Map of the Battle of Yorktown sets $1.15m World Record


2015-06-26 11:54:55


Map of the Battle of Yorktown sets $1.15m World Record

The unique, hand-drawn work of a turning point in American history was an extraordinary sale

Yorktown, in the state of Virginia, is a place well known to most Americans as the site of the greatest and most crucial victory against the British in the American War of Independence in 1781. It was the large major land battle of the conflict and has been commemorated on stamps.

Naturally anything closely associated with the battle might be expected to be valuable to collectors.

Map of the Battle of Yorktown, VirginiaThe contemporary map of the Yorktown siege was taken home for $1.15m (Click to enlarge)

Last month, James D Julia set records with the sale of the Decatur-Armsden collection. The archive, which had been passed down through families associated with George Washington's struggle, contained some extraordinary pieces.

None was more exciting than a map of the battle, drawn by hand at the direction of Jean Baptiste Gouvion, who had been at the battle and is thought to have been owned by George Washington himself.

A less deadly but still vigorous battle took place between bidders who wanted this priceless piece of Americana: some present at the auction and 25 on the phones.

Bidding was frenetic until the seven figure mark was passed, and a proud bidder became the owner of this piece of American history for $1.15m. The sale set three records: it was the most expensive item ever sold by Julia's - or anyone else in the state of Maine.

Yorktown Map With CompanyThe Yorktown map was a record sale for James D Julia Inc

Most impressive of all is that it was the greatest price ever paid at auction for any map. It is fitting that this title should go to a matchless piece of American history.

Those interested in collecting Americana from the era of George Washington should take a look at this rare document signed by him which is currently on the market.

Images: James D Julia Inc

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