Spanish monarchs best known as the sponsors and patrons of Christopher Columbus. Manuscript DS in Spanish, signed “Yo el Rey,” [I the King] and “Yo el Reyna,” [I the Queen], one page, 12.25 x 8.5, June 10, 1494. Untranslated document signed three days after Spain and Portugal agreed upon the Treaty of Tordesillas, referring to the new laws of navigation imposed by the treaty. In very good condition, with intersecting folds, toning to the top, and professionally repaired paper loss to upper edge.
Christopher Columbus’s return from his voyage to the Americas set off a territorial dispute between Spain and Portugal over which country would control the newly discovered lands. The Treaty of Tordesillas established a line of demarcation halfway between the Cape Verde islands and Hispanola, granting Portugal control of lands to the east of the meridian and Spain the land to the west. In addition to defining each country’s sphere of influence, it also set forth new guidelines for navigation and exploration of the New World. Portugal agreed to grant Spanish vessels free, safe, and peaceful navigation over the seas under its dominion, but Spain was forbidden from exploring the area and, if the Spanish did discover any new lands while passing, it had to be delivered to the Portuguese King. This was one of the most influential treaties in the development of the modern world—it is why Portuguese is spoken in Brazil, while Spanish influence is seen throughout the rest of the Americas, from Chile to Mexico to Florida. It also a catalyst in the development of modern maritime law, with concepts like freedom of the seas for trade and travel, the right of innocent passage, and definitions of territorial waters all stemming from the agreement. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.