Catalog Archive
Auction 174, Lot 208

A Pirate Treasure Map!

"Ye True Chart of Pirate Treasure Lost or Hidden in the Land & Waters of Florida",

Subject: Florida

Period: 1950 (dated)


Color: Printed Color

18.6 x 16.1 inches
47.2 x 40.9 cm
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This pictorial map identifies the locations of pirate treasures believed to be lost or buried in the sand and waters of Florida. The names of famous pirates, including Blackbeard, William Rogers, Henry Morgan, and Gasparilla, are listed within the border, and the map is filled with illustrations of pirates engaged in stereotypical activities, such as forcing a man to walk the plank, fighting with swords, carrying a treasure chest onto a beach, and lying on a deserted island. The text below the title purports that the total value of all the lost treasures in and around Florida is around $165,000,000 (in 1950 US dollars). Completing the pirate theme, the compass rose bears the shape of a ship's wheel with a skull and crossbones. This is the second edition with the place of publication listed as Lakeland, Florida. Illustrated by Warner Sanford, a draughtsman with the Florida State Highway Department, and published by Ralph E. Odum, an Assistant State Attorney General for Florida at the time. According to several articles published at the time, the map came about after a 3-year research project by Odum to identify the locations of the most commonly cited and plausible treasure sites. Many believe that Odum's map reinvigorated treasure hunting in Florida, boosting the number of state-issued permits sought by treasure seekers, which were required to search on state-owned land or in coastal waters.

References: Rumsey #8663.

Condition: A

Issued on toned, parchment-like paper with some minor creases and tiny tears along the edges of the sheet.

Estimate: $160 - $190

Sold for: $650

Closed on 9/11/2019