Only rediscovered in 1985: personal letters from Christopher Columbus to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella

Christopher Columbus Copy Book

Spain; on the Atlantic Ocean — 1493–1503

Christopher Columbus Copy Book

Christopher Columbus Copy Book

Spain; on the Atlantic Ocean — 1493–1503

  1. The copies of nine letters from the explorer to his patrons King Ferdinand (1452–1516) and Queen Isabella (1451–1504)

  2. Intimate insights into the historic figure of Christopher Columbus (1451–1506) and his unbelievable experiences

  3. Rediscovered in an antiquarian bookshop in Spain in 1985: one of the greatest finds of the 20th century!

Christopher Columbus Copy Book

Alternative Titles:
  • Libro copiador de Cristóbal Colón
  • Kopierbuch des Christoph Kolumbus
  • Columbus' Copy Book
Christopher Columbus Copy Book – Archivo General de Indias (Seville, Spain)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology
Short Description

An inconspicuous but nonetheless precious book provides an unbelievable glimpse into the exciting Age of Discovery via Christopher Columbus: the so-called Christopher Columbus Copy Book. The historical document contains copies of nine letters in total by the great explorer, addressed to his clients, the Spanish Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella. On 38 double-sided sheets, Columbus reports his discoveries and findings during the expeditions, but also brings up personal matters. In this way, one is able to get an unbelievable personal insight into this important figure of world history and can truly immerse oneself in the unbelievable experiences of the explorer.

Christopher Columbus Copy Book

An inconspicuous but nonetheless precious book provides an unbelievable glimpse into the exciting Age of Discovery via Christopher Columbus: the so-called Christopher Columbus Copy Book. The historical document contains copies of nine letters in total by the great explorer, addressed to his clients, the Spanish Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella. On 38 double-sided sheets, Columbus reports his discoveries and findings during the expeditions, but also brings up personal matters. In this way, one is able to get an unbelievable personal insight into this important figure of world history and can truly immerse oneself in the unbelievable experiences of the explorer.

Advent of a New World

As Christopher Columbus (ca. 1451–1506) put to sea under the Spanish flag in August of 1492, he was ready for an exotic adventure. Yet he seemed to have had no idea what actually awaited him: the discovery of a completely unknown part of the world. During a total of four voyages of discovery in the years between 1492 and 1504, Columbus and his team were able to explore a New World. He made the acquaintance of the indigenous peoples, who he named “Indians” by mistake because he was under the impression that he had discovered a sea route to India via the Atlantic Ocean. Thus was Columbus able to not only take foreign lands into possession in the name of the Spanish Crown. Simultaneously, his voyages of discovery signaled the beginning of the so-called Conquista, the conquest and subjugation of the newly discovered world by western Conquistadors.

Nine Unknown Letters

The content of the so-called Christopher Columbus Copy Book reports on Columbus’ voyages of discovery. The significant document contains nine letters from the years 1493–150altogether: a letter from the first voyage, four letters from the second (from January 1494, April 20, 1494, February 1495, and October 15, 1495), two short personal letters from the year 1500, and two more letters from the third and fourth voyages. Two of the documents were composed and signed on the “ysla Española”, another on Jamaica, and another in Santo Domingo. The documents are chronologically ordered in the book and directly follow one another. These are unique copies of the lost letters from the second quarter of the 16th century.

Exotic Worlds and Worldly Concerns

The First letter was composed on March 4, 1493 en la mar de España, so in the Spanish Sea on the return trip from the first voyage of discovery. Columbus gives a few details in this letter concerning the discovered lands and their inhabitants. For example, Christopher Columbus describes the boats of the indigenous peoples and their social structures. Furthermore, the letters contain a personal solicitation from Christopher Columbus to the Catholic Monarchs: he asks them to advocate on his behalf, asking the Pope to give his son a cardinal’s hat. In these nine letter, Columbus is continuously reporting about additional events among the members of the expedition, e.g. the death of a priest, and asked the monarchs to receive the privileges and favors promised to him.

A Historical Document of Inconceivable Worth

The Libro copiador de Cristóbal Colón was first rediscovered in the year 1985. The historical document surfaced in an antiquarian bookshop in Spain, from whence it became the property of a Majorcan family. The document was thereupon attributed to Christopher Columbus by experts and was purchased by the Spanish state and is found today in the Archivo General de las Indias in Sevilla. The documents assembled in the copy book were largely unknown before then and represent a significant find: the most important discovery of the 20th century regarding Christopher Columbus!

Codicology
Alternative Titles
Libro copiador de Cristóbal Colón
Kopierbuch des Christoph Kolumbus
Columbus' Copy Book
Size / Format
76 pages / 33.0 × 23.0 cm
Date
1493–1503
Language
Script
Secretary
Content
Copies of nine letters written by Christopher Columbus to the Catholic Monarchs
Artist / School
1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Christopher Columbus Copy Book“

Libro Copiador de Cristóbal Colón Facsimile

Christopher Columbus Copy Book – Archivo General de Indias (Seville, Spain)
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Libro Copiador de Cristóbal Colón Facsimile

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Testimonio Compañía Editorial – Madrid, 1989
Limited Edition
980 copies
Binding
Brown leather, embossed covers with five metal studs each
Commentary
2 volumes (424/176 pages) by Antonio Rumeu de Armas.
Language: Spanish
More Information
Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: € (under 1,000€)
Edition available
Please ask for a quote!
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