The Constitution of the United States will be auctioned for $15-20 million

New York | Sotheby’s announced Friday that an extremely rare original of the U.S. Constitution ratified on September 17, 1787 in Philadelphia will soon be sold at auction in New York with an estimated value of $15-20 million.

Sotheby’s displays until Sunday a private collection of American constitutional documents dating from the revolutionary period, 1776 to 1789, including the famous Constitutional Charter signed in Philadelphia by the “founding fathers” of the United States of America, including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and James Madison.

For Selby Kiefer, an expert historian of manuscripts and antique books at Sotheby’s, this is “a splendid first copy (copy) of the Constitution of the United States, probably printed on September 16 (1787) in the evening.”

A document “extremely rare” as there are only “11 known copies” while “five hundred” have been printed, explained to AFP Mr Kiefer on the occasion of the 234th anniversary of the US Constitution.

The constitutional text that begins with this famous formula “We, the people of the United States, with a view to forming a more perfect union, (…) promulgate and establish this Constitution of the United States of America,” was estimated by Sotheby’s auction house between 15 and 20 million dollars and will be auctioned at the end of the year. next November.

Mr. Kiefer stresses that he is not afraid that this copy – the only copy still belonging to a private individual, American Art University Dorothy Taber Goldman – might travel abroad, even if he thinks the document is, in somewhat exceptional state of preservation. You will remain in the United States.

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Sotheby’s has chosen to showcase this collection of American constitutional history as the country experiences a tense and polarized political atmosphere.

On the eve of a demonstration scheduled for Saturday in Washington by supporters of former Republican President Donald Trump in support of rioters arrested for their participation in the deadly attack on Congress on January 6.

The event caused a political earthquake in the United States and a shock wave abroad.

Then hundreds of pro-Trump protesters pushed into Congress, on Capitol Hill, when parliamentarians gathered there to certify Democrat Joe Biden’s victory over the outgoing Republican president.

Mr. Kiefer finds that ‘the Constitution remains an interesting subject of debate’ and asserts that ‘in the present political climate (the Constitution) it is as much debated as it was when it was ratified in 1787’.

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