Sacro militare ordine di Santo Stefano records, 1565-1578.

Sacro militare ordine di Santo Stefano papa e martire.
173 items (416 leaves)

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Other Title:
Filza di prove di nobiltà di varie famiglie nell'occasione di dovere alcuno delle medesime prender l'abito della Religione de' Cavalieri di Santo Stefano.
Medici family.
Gondi family.
Arrigucci family.
Strozzi family.
Medici, Raffaello de'.
Military religious orders -- Italy -- Florence.
Nobility -- Italy -- Early works to 1800.
Florence (Italy) -- Genealogy.
Notarial documents.
Legal documents.
Coats of arms.
Genealogical tables.
Manuscripts, Italian -- 16th century.
Manuscripts, Renaissance.
In Italian.
Collection of 173 legal and notarial documents, referred to as prove di nobiltà, concerning members of some of the most important families of Florence, including the Medici, the Gondi, the Albizzi, the Arrigucci, and the Strozzi. The documents were written between 1565 and 1578 for the admission of individuals to the military religious order of Santo Stefano, and contain a concise genealogical table for each applicant and other miscellaneous genealogical information that could prove his eligibility the order. The order, founded by Cosimo I de' Medici in 1561, was located in Pisa, but most of its knights were chosen from among the aristocrats who were connected with the Medicean court. Therefore, in the prove di nobiltà, special emphasis is placed on highlighting the relationship of each applicant and his family to other members of the Florentine nobility. The name of Giorgio Vasari of Arezzo also appears among the applicants that were admitted to the order in 1576, but not enough information is given to determine whether it was the Italian painter and architect (who died in 1574, meaning that he had received the honor posthumously), or someone with the same name. Members of the Medici family often held a special status within the order: in particular, Raffaello de' Medici was the admiral of the Cavalieri di Santo Stefano when the present documents were composed, and his name appears throughout the collection. Four illustrations in ink and watercolors depicting the coats of arms of the Giardinotti, Panciatichi, Rucellai and Altoviti families are also present (Folder 8). Several of the documents throughout the collections contain notarial wax seals and signatures (perhaps also that of Raffaello de' Medici, who was in charge of admitting new knights to the order). The collection is arranged by year and then by name, following the order of the contemporary table of contents for the collection (Folder 1).
Cited in:
Described in Zacour, Norman P. and Hirsch, Rudolf. Catalogue of Manuscripts in the Libraries of the University of Pennsylvania to 1800 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1965), p. 175 (Ms. Lea 132).