Friday, April 12, 2024


Special Reports

Westporter Bids for Most Expensive Rare Map of America

By James Lomuscio

UPDATE For Westport resident Robert Augustyn, today was the rare map collector’s dream and the one that got away—the first known map of the United States printed in Image
The most expensive map printed in America. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Courtesy of Christie’s

It also became the most expensive American map—as well as the most expensive map ever sold at auction—after it was hammered down this morning at a Christie’s auction in Manhattan for $1.8 million by a phone bid, the final price tag $2,098,500 including commissions. 

In the heat of bidding, Augustyn, a partner at the New York City-based rare map and book dealer, Martayan Lan, came close, topping out at the $1.5 million his well-heeled, unidentified client authorized him to bid for the 1784 map. Christie’s had estimated it to fetch between $500,000 and $700,000.

“This is a unique rarity, and I wasn’t surprised at the bidding,” he added.

In Spain’s Basque Country: A Culinary Competition

WestportNow photographer Dave Matlow traveled to Spain’s Basque country this week to the small seaside community of Hondarribia and was hosted by the town’s event organizers who wanted to introduce WestportNow readers to its fifth annual pintxos competition, an event for regional chefs to create the best pintxo, the Basque name for certain small portion food creations typically eaten in bars or taverns. The culinary creations have a strong socializing component and are regarded by some as a cornerstone of Basque culture and society. The contest, which attracted wide interest throughout the country, was held in the 13th century town plaza where 75 Basque region chefs competed for prizes for the most creative and gastronomically desirable pintxo serving. Hondarribia, a tourist destination celebrated for its Basque cuisine, is a walled city with an historical heritage, fishing port, and places for hiking. It is served by two airports, one in nearby San Sebastian, the other in Biarritz, France. Matlow provides a photo montage of the competition and a glimpse of the town of 16,000. Dave Matlow for