Auction: Rare First Edition of U.S. Constitution

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A rare first edition copy of the U.S. Constitution is set to go up for auction next month, marking the first time in 125 years that this particular manuscript has gone to public sale, CBS News reported.

Sotheby’s has announced Tuesday that the historic document will go up for auction at a live sale in New York City on December 13.

The document is one among only two that have been found in private hands. 

Sotheby’s claimed that this manuscript is one 13th total copy known to exist. The 11 remaining copies are held in the public collections of the government. In 1787, 500 copies of the Constitutional Convention Constitutional Convention were printed. Fox News reported.

Sotheby’s estimates that the sale will fetch between $20-$30 million.

Sotheby’s bought the Constitution’s first edition privately for $43.2 million. It was donated by Kenneth Griffin of Chicago, the hedge-fund billionaire. Fox News reported that Griffin loaned the Constitution to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

“The unprecedented sale result we achieved for the Constitution last November was a truly unique and inspired moment – one that 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 200 years since it was first written,”Richard Austin, Sotheby’s global head of books & manuscripts, made the statement.

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