Item #2927 Large Collection of Documents Related to Francesco Sabatini’s Estate. Francesco Sabatini.
Large Collection of Documents Related to Francesco Sabatini’s Estate.
Large Collection of Documents Related to Francesco Sabatini’s Estate.
Large Collection of Documents Related to Francesco Sabatini’s Estate.
Large Collection of Documents Related to Francesco Sabatini’s Estate.
The Italian Architect Francesco Sabatini’s Estate

Large Collection of Documents Related to Francesco Sabatini’s Estate.

Venice, Parma, Madrid (etc.). Late 18th, early 19th century. More than 100 handwritten, some partly printed documents. Written in ink by different hands. Housed in a contemporary folder with a title vignette. Some folded, creased, dented, and chipped, but in general in very good condition.

Interesting collection of more than one hundred documents related to Francesco Sabatini’s estate (among them paintings by Goya and Tiepolo) and savings in Venice banks of more than 2 million reais.

Francesco Sabatini (1721–1797) was an Italian architect, born in Palermo and studied at the Accademia di San Luca in Rome, under Ferdinando Fuga and Luigi Vanvitelli under whose orders he worked in Naples and with whose daughter, Cecilia he later married. Sabatini settled in Madrid in the 1760s, developed his professional career in Spain in the service of Carlos III and Carlos IV as a royal engineer, and became decorated with various prestigious civil and military titles. His most emblematic works are the conclusion of the Royal Palace of Madrid, the Royal Customs House (Real Casa de la Aduana), the Godoy Palace (Palacio del Marqués de Grimaldi), the Royal Basilica of Saint Francis the Great (Real Basílica de San Francisco el Grande), the Puerta del Real Jardín Botánico, the Puerta de Alcalá in Madrid, and the Convento de San Pascual in Aranjuez.

Throughout his life, Sabatini accumulated a large amount of wealth, and lived in a large house, with a private chapel, well furnished and decorated with paintings by Francisco Goya, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Mariano Salvador Maella, Giacomo Nani, Bayeu, and Anton Raphael Mengs among others, in his testament the paintings had an estimated value of 35,518 reais. (Ruiz Hernando 1993) Sabatini also owned a large library with more than 600 books in it (Galland-Seguela 2005) with a wide range of topics from architecture, engineering, and mathematics through philosophy, literature, and history to medicine, art, and travel, estimated to be worth 36,043 reais. (Ruiz Hernando 1993; Ruiz Hernando 2020) His furniture was appraised at 9,114, the cars 10,900, the watches 14,300, the marbles 3,990, other ornaments 4,457, bronzes 35,555, paintings 35,518, instruments 8,500; silver 35,589, and diamonds 48,817 reais. (Ruiz Hernando 1993) Besides the realty and personal assets, Sabatini had considerable investments and savings in banks in Vienna, Paris, Genoa, Naples, and Madrid, but the majority was placed in Venice banks, with a total amount reaching more than 2 million reais (Galland-Seguela 2005; Ruiz Hernando 1993).

Sabatini had two daughters to who he left his inheritance, for which a royal license was required and achieved in 1792. The three-fifths was granted to the older daughter, Ana María, wife of Jerónimo de la Grúa y Talamanca, Minister Plenipotentiary of Spain in the courts of Genoa, Stockholm, and later in Parma, while the rest to the younger, María Teresa, who married to Antonio de Zayas y Potau, 2nd Marquis of Zayas. The widow was granted a decent annuity, with which she wasn’t satisfied, and filed a lawsuit against the testimony and her daughters. (Ruiz Hernando 1993) The present archive was owned by Francisco Sabatini’s son-in-law, Jerónimo de la Grúa y Talamanca, and it is concerned with his wife, Sabatini’s older daughter, Ana María’s inheritance. It consists of:

- 30 proofs of deposit from Venice banks (Zecca and others), issued to Francesco Sabatini, dated between 1774 and 1796. The documents are partly printed and partly handwritten, 8 of them are on vellum. Those issued between 1790 and 1796 are countersigned by Pedro Rombenchi, the Spanish consul to Venice, and bear his embossed seal.

