Christie’s to auction George Washington’s personal Constitution for $3 million
Memorabilia associated with the first President of the United States of America, George Washington, who was also the dominant military and political leader in the United States from 1775 to 1799, has always garnered huge prices at the auction blocks. We have earlier seen the sale of Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington which fetched $8.1 million at the Sotheby’s auction, along with the wine cooler and George Washington ‘lookalike’ chicken nugget, which is also one of the weirdest celebrity memorabilia. Now, a rare and priceless gold-embossed piece of American presidential history will go on sale, when Christie’s will auction off President George Washington’s personal copy of the Acts of Congress, including the United States Constitution and a rare draft of the ‘Bill of Rights’ with his handwritten notations, as part of its rare books and manuscripts sale scheduled to be held on June 22 in New York.
Estimated to fetch between $2 million to $3 million, the presidential artifact gives us a true picture of the George Washington and his strong determination to be President as per the rules bound by the country’s constitution and later by the Bill of Rights. As per Chris Coover, a senior specialist in books and manuscripts at auction house Christie’s, “It’s unique. This is the only annotated Constitution that Washington ever did and it’s a wonderful evocation of a great man,”
The presidential artifact was printed and bound especially for the first President, and two other similar versions of the constitution were also created for the Attorney General John Jay and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson. The pencil written notes by George Washington are visible in the margins of the text, along with his signature on the cover page.
This rare 223-year old presidential volume also includes en engraved bookplate with the crest of the Washington’s family emblazoned on a special marbleized inside cover. This piece of history was earlier the part of the personal archive of noted collector H. Richard Dietrich Jr., and this historic volume is being sold by his estate. Untill 1876, this book was also the part of the presidential personal library held at Mount Vernon, and it got sold at auction and since that time, it has had several noted collectors as its owners.
Earlier this year, a wine cooler that belonged to George Washington and Alexander Hamilton fetched $782,500 at the auction held by Christies, topping the pre-sale estimate of $600,000.
Also, a chicken nugget that happened to lookalike George Washington fetched more than $7,750. The fried snack actually attracted 71 bids on the internet auction.
Update: George Washington’s personal copy of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights sold for $9.8 million, more than 3 times its highest pre-sale estimate, setting a record for any historic document or American book.