DE ARELLANO, DON ALONSO.  Manuscript on paper, being the "Relación mui singular y circunstanciada hecha por Dn. Alonso de Arellano, Capitán del Patax San Lucas del Armada del General Miguel López de Legazpi, que salió del Puerto de Navidad para el descubrimiento de las Islas del Poniente en 19 de Noviembre de 1564...,"
Lot 82
DE ARELLANO, DON ALONSO.
Manuscript on paper, being the "Relación mui singular y circunstanciada hecha por Dn. Alonso de Arellano, Capitán del Patax San Lucas del Armada del General Miguel López de Legazpi, que salió del Puerto de Navidad para el descubrimiento de las Islas del Poniente en 19 de Noviembre de 1564...,"
US$ 50,000 - 80,000
£ 38,000 - 60,000

Amended
Lot Details
DE ARELLANO, DON ALONSO.  Manuscript on paper, being the "Relación mui singular y circunstanciada hecha por Dn. Alonso de Arellano, Capitán del Patax San Lucas del Armada del General Miguel López de Legazpi, que salió del Puerto de Navidad para el descubrimiento de las Islas del Poniente en 19 de Noviembre de 1564...," DE ARELLANO, DON ALONSO.  Manuscript on paper, being the "Relación mui singular y circunstanciada hecha por Dn. Alonso de Arellano, Capitán del Patax San Lucas del Armada del General Miguel López de Legazpi, que salió del Puerto de Navidad para el descubrimiento de las Islas del Poniente en 19 de Noviembre de 1564...," DE ARELLANO, DON ALONSO.  Manuscript on paper, being the "Relación mui singular y circunstanciada hecha por Dn. Alonso de Arellano, Capitán del Patax San Lucas del Armada del General Miguel López de Legazpi, que salió del Puerto de Navidad para el descubrimiento de las Islas del Poniente en 19 de Noviembre de 1564...," DE ARELLANO, DON ALONSO.  Manuscript on paper, being the "Relación mui singular y circunstanciada hecha por Dn. Alonso de Arellano, Capitán del Patax San Lucas del Armada del General Miguel López de Legazpi, que salió del Puerto de Navidad para el descubrimiento de las Islas del Poniente en 19 de Noviembre de 1564...," DE ARELLANO, DON ALONSO.  Manuscript on paper, being the "Relación mui singular y circunstanciada hecha por Dn. Alonso de Arellano, Capitán del Patax San Lucas del Armada del General Miguel López de Legazpi, que salió del Puerto de Navidad para el descubrimiento de las Islas del Poniente en 19 de Noviembre de 1564...,"
DE ARELLANO, DON ALONSO.
Manuscript on paper, being the "Relación mui singular y circunstanciada hecha por Dn. Alonso de Arellano, Capitán del Patax San Lucas del Armada del General Miguel López de Legazpi, que salió del Puerto de Navidad para el descubrimiento de las Islas del Poniente en 19 de Noviembre de 1564...," 38 leaves (final leaf blank), 318 x 216 mm, 17th-18th century, documenting the first East-West passage of the Pacific Ocean, months before that of Fray Andres de Urdaneta, on paper watermarked with a half-moon face with crest and crown, in recent half calf and marbled paper boards, minor foxing, old center crease.
Provenance: Sir Thomas Phillipps (1792-1872; ink inscription, "Phillipps Ms 16207," at lower margin of first leaf).

SIR THOMAS PHILLIPPS' MANUSCRIPT COPY OF ARELLANO'S 1565 PLAITO TO THE SPANISH CROWN, DESCRIBING IN VIVID DETAIL THE FIRST EAST-WEST CROSSING OF THE PACIFIC, THE FAMED MANILA ROUTE. In one of the most fascinating stories in the history of exploration, Don Alonso de Arellano set out from Acapulco aboard the San Lucas, piloted by Lope Martin, as part of the expedition headed by General Lopez de Legapi and Fray Urdaneta. After only 10 days of sailing, the smaller and faster San Lucas became separated from the rest of the fleet, and having reached the Philippines at Mindanao, according to their statement to the crown, waited there for 10 days, before proceeding to Cebu, still searching for their companions. Not finding the fleet, and fearing Portuguese entanglement, they then headed back for America along a Northern course. Proceeding to 40 degrees North latitude, they found the Japan current and made landfall along the California coast in July, reaching Navidad on August 9th.
Initially, their audacious crossing was celebrated for what it was: the first eastward passage across the Pacific, a route which had evaded explorers since Magellan. However, Urdaneta arrived on October 8th, and charged Arellano and Martin as deserters. They appeared before the Real Audencia in November, swearing to the testimony contained within this manuscript. Although the court refused to prosecute the explorer, the damage to his enterprise was done, their account and their motives being publicly questioned, and historians would largely ignore his contributions to navigation and commerce in favor of "Urdaneta's Route." Arellano returned to Spain and spent years petitioning for the recognition of his grand accomplishment, to no avail.
This fascinating manuscript of Arellano records the pioneering discovery of the Manila route, called one of the most audacious voyages in the history of navigation (Salas), launching 250 years of east-west commerce of the Manila Galleon trade. Describing in fantastic detail the islands and the native populations en route, with a specificity that would be hard to invent, Arellano's narrative provides compelling adventure and knowledge to the historical record. This is a beautifully preserved manuscript copy, from the renowned library of Sir Thomas Phillipps, of a foundational document for the history of Pacific Exploration, the Philippines and California. Nowell, "Arellano versus Urdaneta," Pacific Historical Review, Vol 31, No 2 (May, 1962), pp 111-120. Salas, F.J. de, "Reseña y enlace de los documentos," Documentos inéditos (de las Islas Filipinas), Madrid, 1887, pp V-XXVII.


Saleroom notices

  • The manuscript was originally written in 1565, not 1665 as indicated in the description in the printed catalogue.
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