Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo desk and quill make $24,000

The lap desk and quill that were used to sign the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo sold well on September 7.

treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo lap desk and quill auction
A surprisingly low price achieved for a museum quality piece

Largely dictated by the United States, it was the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that completed the US' Manifest Destiny - the widely held belief that the United States were destined to spread across the North American continent.

The treaty came as a result of the Mexican-American war in 1848. The US Army had just defeated that of the Mexican Republic, and negotiations between the two countries saw America's purchase of 525,000 square miles of land. Included in this purchase was all or part of 10 states: Texas, Arizona, California, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Oklahoma, Kansas and Wyoming.

Negotiated by chief clerk of the state department, Nicholas Trist, the deal was the second largest land purchase in the history of the United States, trailing only behind The Louisiana Purchase. It was Nicholas Trist whom the desk and quill at auction belonged to.

The astonishing discovery was unearthed on a small farm in Nebraska, and the desk features brass nameplate that reads "N P Trist". Made circa 1837 by N Starkey of Philadelphia, both items remain in remarkable condition, given their age and having spent some years underground.

The quill was filled with plaster prior to its discovery and is inscribed with "Treaty of Peace, Feb 2, 1848 Triplicate NTP's Signature". In total, both items sold as a combined lot for $24,000 - a reasonably low price given their historical significance and exhibition quality.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a rare copy of the Declaration of Independence currently available - a brilliant opportunity to own the most important American document ever created and one of just 250 copies.


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