Spanish Noble XVII century
History: The first Spanish colonists settled in America in 1493 which is the date of the second voyage of Columbus. The birth of the Spanish Empire in America was the most important example in the history of colonialism from the beginning of the modern age. There were more than 150.000 Spanish in America at the end of the XVI century. They brought with them new concepts of urbanization, agricultural systems and water conveyance, as well as new administrative, religious and cultural organization. Between the XVI and the XVII centuries Spain had control of all South America (Brazil excluded), part of central America, Florida, California and Philippines. The Earth had never been so large as in the XVI century. Including the trading stops, the return voyage, between Seville and Manila easily lasted five or six years. The central power was originally represented by two Vice Kingdoms, one in Mexico and one in Peru. Two centuries later two more were added: New Granada (1739) and Buenos Aires (1778). Under their control there were the General Harbour Master Offices manned by Governors or Captains. The oldest Harbour Master Offices were those of Guatemala, Manila, Caracas, Santiago of Chile. One of the most important towns was Maracaibo in Venezuela, founded in 1529. Originally the commercial organization was based exclusively on the Castilian Monopoly and not a National one. Thus only the harbour of Seville, substituted in 1720 by the harbour of Cadiz, could enter into commercial relationship with the Americas. Spanish possessions in the Americas and wealth that travelled by sea were soon to be targeted by corsairs. Although specific declarations of war against Spain had never been formulated, the European Powers supported the actions of these sea thieves which caused negative impact on Spains economy. One of the most famous corsairs was Francis Drake who operated on behalf of England. Around the middle of the XVII century, Spanish naval power diminished sensibly, this led to the reduction of the corsair enterprises and the increase of pirate activities around the islands and the coasts of the Antilles. For more than half a century pirates, that loved to call themselves "The Brothers of the Coast", terrorized the Spanish colonies. A French adventurer by the name of Francois Ollonais distinguished himself for having ferociously attacked towns and land possessions. In 1663 he invaded Maracaibo from land and conquered it. The figurine represents a Spanish noble in a typical XVII century costume and could be an antagonist of the pirates, for instance, in the battle of Maracaibo. Painting: Hat, gloves and boots, black. Feathers, white. Hat band, blue. Mantel with grey or pale blue edges, blue decorated in grey or pale blue. Armour iron. Full sleeved shirt and collar white, with greyish-green strips. Trousers pearl grey.
Sculptor: Maurizio Bruno
Historical research and translation: Riccardo Carrabino