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September 19, 2021



A voyage that changed the world, with a genesis probably quite different from what has been thought until now. Could Christopher Columbus have been Polish? What was the background of his expedition and in whose interest did he really act? The whole truth is revealed in the “Logbook”, one of the most important documents of our civilisation and a unique source of knowledge about the discovery of the New World. Until now hidden in a safe, it has finally seen the light of day, thanks to a unique collaboration between the Manuscriptum Publishing House and the Iconic Art Spirit brand.

Christopher Columbus. The Discovery of the New World is a facsimile, strictly limited edition of Christopher Columbus’s “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 extraordinary and so accurately reproduced documents from Columbus’ first voyage. The diary was written down by Bartolomeo de Las Casas, the greatest Spanish historian of the period and a participant in Christopher Columbus’ expeditions.

The facsimile is based on a 1494 manuscript of 72 pages. It consists of 4 unique documents testifying to the discovery of America: Christopher Columbus’ Logbook (by Bartolome de Las Casa,) Columbus’ letter to King Ferdinand of Aragon and Queen Isabella of Catalonia in 1493, Christopher Columbus’ world map from before the discovery of America from 1490, Juan de la Cosa’s world map from 1500 and the unique 1780/1980 rum from Iconic Art Spirit, which is a unique and extremely valuable blend of the world’s oldest rum – Harewood 1780 with 41-year-old Dictador rum.

Facsimiles are faithful copies of bibliophilic cymels, hidden away in museum safes, and are strictly limited edition. They are the result of combining craftsman’s precision with state-of-the-art technology and scientific study. In the case of the publication Christopher Columbus. The Discovery of the New World, a team of scientists, specialists and artists from Poland and Italy spent over a year and a half working to render as faithfully as possible the appearance, structure, and even the smell of the original or the rustling of paper. The techniques used included hand-aging and paper carving. The jewellery-bound journal is decorated with 8 Colombian fossils and an extraordinarily beautiful Atlantis stone, larimar, endemically found on the Caribbean island of the Dominican Republic. As legend has it, it was part of the archipelago of the lost Atlantis. The maps were made on pergamenate, hand-cut and aged. Only 300 copies of this unique cannon were created, and each one is notarised. The original Columbus Diary is kept away from human eyes in the Spanish National Library in Madrid as one of the most important documents of human history. And the original letter is in the Royal Library in Copenhagen. It is worth mentioning that in 2017, the original Basel incunabula was auctioned off at Bonhams for $751,500.

Particularly noteworthy is the scholarly argument attached to the facsimile documents about the true origins of Christopher Columbus as a descendant of the Polish king Wladyslaw III Varnañczyk. According to Manuel Rosa of Duke University in the United States of America, Christopher Columbus was not, as hitherto assumed, the son of a Genoese weaver, but was probably born of the union of a Portuguese noblewoman and the Polish king Wladyslaw III, who was not to die at the Battle of Varna in 1444, but after years of wandering took refuge in Madeira. How does this bold thesis sound in light of the diaries of Christopher Columbus himself?

An integral part of the project Christopher Columbus. The Discovery of the New World, just like the expeditions of the discoverer of America, is rum. It was not only the favourite drink of the colonists in the New World, but also the first alcohol produced on the lands of North America. For the project, the Iconic Art Spirits team has created for collectors an unusual and excellent tasting bottle of rum which is a blend of Harewood 1780 dark rum and 41 year old Colombian Dictador rum. Iconic Rum 1780’1980 is the first ever blend of its kind, created through an innovative approach by rum makers, and the result has exceeded the experts’ wildest expectations.

The history of the world’s oldest rum is as mysterious as the origins of Columbus. In 2011, 59 bottles of an unknown spirit were found in the cellar of Harewood House, home of the Lascelles family who have been producing rum since the early 18th century. After strict quality control, the dusty and unmarked bottles turned out to contain the world’s oldest rum with an alcohol content of 57%. Distilled in 1810 by the then owners of Harewood in Barbados, it was taken to England and bottled, after which it lay in oblivion for over 200 years. After this discovery it was bottled again and 28 copies were put on the market and began to appear at auction.

In 2020 one of the bottles was auctioned for £24,000. The history of Dictador rum 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 the virtues of rum and became its key supplier. 180 years later, one of his descendants founded Destilería Colombiana and dedicated himself to the intricacies of rum making with such passion that he became the best Colombian rum producer in the Caribbean Zone. Produced in Colombia, Dictador is the best rum in the world, leaving its competitors far behind, both in terms of the quality of the drink it produces and the projects it initiates. Repeatedly awarded at the most important industry events in the world, its philosophy is based on the idea of cooperation with the most prominent representatives from the world of art and culture. It supports ancient techniques, crafts, handicrafts, and the culture of indigenous tribes from various corners of the earth, creating unique projects, which are also unique on the market of luxury investment goods. The project “Christopher Columbus. Discovery of the New World” was initiated by Iconic Art Spirit, which is not afraid to open up to new, undiscovered lands. Definitely such a vision cannot be denied to Columbus himself.

Iconic Art Spirit is a brand focusing on an exceptional selection of fine spirits. It offers mainly limited editions of spirits, not available in the normal market as well as collector and investment products, elevating alcohol to the status of art. Iconic, in order to provide its customers with a 100% guarantee of acquiring an authentic, original product, has created the world’s best security system for luxury products by developing a proprietary IT solution based on cryptographic technology along with a system of securities standard prints.

Manuscriptum is an avant-garde publishing house, creating books that are unique and exceptional works of art. The creators of the Issuing House have set as their goal the restoration of originals of documents that are several hundred years old and the most important for mankind and culture. The brand’s portfolio includes, among others, De Revolutionibus by Nicolaus Copernicus, Codex Leicester by Leonardo da Vinci, Manuscript by Wojnicz and Manuscript by Rzewuski. Facsimiles are also – due to their strictly limited edition – an excellent form of capital investment.

Christopher Columbus. The Discovery of the New World, facsimile, premiere 8 September www.iconicartspirits.com, www.manuscriptum.pl


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