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 2068 | Lot 10
    Price Realized: $8,625With Buyer's Premium
    Show Hammer Price
    • Click Image To Enlarge

    • Sale 2068 Lot 10

      TWO IMPORTANT SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY SPANISH MANUSCRIPTS (ASIENTO DOCUMENT.) Signed "Yo La Reyna," by Maria Ana de Austria, dowager queen of Spain, regarding the agreement granted to Domingo Grillo and Ambrosio Lomelin for the exclusive right to import African slaves into the Spanish colonies. Folio leaf, folded to form four 4to pages, written on three and docketed on the fourth. Expert archival conservation with repair to the vertical center fold; official Spanish stamps on first and last page; written and signed by scribe Gabriel Bernardo de Quiros. with another, related document. Madrid, 3 July 1673
      Estimate $4,000-6,000

      Lomelin and Grillo were Genovese merchants who, in 1663, were granted the exclusive right to import African slaves to the New World via the three main ports of the Spanish colonies: Cartagena, Portobelo and Veracruz. This document addresses the issue of the sale of slaves in places not specifically agreed to in the contract, discusses payments and audits, and acknowledges the difficulties and risks to this traffic posed by pirates and "enemies of Spain"--an allusion to British privateers out of the West Indies. The king of Spain at this time was Carlos II, but because of physical and mental impairment, the Queen Dowager, Maria Ana de Austria, conducted affairs of state.
      The other document is a substantial portion of a handwritten manuscript regarding terms of the original 1663 Assiento with Grillo and Lomelin. It appears to be an official contemporary copy of the original Assiento; dated 31 July 1662. Removed from a ledger and apparently part of a larger document. 6 pages written on four 4to leaves, on paper bearing Spanish watermarks identical to those in the 1673 document. The manner of payment, or share, to the Spanish crown for each slave sold was to be one hundred pesos in gold or silver, in bars or powder to be shipped to the ports of San Lucar and Cadiz in the South of Spain.
      By 1673, the arrangement with the two Genovese merchants was unraveling, and by 1674 the business with Grillo and Lomelin came to an end. In the late seventeenth century, Spain was already considering a much larger Asiento for slaves; this time with the British via Jamaica. In 1713, a formal agreement was made with the Crown to provide at least 3000 slaves per year for the Spanish colonies. This arrangement continued through the mid-eighteenth century. See Marisa Vega Franco, El Trafico de Esclaves con America (Asientos de Grillo y Lemelin 1663-1674), Seville, 1984.

      Price Realized (with Buyer's Premium) $8,625