Sotheby’s said Friday that an exceptionally rare original copy of the American constitution, signed in Philadelphia in 1787, will be auctioned soon, with an estimated value of $15 million to $20 million.
It is one of only 11 known surviving copies and will be auctioned in November in New York, according to the auction company.
A private collection of American constitutional documents dating from the revolutionary period, 1776 to 1789, is on display at Sotheby’s until Sunday.
The constitution is included, which was signed by America’s founding fathers, including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and James Madison, on September 17, 1787 at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall and ratified the following year.
“It’s really rare,” said Selby Kiffer, a Sotheby’s manuscripts and old books expert, noting that it was most likely produced on the day of the signing.
“This was most likely printed in a 500-copy edition. Only eleven are known to have survived, with this one being the only one in private ownership “he stated
Kiffer is unconcerned if the renowned document, which begins with the immortal words “We the People,” is exported, even though he believes it will remain in the United States.
“It is the world’s longest-serving government charter. It has already served as a model for other constitutions around the world, in my opinion “He went on to clarify.
“However, I believe that no one cherishes American history more than Americans, and I would be astonished if the new owner was not an American,” Kiffer continued.
The document is in outstanding condition and currently belongs to Dorothy Tapper Goldman, an American collector.
Sotheby’s is displaying a collection of American constitutional history at a time when the country’s political climate is volatile and polarized.
Supporters of former President Donald Trump are expected to march on Saturday in support of rioters detained on January 6 after storming the US Capitol.
“I think it’s fascinating that the constitution is continually being argued, but I believe it’s being debated as much now as it was when it was being debated for ratification,” Kiffer said.