Enfilade

George Washington’s Constitution Sells for Record Price

Posted in Art Market by Editor on July 4, 2012

With the Constitution of the United States as ideologically charged as ever, it’s hardly a surprise that George Washington’s own annotated copy would sell for a record price — almost $10 million. While I’m glad to know that it’s going back to Mount Vernon, my hunch is that this hardly marks the end of the politicization of this crucial historical document. -CH

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As Patrick Hruby reports for The Washington Times (22 June 2012) . . .

Having set a world record, George Washington’s personal copy of the Constitution is heading home. A book containing Washington’s annotated Constitution and a draft of the Bill of Rights was purchased for almost $10 million by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association in an auction Friday [22 June 2012] at Christie’s in New York.

Printed and bound in 1789, the book featuring Washington’s signature on the title page sold for a winning bid of $9,826,500 — an amount the venerable auction house said was a world auction record for an American book or historical document.

Part of Washington’s original private library at Mount Vernon, the book will once again be housed at the historic Virginia estate as part of the collection at the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington, currently under construction and set to open next fall. . .

The full article is available here»

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The Mount Vernon website provides an overview of the National Library for the Study of George Washington, including the following: 

The 45,000-square-foot library will occupy a 15-acre site to the west of George Washington’s historic home on the banks of the Potomac River. A drive winding through a woodland of native trees and plantings will lead to the building’s entrance court and visitor parking area. A 6,000-square-foot Scholars’ Residence adjacent to the library will provide living quarters for up to eight resident scholars. . .