On Friday June 22, 2012, a personal copy of the US constitution and bill of rights that was once owned by first US President George Washington, sold for a record $9.8 million at an auction held by Christie's New York. The collection had only initially been estimated to fetch $3 million.
The documents are part of a book entitled "Acts Passed at a Congress of the United States of America." The volume was printed for Washington in 1789. It includes his signature as well as handwritten notations in the margins highlighting his duties as President of The United States. The book is remarkable for it's near pristine condition.
This book had been a part of Washington's estate until 1876 when it was sold by relatives. It then changed hands over several decades until it was bought at auction in 1964 by H. Richard Dietrich Jr. He died in 2007, but it was not until now that the book was auctioned off from his estate.
The winner's of the auction are the Mount Ladies' Association of the Union, a non-profit group that manages Washington's historic Mount Vernon estate in Virginia. The book will return to Mt. Vernon where it is expected to be the centerpiece of a newly constructed Washington Presidential Library, set to open in the fall of 2013.
For more information on how estate auctions are handled and assets are appraised, please contact a professional Estate Administration Attorney.
*This blog entry was not written by an Attorney and should not be constituted as professional legal advice.