DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A 165-year-old map of Texas was auctioned off for a whopping $149,000 Saturday at a Dallas auction.
The map is one of few first official maps of Texas made in 1849, bringing a significant historical value to the piece.
The historical piece was auctioned off at Heritage Auctions’ Texana Signature Auction. It was brought in by a retired architect from Birmingham, Ala., who said the map was passed down to him.
The map is hand signed by its maker, a Jewish settler named Jacob De Cordova. It was first issued by the Texas General Land Office, measuring 32″ by 35 1/4″ with hand-colored outlining of the state. West Texas is almost entirely absent, and only a portion of the Panhandle is shown as settled.
The architect who brought the map forward, a man named Patrick Martin, said the piece came to him through his grandfather.
The historical item is traced back to Martin’s great-great-grandfather Nicholas Martin and his son Hudson Martin.
According to a press release, Nicholas was a colonel in a Virginia militia, who fought in Texas during the Mexican-American War. Hudson was a Virginia attorney who helped settlers secure land grants across the Lone Star State.
Between the two, it’s unclear from whom exactly the map originated.
But for Patrick Martin, the map serves as a childhood memory. Martin said he used to play with the map at his grandfather’s home. As a boy, he said he thought the map was “cool” because it outlined Indian territories.
Surprisingly, the map was never damaged. Not by Martin, and not by anyone who touched it prior.
“My parents didn’t have any objection to me playing with it and I could have easily done some damage,” he said.
The map never left the Martin family’s sights because the Martins are “savers,” he explained.
When Martin’s grandfather died, who possessed the map, his home and law office were cleaned out by Martin’s parents.
It was during the clean-out of the law office that the map was accidentally given to Martin by his father, who didn’t know the map was tucked among various legal documents.
When Martin made the decision to take the map to an appraiser last year, he decided auctioning it off the Texas treasure would bring in a hefty reward.
Martin said he plans to split the $149,000 with his sister.
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
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