We’ll soon find out just how much you can put a price on American history.
In November, Sotheby’s will auction a first edition of the US Constitution as part of a sale of historic documents belonging to Dorothy Tapper Goldman, CNN reports. One of 11 copies still in existence, the document could fetch up to $ 20 million.
Written at secret meetings in Philadelphia in 1787, the seven articles of the Constitution of the United States define the framework of American democracy. This particular copy is one of 500 unsigned âofficial editionsâ based on the final text of the document, each of which was distributed to delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and the Continental Congress. Of the 11 that survive to this day, it is the only one in private hands.
In this case, those hands belong to Goldman, a New York-based philanthropist. She received the important document from her late husband, Howard, a renowned real estate developer and collector of historical documents, autographs and memorabilia. He initially purchased the rare document – which Dorothy called one of her “dearest possessions” – from a Philadelphia-based private collector in 1988 for $ 165,000. Over the next three decades, the copy was loaned and exhibited in several cultural institutions across the country, including the United States Supreme Court and the New York Historical Society.
“The Goldman constitution is one of the rarest and most coveted historical documents to ever auction,” Selby Kiffer, who also handled the 1988 sale, said in a statement. âWe are honored to present to the public this incredibly important impression of Constitution which coincides with Constitution Day, which only reinforces Ms. Goldman’s long-standing commitment to supporting civic education. “
The first edition of the Constitution, which would be rarer than a signed Declaration of Independence, is expected to sell for between $ 15 million and $ 20 million in a two-part sale of Dorothy’s historical documents. The first part, when the Constitution is to be auctioned, is a live auction that will be held in New York on November 23, while the second part is an unqualified online sale that runs that day until ‘to December 2. The document will be on display in Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas, before returning to the Big Apple in time for the auction.