George Washington’s Personal Copy Of The Constitution Is On The Auction Block And Could Fetch $3 Million

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constitutionGeorge Washington’s inscribed copy of the United States constitution is being sold at auction next week, and is expected to fetch up to $3 million.

The hardcover First Acts of Congress, a personalised copy from 1789, comes with penciled notes made by America’s first president next to parts including controlling the Army and Navy and having the power to write treaties.

Mr Washington also wrote ‘President’ in his calligraphic cursive on the brand-new Constitution, which will be auctioned in New York on June 22.

The President annotated very few books, making the document all the more valuable, according to Christie’s, the auction house putting the piece of history on the block.

‘He had a large library, much of which does survive, and very, very few have any kind of marginal notations at all,’ senior book and manuscript specialist Chris Coover told ABC News.

‘It just was a habit that he never picked up – which kind of emphasizes the fact that this is a particularly important example where he took the time to annotate, however sparsely and in very condensed form, all the duties of the president.’
Mr Coover added that Mr Washington had some of the ‘most beautiful’ handwriting of that era.

‘He took great care with his penmanship, always,’ Mr Coover said.

‘Never scribbled, never scrawled.’

Ironically, Mr Washington ordered parts of the book from England, the country the U.S. had just broken free from.

According to ABC, the book plate – a colorful smattering of ornate designs before the first page – was ordered from England and even the thick, delicately preserved pages might have come from across the pond.

The President’s Constitution has changed hands a few times in its 223 years though historians are unable to track all its owners.

It was auctioned once before in Philadelphia in 1876 and was signed by one of Mr Washington’s descendants. William Randolph Hearst also owned the copy.

It now belongs to the estate of H. Richard Dietrich Junior, a colonial art collector who died in 2007.

Next week, it will have a new owner, probably another private collector or a wealthy person who wants to own a piece of American history.

The auction will be open to the public and bidders – around 100 to 150 are expected – can raise paddles in their seats or suggest an amount on the phone or online.

{The Daily Mail/ Newscenter}



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