A German passport of an Italian adventurer 1751

German passport Italian adventurer

Passport issued by the court of Baden-Durlach, Germany for the Italian adventurer and versatile man of letters Giacomo Passano, who had stayed at the margravial court of Karlsruhe since mid-December 1750 in the capacity of a painter of miniatures, and now intended to return to Italy. German passport Italian adventurer

The poet, painter, comedian, theatre director, traveler, and impostor of all trades Giacomo di Passano, also known by his anagrammatic pseudonyms “Ascanio Pogomas” and “Cosimo d’Aspagona”, was the son of a Genoese officer in Prussian services. Always a confrontational writer, he took sides with Carlo Goldoni against Pietro Chiari, while his own verses were considered too unrefined to see print. He nursed a long-standing feud with the all-too-similar but more successful Casanova, whom he met in Leghorn in 1760 and whose occultist benefactor Jeanne d’Urfé he managed to woo away in 1763. German passport Italian adventurer

Karlsruhe, 13 May 1751.
Folio (ca. 210 x 330 mm). 1 p. on double-folio. Dry seal. Signed by the chancellor of the Lord Chamberlain’s Office of Baden-Durlach, Johann Georg Grundler. An interesting document from the life of the elusive adventurer whose correspondence copybook for the years 1743-1750 is preserved at the Bibliothèque Universitaire de Droit-Lettres at the Université Grenoble Alpes. German passport Italian adventurer

German passport Italian adventurer

“Demnach Vorweißer dieses Giacomo di Passano aus Florenz gebürthig, sich bey die Fünff Monath lang in hiesiger Fürstlichen Residenz alß Miniatur Mahler aufgehalten, nunmehro aber wiederum in Italien zurück zu gehen Vorhabens ist, Alß wird Männiglich Standes Gebühr nach hierdurch ersuchet, ihne aller Orthen, frey, sicher und ohngehindert passiren zu laßen, auch bedürffenden Fallß demselben allen geneigten Willen und Vorschub zu erweißen […]”. German passport Italian adventurer

A fantastic and early handwritten travel document issued to a most curious character. A handwritten poem from Passano was e.g. sold at Sotheby’s for €1600. Hence, a passport in his name is a catch at €850.

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