US Constitution
US Constitution

A “Very Rare” First Edition Of The Us Constitution Could Give $30 Million

A “scarce” first-edition copy of the United States Constitution will be auctioned at Sotheby’s in New York City the month after next. The auction house is anticipating offers of up to $30 million for the item.

Produced in advance of the historic Constitutional Convention that took place in 1787, it is one of only 13 copies of the original printed text that are known to have survived; moreover, it is one of only two copies that are still in private hands, according to a press release issued by the auction house on Tuesday.

The announcement comes a little less than a year after the only other privately-held copy of the painting sold at auction for a record price of $43.2 million. A bidding war broke out between billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin and cryptocurrency group Constitution DAO during the November sale, also held in New York.

Constitution DAO raised over $40 million from 17,000 individual investors in what Sotheby’s described as “the most significant crowdfunding initiative ever undertaken.”

Griffin, the founder and CEO of Citadel’s financial firm, finally outbid the group. Since then, he has loaned the document to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas. Sotheby’s stated in a news statement that the 2021 sale had the most significant number of people following it online, making it the most-watched auction in the company’s history.

Richard Austin, the worldwide head of books and manuscripts for Sotheby’s, has expressed the hope that the audience will have a “similar response” to the auction that will take place the following month. “The unprecedented sale result we achieved for the Constitution last November was a truly unique and inspired moment,” he said in a press statement.

“It signifies not only the extreme rarity of first printing copies of the Constitution available for private ownership but also the enduring importance and influence of the Constitution as the ultimate expression of the democratic principles that inform our daily lives more than two centuries after it was first written.” The first printing of the Constitution was written in 1787.

 US Constitution
US Constitution

The United States Constitution was penned to take the place of the older document known as the Articles of Confederation. It was created during a series of secret meetings that were presided over by George Washington.

Before the Constitutional Convention, which took place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1787, the delegates were given roughly 500 printed copies of the final text. This was done in preparation for the convention. The Constitution was finally enacted in 1789 after being ratified by most states the following year.

Eleven of the other first-edition printed copies known to have survived are part of institutional or government collections. These collections include the ones held by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the New Jersey State Archives, and the Library of Congress, amongst others.

Sotheby’s, the auction house selling the book in December, claims that almost 125 years have passed since the last time it was offered at auction, making the item “very uncommon.” It was initially part of the Georgia politician and lawyer Charles Colcock Jones collection. In 1894, it was given to collector and businessman Adrian Van Sinderen as a gift and had remained in private ownership ever since. Since an exhibition at Stanford University took place some 35 years ago, the general public has not seen the object.

According to Selby Kiffer, the senior international expert for books and manuscripts at Sotheby’s, the auction house’s return to the market was a “unique moment.”

In a statement, he said, “While the enduring importance and relevance of the Constitution is often an anodyne talking point today, the fact remains that it is unquestionably an essential document in the history of the United States, and one that will continue to influence the future of democratic principles in America and around the world.

While this may be true, the fact remains that it is undoubtedly the essential document in the history of the United States and will continue to influence the future of democratic principles.

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About Sam Houston 1811 Articles
Hello, I'm Sam Houston, and I'm proud to be a part of the team as a content writer. My journey into journalism has been quite an exciting ride, and it all began with a background in content creation. My roots as a content writer have equipped me with the essential skills needed to craft engaging narratives and convey information effectively. This background proved invaluable when I decided to make the transition into journalism. The transition allowed me to channel my storytelling abilities into producing news articles that not only inform but also captivate our readers.

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