~ Shop ~

ORDER OF SANTIAGO: La Regla y stablescimientos de la Cavalleria de Sanctiago-del-Espada. Con la hystoria del origen y principio della



[Rules and Establishments of the Cavalry [i. e. Order] of Sanctiago-del-Espada. With the History of its Origin and Fundamentals].


A superb example of a rare late 16th century regulations for the Spanish Order of Santiago, printed in red and black, with a unique binding and a prominent provenance.


Small 4°. Armorial wood-cut title page, wood-cut image of Saint James in Renaissance cartouche with details printed in red, wood-cut coat of arms with the Cross of Saint James printed in red in the middle, [25 pp.] index, 156 pp. paginated recto only with wood-cut illustrated initials, pp. 58 verso and 59 recto partly printed in red ink, [6 pp.] blank, greenish-brown calf (probably 17th or early 18th century) with blind and gold tooling on boards and spine, boards decorated with armorials with gold floral tooling, hand-drawn black eagle, crossbones and fleurs-de-lis, with words “Co. Sar.” on sides, and ornated with hand painted Cross of Saint James, gilt edges with tooling. Old book-seller’s stamp, mounted on the lower inner side of the front board, late 20th Century ex-libris mounted on the upper corner of the front blank endpaper, mounted printed ex-libris on one of the further blank pages, three owner’s remarks in brown ink on the following blank page, two old inscriptions on the rear blank pages: crossed out note in black ink “Fra Fregi da l’Italia adornano” (Decorated by Fra Fregi from Italia) and probably a book-shelf number. Blank pages, bound between the text and boards appear to be from the same time as the binding, with an exception of one sheet, with owner’s inscriptions from the 16th and 17th centuries, which was mounted with margin before the title page.

Condition report: mispagination: p. 26 as 28, p. 45 as 25, p. 119 as 123, p. 142 as 141, sporadic old annotations in brown ink in margins, light water-staining in the upper part from p. 132 on, sporadic pages with light age-toning and staining, tiny tears in margins of first pages, tiny sporadic cracks in hinges, last text pages with a tiny worm holes in white margins without loss of text, small worm holes in front and last blank pages, binding lightly scuffed and rubbed with wormholes, colour and gilt on armorials partially rubbed (please see the images). Overall in a good condition.

1 in stock


The Spanish Order of Santiago, founded in the 12th century, is a religious and military order with international members, including women. Named after the Patron Saint of Spain, Saint James the Greater, it was originally establish for protection of the pilgrims on their route to Santiago de Compostela and to defend the Iberian Peninsula from the Muslim Moors, with the goal to protect Christianity. The Order of Santiago soon became a prestigious European order with its knights recognizable by the symbols of Santiago Cross, being a red cross, with the lower part shaped in a form of a sword and the arms as fleurs-de-lis.

A major step in the organization of the prominent Order of Santiago was made by Pope Adrian VI., when in 1523 he placed it under protection of the Spanish Crown, where it remains until this day.

The order published the first printed book with its regulations and decrees, relevant for the knights, already in 1503 (Sevilla, Juan Pegnitzer) and from then on regularly with updated text.

This is an especially handsome edition, with attractive wood-cut titles, decorated with Santiago crosses, printed in red. Our example, with venerable provenance, is ornated with an unique tooled and hand-painted binding.

The wood-cuts were made by a superb 16th century spanish engraver and goldsmith Juan de Arfe (1535- 1603).


A page, mounted with the inner margin on later blank sheets before the first printed title, bears old owner’s signatures in brown ink, written on one page, probably followed chronologically:

– A lengthy inscription by Lodovico (Ludovico) Guasco from a north Italian noble family. He mentions himself a knight of the Order of Santiago (probably late 16th century, or early 17th century).
– Galeazzo Pallavicino of Cremona (late 16th or early 17th century), from a prominent North Italian noble family, also known for its mentorship of artists. The signed name could refer to one of the three counts with the same name from the family Pallavicino (deceased in 1582, 1592,1666).
– Co. Teodoro, Count of Albani (possibly the canon of the Bergamo cathedral who in 1642 became the first principle of the Accademia degli Eccitati in Bergamo).

The book appears to be rebound in the time of Baroque. Binding with a coat of arms with an eagle, crossbones and four gold fleurs-de-lis, of an anonymous owner, whose name is abbreviated to Co. Sar. (Co. standing probably for Conte, a count). (Possibly 17th or early 18th century).

Ex-Libris of Paolo Vimercati Sozzi (1801 – 1883) mounted on a blank page. Vimercati Sozzi, a nobleman and a knight of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus, was a prominent Italian collector, antiquarian and author, specialized mostly in Bergamo and North-Italian art. He was corresponding with contemporary European scientists.

Late 19th century book stamp by Williams and Norgate, booksellers in Oxford, mounted in the lower inner corner of front board.

Ex-Libris of Pietro Ciriaci (1885 – 1966), an Italian Cardinal of the Catholic Church, on the top of the first loose blank paper.

A Note on Rarity

We could trace examples in following institutions: Universitat de Barcelona, Biblioteca Nacional de España,

Universidad de Sevilla, Harvard University, Huntington Library, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Universitat Rovira i Virgili CRAI, Bibliothèque interuniversitaire Sainte-Geneviève.

References: OCLC 493003517, 865312663, 460956874, 807734147; Iberian Books / Libros Ibéricos (IB), Books Published in Spanish or Portuguese or on the Iberian Peninsula Before 1601 / Libros Publicados en Español O Portugués O en la Península Ibérica Antes de 1601, 2010, no. 5428 ; Sastre Santos Eutimio, la Orden de Santiago y su regla, Tesis Doctoral, Universidad Complutense de Madrid Facultad de Geografía e Historia, Madrid 2015, passim (on-line source: 5309859029.pdf (ucm.es)).

Additional information


Place and Year