‘Holy grail’ map sold at auction for £260k

The 1734 Murillo Velarde map of the Philippines which sold for �260,000 at a Colchester auction. Pic

The 1734 Murillo Velarde map of the Philippines which sold for �260,000 at a Colchester auction. Picture: REEMAN DANISE/PAUL CUDMAN PHOTOGRAPHY - Credit: Archant

A 300-year-old map has smashed auction house records – after being sold for 13 times its asking price at a sale in Colchester.

The map, dubbed the 'Holy Grail' for collectors, was sold at Reeman Dansie Auction House for £260,000 - smashing a 138-year-old record.

Just 15 copies of the 1734 Murillo Velarde map of the Philippines are believed to have survived.

Auctioneer Daniel Wright described the map, which was sold on behalf of the late Christopher Beresford-Jones, a prominent collector in the field, as the "jewel in the crown" of any enthusiast.

"We started the bidding off at £50,000 and with seven bidders on the phone and some in the room the price went up for around eight minutes before it was sold," he said.

"Collectors in the field are very passionate about it and this is one of the finest collections of its type ever sold."

The whole collection was sold for just short of £500k - and for collectors who missed out, there is more to come, with a second auction going ahead in November.

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The map, which was the first of its kind, is lauded for its accuracy and detail.

Mr Beresford-Jones is understood to have originally purchased the map for around £4,500.

Mr Wright added: "It was a really difficult item to value because there is no precedent for the sale of this type of map.

"The majority of them are with private institutes and so this was a really special sale."

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