An American Constitution at auction for 20 to 30 million dollars

A rare original copy of the United States Constitution of 1787 will be sold at auction in December for an expected price of 20 to 30 million dollars, one year after an exceptional transaction of a first edition of this charter for 43 million dollars. dollars, Sotheby’s announced on Tuesday.

The copy of this constitutional text, signed in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787 by the hands of the “Founding Fathers” of the United States, including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and James Madison, is part of a private collection, like the copy already sold by Sotheby’s in New York last November for 43 million dollars.

Richard Austin, an expert in manuscripts and ancient books at the New York auction house, told AFP that he “would like another individual or group to be responsible for the preservation of this very important document”.

According to him, the sale on December 13 could reach 20 to 30 million dollars, but the bids could fly away.

According to Sotheby’s, owned by Franco-Israeli billionaire Patrick Drahi, only 13 known copies of the first printing of the United States Constitution remain, while 500 were probably printed at the time.

Of the 13, 11 are in the hands of institutions and museums and two with individuals and private collectors.

The copy sold in November 2021, which belonged to the American collector Dorothy Tapper Goldman, had been bought by an American billionaire, Kenneth Griffin, for the record price of 43.2 million dollars.

He then lent it for free to a museum in Arkansas.

This second copy will be exhibited to the public in New York from November 4 and sold on December 13.

In November 2021, Kenneth Griffin, boss of the speculative investment company Citadel in Chicago weighing some 40 billion dollars, had beaten the pawn to a group of 17,000 followers of cryptocurrencies, called ConstitutionDAO (DAO for “decentralized autonomous organization”), who said they had raised just before the sale $40 million.

They wanted to buy the copy of the Constitution and display it “for the people” in the digital public domain.

According to Sotheby’s, it is possible that another group of cryptocurrency enthusiasts will form by December 13 to try their luck again.


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