G. Washington's Constitution brings $10M

NEW YORK, June 23 (UPI) -- George Washington's annotated copy of the Constitution and Bill of Rights brought nearly $10 million at auction in New York, officials at Christie's said.

The auction house said the $9,826,500 the 223-year-old documents sold for Friday was a world record for an American book or historical document. The previous record had been $3,442,500 paid in 2009 for an signed manuscript of Abraham Lincoln's 1864 election victory speech.


The nation's first president added brackets and wrote notes in the margins of his copy of the Constitution to highlight key passages concerning the president's responsibilities, Christie's said.

Chris Coover, senior specialist of books and manuscripts for the auction house, said there were several bidders, "but in the end the successful bidder was a representative of the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association of the Union."

The non-profit educational organization owns and operates the historical site and museum of George Washington's Virginia home.

"The unique book had been in the Mount Vernon library until 1876 and will soon be returned to that library," Coover said.

The Washington items had been owned by Americana collector Richard Dietrich since 1964.


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