Inkwell of the a Marca Family

San Vittore, first half 19th century

What letters might once have been signed with these writing utensils? The patrician family a Marca belonged to the ruling class in the Valle Mesolcina ever since the late Middle Ages. Members of the family regularly held high office: as governatori generali in the Valtellina, commissari in Chiavenna and as podestates. Furthermore, they owed their wealth to their activities in foreign service, as well as to the wood and cattle trade.

After the downfall of the Free State of the Three Leagues, the a Marca continued to hold some of the highest political offices in the canton. Today, several patrician houses attest to the family’s importance, including the one in San Vittore, where this inkwell with a relief decoration is from.