Cataloging Conundrum: Unidentified Coat of Arms

We haven’t been able to identify the coat of arms in this bookplate.  It is found in our copy of Bernardino Campelli’s Delle historie di Spoleti : sopplimento di quelle del regno d’Italia nella parte, che tocca al ducato Spoletino, à principi di esso, & alla città, che ne fù capo (Spoleto: Giovanni Domenico Ricci, 1672). Since this is a history of Spoleto, I thought the arms might be associated with that city, but the Spoleto arms are quite different.  All I know for sure is that the arms belong to someone who is both a prelate (because of the ecclesiastical hat with tassels) and a member of the nobility.  The crown looks–to me–like that of a marquess, but this is heraldry and I could be very, very wrong.

(In fact, the only thing I’m ever certain about when it comes to heraldry is that, after hours of research, I will know less about the subject than I did before.  I will spare you the sad tale of when I thought the cap of maintenance was an old ducal hat–except to say that English monarchs would have been shocked by the suddenly very large number of dukes rattling about the country.)

If you can identify these arms please leave a comment here or on our Flickr provenance identification site (where the image is much sharper).

2 thoughts on “Cataloging Conundrum: Unidentified Coat of Arms

  1. I am not very familiar with heraldry, but I agree that these coats of arms belong to a bisshop from a noble family. So I can only make an educated guess as to whom it belongs too. My guess would be: Bishop Carlo Giacinto Lascaris. He was bishop of Spoleto from 1711 tot 1727. He was born in Nice and belonged to the House of Ventimiglia (http://www.archeoambiente.net/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=47), whose members bore different titles (count, prince, marquess. etc.) and which descends in the female line from the Lascaris emperors of Nicea.
    Before he was Bishop he was Librarian at the Biblioteca Casanatense and he traveled through Italy to acquire every book he wanted (http://fabian.sub.uni-goettingen.de/?Bibliothek_Casanatense).
    Several coats of arms of the Lascaris family are known, They do not resemble this one alas. They all have a double eagle.
    Then again from a very different source ( a soccer club:) I found different coat of arms. It contains 2 towers with flames(?) and stars, similar to the middle part in the picture above
    (http://www.chiericalcio.it/fotogallery08_09/ch_lasc/lostemmadellascaris.html). I have not idea of its origins yet, but it definitley is not modern. I agree, not much proof, but I hope it will be of use.

  2. After some more searching I found a document that contains the Coat of Arms of this Bishop (stemma episcopale). It might prove me entirely wrong:) :

    Tipo documento Testo a stampa
    Autore principale Lascaris, Carlo Giacinto
    Titolo Fr. Carolus Hyacinthus Lascaris Ordinis Praedicatorum Dei, &
    apostolicae sedis gratia episcopus Spoletanus. Dilectis fratribus, & filiis,
    clero, & populo civitatis, & dioecesis Spoletanae salutem in Domino
    sempiternam
    Pubblicazione Romae : apud Franciscum Gonzagam in via Lata, 1711
    Descrizione fisica 1 manifesto : 1 stemma ; atl
    Note generali • Stemma episcopale di Carlo Giacinto Lascaris
    • Data di emanazione in calce: Roma 31 Maggio 1711 (in latino)
    • Iniz. orn.
    Impronta • u.i- esr- a-i- m,n- (C) 1711 (R)
    Nomi • [Autore] Lascaris, Carlo Giacinto
    • [Editore] Gonzaga, Francesco

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