What’s 223-years old and worth an estimated $2.5 million? George Washington’s copies of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights will be going up for auction next week and Christie’s auction house expects them to sell for $2 to $3 million.
According to CBS, the two documents are bound in a book that also includes Washington’s handwritten notes. The book was bound by Thomas Allen in 1789 in New York. Three books were made. The other two went to President Thomas Jefferson and John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Thomas Lecky, head of Christie’s books and manuscripts department, said that the book is one of the most incredible items that Christie’s has ever auctioned off, ranking it among other notable items like Shakespeare’s first folios and a copy of Abraham Lincoln’s 1864 victory speech.
Christie’s says “this elegant, slim volume epitomizes Washington’s multiple, indispensable roles in the creation of the nation.”
Despite the fact that the book is over two centuries old, Christie’s says that the cover is in near mint condition. The words “President of The United States” are embossed in gold on the cover and Washington’s signature is on the title page.
Here’s a video about Christie’s constitution auction.
The NY Daily News reports that Washington’s version of the constitution was kept at his Mount Vernon library. In 1876, it was sold at auction. Collector Richard Dietrich purchased the book in 1964. The collector passed away a few years ago and now his estate is putting the book up for sale.