Rare first printing of US Constitution sold in New York for record $43 million
- A rare first printing of the US Constitution was sold at Sotheby’s in New York on Thursday
- The winning bidder outbid a group of 17,000 cryptocurrency enthusiasts who had crowdfunded to buy it
- The documents was last sold in 1988 to real estate developer and collector S. Howard Goldman
A rare first printing of the US Constitution was sold at Sotheby’s in New York on Thursday for a record price of $43.2 million. The anonymous winning bidder outbid a group of 17,000 cryptocurrency enthusiasts who had crowdfunded to buy the document, which was one of the 13 known copies of the first printing of the US Constitution and one of only two in private hands.
The documents was last sold in 1988 to real estate developer and collector S. Howard Goldman at an auction for $165,000. The proceeds from the sale will benefit a foundation established by Goldman's widow, Dorothy Tapper Goldman.
“Tonight’s sale of this exceptionally rare and important printing of the Constitution was a monumental and historic occasion," Selby Kiffer, Sotheby’s senior international specialist for books and manuscripts, said in a statement, adding that the auction result reflects how relevant the Constitution remains, "not only in America but for global democracy.”
The underbidder was ConstitutionDAO, which had announced its plan to raise millions of dollars to buy the Constitution on Twitter on November 12. DAO stands for decentralized autonomous organization, which is a type of community-run business that operates on the blockchain.
"We showed the world what crypto and web3, onboarding thousands of people in the process, including museum curators and art directors who are now excited to keep learning," ConstitutionDAO tweeted on Thursday night.
The group added, “We were the first DAO Sothebys has ever worked with, but we’re sure we won’t be the last one.”
The previous auction record for a book or manuscript was set in 1994 when Bill Gates purchased the Codex Leicester by Leonardo da Vinci at Christie’s for $30.8 million.
With inputs from Associated Press