Collectors of relics from American history have been paying record prices for historic artifacts; from original documents to Presidents personal items, serious collectors are not hesitant to expand their historical collection. Recently, we have told you about the rare 1823 printing of the Declaration of Independence of America that fetched staggering $597,500 at the Historical Manuscripts Signature Auction, held on April 11 in New York. Throwing more light on the incomparable and valuable historic items available on sale, here we have covered some of the American historical items that have turned up at the auction block.
George Washington’s 1789 Acts of Congress
Pre-sale Estimate: $2 - $3 million
A personal copy of the Acts of Congress of George Washington, the first President of United States of America, serving from 1789 to 1797, is now up for the grabs with a pre-sale estimate of $2-$3 million at New York City auction to be held by Christie’s on June 22. This 93-page leather bound volume with Geo. Washington’s signature on the first page, contains the U.S. Constitution and a draft of the Bill of Rights. It is being sold by the Dietrich American Foundation of the noted Americana collector Richard Dietrich.
USS Constitution naval flag collection
A unique collection of 12 rare US naval flags, including several from the historic USS Constitution, a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy and one of the oldest commissioned naval vessels afloat, sets world records at the auction block on April 30 at Philadelphia. The Dietrich collection featuring 11 flags of the famous ship, which had never been available on the open market before, achieved world records for their respective types. Three United States navy ensigns featured, including a rare 31-star, 16 foot wide ensign, from the USS Constitution circa 1851 estimated sold for $158,000. Another rare 28-star variant circa 1846 garnered $134,500, while the 19-star version from year 1816 fetched $110,500. Also, USS Constitution’s several foreign naval signs, including the Imperial Brazilian and English specimens got sold for $50,000 and $43,750, respectively.
President Abraham Lincoln’s manuscript Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction
Pre-sale estimate: $200,000 to $300,000
Rare autographed manuscript proclamation duly signed by President Abraham Lincoln is now being offered by Bonhams as part of its Fine Books and Manuscripts auction to be held on June 19. With a pre-sale estimate of $200,000 to $300,000, this particular manuscript of American history truly underscores a crucial aspect of Lincoln’s attitude to Reconstruction. This historic manuscript is the draft version of the March 26, 1864 proclamation giving the President right to Confederate Prisoners who pledged to support the Union. The response was so overwhelming that Lincoln issued second proclamation clarifying exactly who qualified for the amnesty.