, perhaps entered by two different hands or one hand on a revisit.

568 1437 Document Docketing

The language is Castellan, as signalled by the word cabreo: “In Catalonia and probably also in other areas of Spain, documents called Capbreus (in Castilian Spanish: Cabreo) are known from the Middle Ages.”

The inscription indicates that the vellum document served for a time as the cover, or part of the cover, of the cartulary of the castle, presumably Montjuïc Castle.  The building still stands, although its former moat has been overplanted. The identification of which castle derives from other evidence pertaining to materials purchased from the same online source.

Entrance to Montjuïc castle across the former moat.  Photograph 2007 by Puigalder, via Wikipedia Commons.

Entrance to Montjuïc castle across the former moat. Photograph 2007 by Puigalder, via Wikipedia Commons.

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289 1437 Document Top Right cropped

Top Left: Document Version 1

Latin document of 1437 detail of Top Left. Private collection, reproduced by permission.

Bottom Left: Document Version 2

1437 upright Mid Left

The Notary Petrus Pons of Barcelona and His Sign

So far, as we begin to examine the document, so good.  More research may yield further information about the named individuals, including the notary, whose professional script and distinctive notary sign imply extensive practice at the skill.

290 1437 Top Left rotated Notarial Signature

Signum Petri Pons . . . legia not[aria] publi[c]a barch[i]ue

Notarial Sign Version 1

Notarial Sign Version 1

Notarial Sign Version 2

Notarial Sign Version 2

Also, given the still-conjoined duplicate copies of the transaction, we might wonder if the transaction somehow was incomplete, or aborted, so that one, another, or neither party received his or their copies of the deed.

Perhaps therein lies a tale.

Any Suggestions?

More to Learn

Do you have any suggestions or observations? Might you join the quest to discover more about this large-format single-sheet document on vellum in Latin apparently from Barcelona?

Do you recognize this scribe, his notarial sign, those parties to the transaction, or similar circumstances?  Do you know of other records naming these parties:   Johannem Sabaterii curritorem animalium civem Barchine who sells the property to one Berengario Doluge curritorem animalium civem Barchine?

Please let us know.  Please add your contents here or Contact Us.

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