Hernan Cortes signed document expected to make $50,000

A payroll document signed by Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes is to cross the block at Christie's with a valuation of $30,000-50,000.

It will star in a sale of printed books and Americana from the collection of Charles E Sigety in New York on December 7.

Cortes signed document
Cortes led the Spanish conquest of the Americas in the 16th century

Cortes famously led the 16th Century Spanish conquest of the Americas, bringing down the Aztec empire in the process.

The lot dates to February 20, 1527 and reads: "[Nicholas López de] Palacios Rubios to give [the soldier] Melchor López y Escobedo sixty pesos of common gold in payment for his expenses in the Armada that I am preparing for the discovery of the Especería, and is to be reflected in his pay receipt…"

The reverse states: "Order of payment for Melchor y Escobedo for LX pesos."

Autographs from Cortes appear rarely at auction. Christie's counts just 11 sold in the past 40 years. 

A whaling passport signed by US president William Henry Harrison while in office is expected to make an identical figure of $30,000-50,000.

Harrison died just 32 days into his presidency, likely as a result of drinking contaminated water from the Potomac River.

Autographs signed when he was in office are thus described by Christie's as "the greatest of presidential rarities".

You can check out all our autographs for sale by clicking here.

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