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Rarely is the first printout of the U.S. Constitution sold for record numbers at auction




NEW YORK (AP) – A rare first print of the U.S. Constitution sold at Sotheby’s in New York for $ 43.2 million, a record price for a document or book sold at auction.

The buyer, hedge fund manager Kenneth Griffin, will lend the document to the Crystal Bridge Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, for public display, Sotheby’s announced Friday.

Griffin, the founder and CEO of the multinational hedge fund Citadel, outbid a group of 17,000 cryptocurrency enthusiasts from around the world who crowdfunded to buy it last week.

“The U.S. Constitution is a sacred document that enshrines the rights of every American and everyone who wants to be,”[ads1]; Griffin said in a statement. “That’s why I intend to ensure that this copy of our Constitution will be available to all Americans and visitors to see and appreciate in our museums and other public spaces.”

Rarely is the first printout of the U.S. Constitution sold for record numbers at auction
The buyer, hedge fund manager Kenneth Griffin, will lend the document to the Crystal Bridge Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, for public display.

Crystal Bridge board chair Olivia Walton said: “We are honored to exhibit one of the most important documents in our nation’s history from our location in the heart of America.”

The museum opened in 2011 and was founded by Alice Walton, the daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton.

The document that Griffin bought at Thursday night’s auction was one of 13 known copies of the first printing of the Constitution and one of only two in private hands.

This printing of the constitution was last sold in 1988, when real estate developer and collector S. Howard Goldman bought it at auction for $ 165,000.

Proceeds from Thursday’s sale will go to a foundation established by Goldman’s widow, Dorothy Tapper Goldman, to promote understanding of constitutional principles.

“Tonight’s sale of this extraordinarily rare and important edition of the Constitution was a monumental and historic event,” said Selby Kiffer, Sotheby’s senior international specialist in books and manuscripts, in a statement.

Kiffer said the auction result reflects how relevant the constitution still is, “not just in America, but for global democracy.”

The underbid was ConstitutionDAO, which announced its plan to raise millions of dollars to buy Constitution on Twitter on November 12. DAO stands for decentralized autonomous organization, a type of socially driven business that operates on the blockchain.

ConstitutionDAO tweeted Thursday night“We showed the world what crypto and web3 are, and involved thousands of people in the process, including museum curators and art directors who are now happy to continue learning.”

The group added: “We were the first DAO Sotheby’s ever worked on, but we are sure we will not be the last.”

The previous auction record for a book or manuscript was set in 1994 when Bill Gates bought Codex Leicester from Leonardo da Vinci at Christie’s for $ 30.8 million.





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