vellum coat of arms
The vellum coat of arms presented to Christopher Columbus by King Ferdinand of Spain to be offered for sale in Madrid by Ansorena on December 17.

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He presented them with gifts including plants, pineapples, turkeys and ‘Indian’ captives and he was greatly celebrated by the Spanish Court for the success of his adventure.

The king bestowed upon him many honours and favours in recognition of his achievements and the original vellum parchment depicting the coat of arms given to Columbus at this time – the only representation to exist – is to be auctioned at Ansorena, Madrid, on December 17.

Although this encounter and the granting of the coat of arms was detailed by chroniclers of the time, including the Dominican Friar Bartolomé de las Casas (1484-1566), Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo (1478-1557) and Francisco López de Gómara (1511-66), its complete text remains unpublished.


Columbus left his valuable documents in the custody of the Monastery of Our Lady of Las Cuevas de Sevilla in 1500, where they remained for nearly 50 years when they were incorporated into a group under the ownership of his grandson, Luis Colón de Toledo, Ist Duke of Veragua.

Despite lawsuits and disputes over ownership in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, the document has remained part of the archive of the Dukes of Veragua.

The polychrome manuscript measures 11in x 1ft 5in (28 x 44cm) and from the centre hang green/brown ribbons that originally held the validation seal, now missing.

This previously unpublished historical document carries an estimate of €1.25m– 1.55m.