Guide To Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library


HM 36

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FERDINAND AND ISABELLA, BOOK OF PRIVILEGES OF COLUMBUS
Seville, 1502
ff. 1-14v: El Rey e la Reyna. Francisco de Soria Lugarteniente de nuestro Almirante mayor de Castilla. Nos vos mandamos que dedes…De Valencia de la torre, a quatorze dias de março de quinientos e doss años. Yo el Rey. Yo la Reyna. Por mandado del Rey e de la Reyna. Almaçan.
Privileges granted to Christopher Columbus by Ferdinand V, King of Castile and Aragon and Isabella I, Queen of Castile as a reward for his discovery of the New World; in this manuscript, extracts only of documents I, II, III and XL as numbered in B. F. Stevens, Christopher Columbus, his Own Book of Privileges, 1502 (London 1893), a facsimile reproduction of the Paris Codex with transcription and English translation by G. F. Barwick; see also G. B. Spotorno, Historical Memoir of Christopher Columbus and his Discoveries (London 1823) pp. cxxxviii-cxlix and 1-255, a description of the Genoa Codex and English translation.
Paper (Armoiries, similar to Briquet 1821 but with chain lines vertical in relation to the watermark), ff. 14; 305 × 220 (247-258 × 120) mm. One gathering. Leaf signatures in roman numerals in the lower right corner. 34-37 long lines, frame ruled in dry point. Written in a secretary script, probably by Diego de Peñalosa, secretary-notary of Christopher Columbus. Marginal notes and bracketing in a hand said by F. W. Meisnest (see below) to be that of Alonso Sánchez de Carvajal. Unbound. Written in Seville in 1502. The Genoa Codex states that in 1502 4 copies of this document were made: 3 on parchment and 1 on paper. The 3 parchment copies are now identified as the Genoa Codex, the Paris Codex, and the Washington Codex, but the paper copy was thought lost. Extant copies on paper (mainly extracts) are: the Veragua Codex (belonging to the descendants of Columbus), the Providence Codex (16 ff.), and HM 36. The Genoa Codex states that the legalized paper copy was taken by Alonso Sánchez de Carvajal to the Indies. F. G. Davenport in “Texts of Columbus’s Privileges,” American Historical Review 14 (1909) 764-76 believes the Veragua Codex to be that document; but F. W. Meisnest in “The Lost Book of Privileges of Columbus Located and Identified,” HLQ 12 (1949) 401-06, feels that it is the Huntington Library manuscript because of the marginal notes. There are no signatures or notarial markings on this copy; an endorsement on the upper left corner of f. 1 bears the name of Hipólito Colón and “No. 13.” Purchased from a bookseller in Spain by Maggs Bros.; Maggs, Catalogue 442 (1923) n. 1724, with reproduction of f. 1 on frontispiece, to Otto Vollbehr; purchased from him by Henry E. Huntington in 1924.
Secundo folio: en las espaldas
Bibliography: De Ricci, 42-43.
Abbreviations
Briquet
C. M. Briquet, Les Filigranes: dictionnaire historique des marques du papier…1282 jusqu’à 1600, facs. of the 1907 edition with supplementary material, ed. A. Stevenson (Amsterdam 1968)
De Ricci
S. De Ricci, with the assistance of W. H. Wilson, Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada (New York 1935-37; index 1940)
HLQ
Huntington Library Quarterly

C. W. Dutschke with the assistance of R. H. Rouse et al., Guide to Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library (San Marino, 1989). Copyright 1989.
Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery, San Marino, California.
Electronic version encoded by Sharon K, Goetz, 2003.
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