Family’s map proves to be a treasure

March 20, 2014 by  

An 1849 map of Texas was sold last Saturday for $149,000 by the Dallas Heritage Auctions.

Retired architect Patrick Martin brought several items in to be appraised at an event in Birmingham, Alabama last spring, including a map that had been in his family for generations. When Heritage’s manager of rare books, Joe Fay, saw the 165-year-old map, he recognized it almost immediately as a rare first edition. The hand-signed signature of the land agent who commissioned the document, Jacob De Cordova, in conjunction with the brown, not black, ink used on the lithograph gave its age away.

It is believed to be the first official map of Texas after it attained statehood in 1845. The map’s buyer preferred to not be publicly identified.

According to Fay, later editions of the 32×35-inch map are much easier to come by, but only a handful of the 1849 originals still exist. The De Cordova 1849 map is, according to Mark Lambert, an official with the Texas General Land Office, the most popular reproduced map the land office sells for its Save Texas History program. The land office’s reproduction is more affordable at only $20.

Promotional items given away to increase sales or sold to benefit a program like Save Texas History are just a couple of the services that printing companies provide.