Weekly Auctions of Exceptional Items
0 selections
Log In
0 selections
lots of lots
Lot 0245A
Scotland, January 1512 CE. This is vellum document called an instrument of sasine (pronounced "say-zin" and in a Scottish accent), which is a legal document to record the transfer of ownership of land or buildings. The sasine is an ancient legal document, dating back to at least the 14th century. This particular one is from James Edmondston to Alexander Stuart, who was the Archbishop of St Andrews, the most important bishopric in Scotland; he was also the Commendator of Dunfermline Monastery, which was a large Benedictine abbey that, prior to the Scottish Reformation in 1560, was immensely wealthy and powerful in Scotland. The land in question is Edmondston, southeast of Edinburgh, in the Borders, and James Edmondston was one of a long line of Edmondstons (many of them also named James) whose names appear commonly in the Register of Sasines. Alexander Stuart is quite an interesting fellow - his last name might have tipped off keen fans of Scottish (and English) history - because he was one of King James IV's illegitimate children by mistress Marion Boyd. Unable to inherit, he was groomed for a life in the church, with an excellent education that included time in France, the Low Countries, and Italy. In the latter, he studied Greek under Erasmus. At age 17, he became Lord Chancellor of Scotland and Archbishop of St Andrews, but, unfortunately, a year after this letter was written, he died at the age of 20 in the Battle of Flodden. Size: 13.25" W x 11" H (33.7 cm x 27.9 cm)

Provenance: Ex-Bastiaan collection, acquired at Artemis Gallery in 2004

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany all winning bids.

We ship worldwide to most countries and handle all shipping in-house for your convenience.



This document is in beautiful condition. It has been kept folded and has some expected wear and blackening to outside edges from touch, but, with training in epigraphy and Latin, this is a highly readable document. The ink has very little fading and the fold marks do not obscure words. There is a slit in the base of the document where a seal would have been attached, but the seal is now gone.

Buyer's Premium

  • 24.5%

1512 Scottish Notarized Instrument (Sasine)

Estimate $500 - $750Mar 2, 2017
686 S. Taylor Avenue Suite 106
Louisville, CO 80027
United States
Ask a Question|