Democracy is cheap, but the Constitution should fetch at least $ 15 million at auction



The Constitution (via Wikimedia Commons)

There is a revolutionary auction for American history buffs! One of 11 known copies of the US Constitution – and the only one currently in private hands – will be auctioned in November. Philanthropist Dorothy Tapper Goldman is preparing to sell the copy she has owned since 1997, when she inherited it after the death of her husband, Harry Goldman. As reported by ARTNews, Harry’s purchase was made in 1988 at Sotheby’s for $ 165,000, sold at the time by a collector in Philadelphia. Considering the document is expected to fetch between $ 15 million and $ 20 million, it seems like an investment that has paid off, even if democracy itself has gotten pretty cheap these days.

The proceeds from the sale are intended to endow the Dorothy Tapper Goldman Foundation, which has funded an annual Guggenheim Fellowship in Constitutional Studies since 2007. Constitutional education appears particularly useful given the current climate, where a large portion of American citizens believe that the right to liberty Speech allows them, for example, to say whatever they want and not to be hit in the face (this is not the case). But, of course, a nuanced reading of the Constitution is hard to fit on a protest billboard or shout out in an unmasked, disease-spreading crowd that is trying to topple the Capitol.

This 1787 edition reflects the final text of the Constitution, the same that was printed for submission to the Continental Congress. Originally, nearly 500 copies were printed; now only 11 are known to still exist. The copy will be sold at Sotheby’s during a modern and contemporary art night sale in New York City, where most people will likely be masked – and believe American democracy still has a chance to successfully debate at a time when the average reader cannot get through the Bill of Rights without checking their phone 20 times. While the truism says you can’t put a price on freedom, this auction promises to demonstrate that you can really put a price on the Constitution – which, perhaps, suggests that they are not due. all the same.

In addition to the copy of the Constitution, 80 other historical documents from the Goldman Collection will be part of the November auction. A second group of rare works from the private collection of philanthropists will also be auctioned later during an online sale from November 23 to December 2. From this month, the copy of the Constitution will be on display in Los Angeles. After that, he will travel to Chicago and Dallas before returning to New York for a final exhibition from November 19-22. We cross our fingers that a provocateur of the art world has the brass to buy it and set it on fire, to correspond to the real state of the union.

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