A book owned by the first president of the United States of America, George Washington, sold at an auction for $10 million.
The 223-year-old tome, once owned by George Washington, contained his own annotated copy of the United States Constitution, a draft of the Bill of Rights, and sports his signature and family crest on the title page, reports Newser. The book was only expected to draw a third of what it was ultimately sold for, but two unidentified bidders really must have wanted it for their respective coffee tables, because they kept driving the price up. Those present in the auction house erupted into applause when the gavel came down on the final price, $9,826,500 exactly, and the book was awarded to the Mount Vernon Ladies Association.
“There are four bound copies for members of the government, but the George Washington provenance makes this by far the best of all,” co-owner of Manhattan Rare Books Company Michael DiRuggiero told FoxNews.
The 106-page leather-bound edition of The Acts of Congresswas printed for Washington in 1789 and offers a very unique insight into our first president. Though it sold for $10 million, it could be said that the book is priceless in its historical value. It could even be considered a journal or sorts – not just of George Washington, but a primary source documenting the founding of America. “He clearly read it and annotated it to mark on his power. It’s almost as though he used this book as a guide,” DiRuggiero said.
A bit of history regarding the tome: it remained at Mount Vernon until roughly 1876. George Washington’s nephew, Lawrence Washington, sold it at a Philadelphia auction for $13 (about $277 in today’s dollars). It was later owned by newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, sold in 1964 to businessman H. Richard Dietrich Jr. for $27,000 ($200,000 in today’s dollars).
“An item of this quality would attract collectors of Americana and non-collectors because of its rarity. It’s extraordinary,” DiRuggiero said.