104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010  | 
(212) 254-4710  |  Mon - Fri, 10AM - 6PM
Follow Us:
  • We are happy to call you during the auction and place bids on your behalf. To arrange phone bidding, please call Swann's bid department during business hours.

    (212) 254-4710 ext. 0
    Mon - Fri 10AM - 6PM


    Or, e-mail a list of lots with the sale number and your contact information to phonebids@swanngalleries.com. Be sure to include a phone number where we can reach you.

    Bids may also be submitted via fax. Send a list of lots with the sale number and your contact information to (212) 979-1017. You will receive a confirmation before the sale.

    Sale 2444 | Lot 341
    Price Realized: $32,500With Buyer's Premium
    Show Hammer Price
    • Click Image To Enlarge

      Additional Images
    • Sale 2444 Lot 341

      (MEXICO.) Cortés, Hernán. Letter addressed to his assistant, ordering that he offer hospitality to a visiting bishop. Letter Signed "Yo el Marques" to his property manager Diego de Guinea of Oaxaca. One page, 6 x 8 1/2 inches, addressed and docketed on verso; mount remnant on left edge, folds, minor edge wear. [Mexico], 21 December 1538

      Estimate $50,000 - 75,000

      A rare letter by Hernán Cortés (1485-1547), the famed conquistador who led the Spanish conquest of Mexico from 1519 to 1521, and then served as the first Governor of New Spain. This letter was written by Cortés during his long second period in Mexico, between his 1536 return from Baja California and his final passage back to Spain in 1540. He had been named Marqués del Valle de Oaxaca, and had vast land holdings in Oaxaca. In this letter, Cortés informs his longtime majordomo Diego de Guinea of an impending visit by a bishop, most likely Juan Lopez de Zárate, who had been appointed in 1535 as the first Bishop of Oaxaca. Cortés has promised the bishop the full use of one of his houses in town ("Obispo va a esa ciudad y yo se tengo ofrescida esta casa") and orders that the bishop be fully attended to. Cortés letters are quite scarce on the market; we are aware of none others sold at auction since 1984.

      Price Realized (with Buyer's Premium) $32,500