- 3 manuscript accounts currents of Sabatini’s invoices issued in 1795(?), 1796, and one posthumous in 1802, and one of de la Grúa’s (1803), and related notes on smaller papers.

- A group of 56 letters: Jerónimo de la Grúa’s extensive correspondence with his attorney in Madrid, Joseph Badan, dated between 1801 and 1804. 27 letters from Badan and 29 from de la Grúa of which 15 are placed into Badan’s original letter as a copy of the reply.

- A group of 12 letters: Jerónimo de la Grúa’s correspondence with Luigi Casimiro Vetromile, concerning the inheritance, and the trial between the widow and the daughters, dated between 1803 and 1804. It contains 7 letters from Vetromile with 5 responses by de la Grúa inserted. Luigi Casimiro Vetromile was the widow’s cousin, his mother was Cecilia’s sister, who married a lawyer, Giacomo Vetromile.

- A group of 3 letters: Copies of de la Grua’s letters in French to Fries & Comp. bank in Vienna (2), and to Patricio Joyes e hijos bank in Madrid (1), all dated in 1804.

- A group of 3 documents: a letter from and a note by Antonio de Zayas dated 1802 and 1803 and a copy of de la Grúa’s reply to de Zayas, dated 1804.

- A collection of 7 miscellany letters: to (6) and from (1) de la Grúa, in Spanish and Italian, dated between 1796 and 1816.

- A manuscript list of the assets that Sabatini’s widow and his daughters Ana María and Teresa inherited (“Razon de la adjudicacion de bienes […].).

- Sabatini’s official provision regarding the annuities provided to his daughter Ana María and her husband Jerónimo de la Grúa, dated September 24, 1795. Signed by Pedro de Valladares and others, sealed with red wax, bears the “Sello segundo […] maravedis” stamp on the first page.

- A detailed, 24-page list (“Bienes que se adjudican para el pago de la Hijuela señalada […].”) of Ana María’s inheritance. It lists the items divided into categories such as woodenware, ironware, copperware, carriages, watches, marbles, bronzes, instruments and devices (microscope, and telescopes), swords, rugs, chandeliers, mirrors, furniture, curtains, cornucopias, frames, noble wooden objects, paintings (among them six oval pictures of Goya, four and a half feet high, with groups of children; a four and a half feet high Tiepolo, an allegory of music; and several works by Mariano Salvador Maella), bedclothes, underclothes, outer garment, silver, jewels and diamonds, it also includes a lengthy, 10-page inventory of books.

- An extract in Italian about the juridical decision related to Sabatini’s bank assets in Vienna, Venice, Naples, and France (“Quaranta Meravidis”).

- 3 documents related to Ana María’s inheritance on her mother’s side, the Vanvitelli-family, dated 1809, 1812, and 1815.

Literature: Galland-Seguela, M. (2004) “Las condiciones materiales de la vida privada de los ingenieros militares en España durante el siglo XVIII.” In: Geo Crítica / Scripta Nova. Revista electrónica de geografía y ciencias sociales. Barcelona: Universidad de Barcelona, 15 December 2004, vol. 8, num. 179. Retreived from; Ruiz Hernando, A (1993) “La testamentaría de Francisco Sabatini”. In: Rodríguez, Delfín (ed.): Francisco Sabatini 1721–1797. La arquitectura como metáfora del poder. Madrid: Comunidad de Madrid/ Electa, pp. 91–114. Retreived from; Ruiz Hernando, A (2020) “La formación intelectual de Sabatini” In: Camara, A; Revuelta, B (ed.): Los libros del ingeniero. Madrid: Fundación Juanelo Turriano, 2020. pp. 109–131.

Price: €10,000.00