A journey that changed the world, with an origin that is most likely entirely different from what we have believed up until now. Could Christopher Columbus actually be Polish? What did the backstage of his expeditions look like, and whose interest did he act in? The truth is revealed in the one and only “Logbook” – one of the most important documents of our civilisation and a unique source of information about the discovery of the New World. Hidden away in a safe up until now, it has finally seen the light of day, thanks to the special cooperation of the Manuscriptum Publishing House and the Iconic Art Spirits brand.
Iconic Columbus Treasure is a limited-edition facsimile of Christopher Columbus’ Logbook and a unique treat for collectors, art lovers, bibliophiles, and history enthusiasts. For the first time in history, it will be possible to see such a loyal copy of the documents detailing the events of Columbus’ first expedition. The Logbook was re-written by Bartolomé de Las Casas, the biggest Spanish historian of the epoque and a member of Columbus’ crew. The facsimile was created based on a 72-page-long manuscript from 1494. It consists of 4 unique documents confirming the discovery of America: Christopher Columbus’ Logbook (written by Bartolomé de Las Casas), Columbus’ letter to King Ferdinand de Aragon and Queen Isabella de Castile from 1493, Columbus’ World Map from before the discovery of America created in 1490, Juan de la Cosa’s World Map from 1500, and a unique 1780/1980 Iconic Spirits Rum. It is a special and an incredibly valuable blend of the oldest rum in the world – Harewood Rum dating back to 1780 and a 41-year-old Dictador Rum.
Facsimiles are loyal copies of manuscripts, guarded in museums’ safes, produced in strictly limited editions. They are the result of merging the precision of craftsmanship with the newest technology and scientific studies. In the case of the publication of the Iconic Columbus Treasure, a team of scientists, specialists, and artists from Poland and Italy has dedicated more than a year and a half of work to make sure the facsimile is as close to the original as possible. They have perfectly reproduced elements such as the structure – even the crinkle of paper and the scent of old pages. Techniques such as manual ageing or sculpting in paper have been put into use. The logbook is encased in a cover decorated with 8 Colombian copals and a larimar – an Atlantian gemstone of extreme beauty, found exclusively in the Dominican Republic. According to a legend, the island used to be a part of the Atlantis archipelago. The maps are made on Pergamenata – the closest imitation of aged parchment. Only 399 sets of this incredible masterpiece have been created, each one certified by a notary. The original of Columbus’ Logbook is kept away from public attention in Spain’s National Library in Madrid. It is considered one of the most important documents in the history of mankind. The original of the letter, in turn, can be found in the Royal Library in Copenhagen. It is worth mentioning that in 2017, the original Basel incunabula was sold at a Bonhams auction for $751 500.
The scientific paper attached to the facsimile, concerning Christopher Columbus’ true origin as an alleged descendant of the Polish King, Władysław III Warneńczyk, also deserves special attention. According to Manuel Rosa from the Duke University in the United States of America, Christopher Columbus was not, contrary to popular belief, the son of a weaver from Genoa. He has most likely been born out of a wedlock between a Portuguese noblewoman and the Polish king, who allegedly had not died in the Battle of Warna in 1444, but found shelter in Madeira after years of wandering.
One part that is integral both for the Iconic Columbus Treasure project and the expeditions of the discoverer of America, is rum. Not only was it the favourite spirit of New World’s colonists, but also the first alcohol produced in North America. For the needs of the project, a special bottle of rum has been prepared by the Iconic Art Spirits team. It is a blend of the 1780 Harewood dark rum and Dictador’s Colombian 41-year-old rum. Iconic Rum 1780/1980 is the first blend of this type in history – created as a result of the innovative approach of rum creators, and its effect has exceeded the experts’ expectations. The history of the oldest rum in the world is just as mysterious as Columbus’ origin. In 2011, 59 bottles containing an unknown spirit were discovered in the basement of the Harewood House, a mansion belonging to the Lascelles family, producing rum since the beginnings of the 18th century. After a strict quality control, the bottles – dusted and unmarked – turned out to guard inside themselves the oldest rum in the world, with the alcohol content of 57%. Distilled in Barbados in 1810 by Harewood owners at that time, it was then transported to England and bottled – only to spend 200 years in a dark cellar, completely forgotten. Following the grand discovery, the rum was re-bottled and 28 bottles made it to the market, making an occasional appearance at auctions. In 2020, one of the bottles was sold for the spectacular sum of 24 000 GBP. Dictador Rum’s history also dates back to the 18th century, when Severo Arango y Ferro arrived in Cartagena de Indias in Nueva Granada (today’s Colombia). There, he discovered all of the qualities of rum and became its key supplier. 180 years later, one of his descenders founded Destilería Colombiana and dedicated his life to the art of rum creation with such a passion, that he has become the best rum producer in the world. The brand has exceeded its competition significantly, both regarding the quality of the spirit and the projects it initiates. Having received multiple awards during some of the most important events in the industry, Dictador bases its ideology on the collaboration with the most renowned representatives of the world of art and culture. It supports traditional techniques, craftsmanship, manufacture, and the culture of native tribes from all corners of the world – creating unparalleled projects, also unique on the luxury goods market. The Iconic Columbus Treasure project was initiated by Iconic Art Spirits – a brand unafraid of discovering new, unknown lands. Such an approach definitely cannot be denied to Columbus himself.
Iconic Columbus Treasure, facsimile, released September 9 th.