A philanthropist will sell a rare copy of his constitution for $ 15 million at auction. – ARTnews.com
New York philanthropist Dorothy Tapper Goldman is auctioning off a rare copy of the Constitution this fall. The document is one of the first 11 surviving copies of the founding document. It is the only version that remains in private hands.
In November, the copy will be sold at Sotheby’s during a night sale of modern and contemporary art in New York, where it is expected to fetch between $ 15 million and $ 20 million. Proceeds from the sale will benefit the owner’s namesake foundation, which promotes educational causes related to constitutional history.
Goldman has kept the copy since 1997, when she inherited it after the death of her husband, Harry Goldman. Harry bought it in 1988 at Sotheby’s for $ 165,000, when it was sold by a collector in Philadelphia.
In a statement, Selby Kiffer, senior international specialist in books and manuscripts at Sotheby’s, called the copy “one of the rarest and most coveted historical documents ever to be auctioned.”
“I managed the sale of this same document in 1988,” he said. “I’ve been keeping an eye on it ever since, and it’s very exciting to see it come back to theaters more than three decades later. “
Goldman said in a statement that owning the copy prompted her to start collecting other rare historical documents and showing them nationwide. Before Harry’s death, he loaned the copy to the Supreme Court for a year to coincide with the 1987 bicentenary of the ratification of the Constitution. “When this happened to me, I felt an incredible sense of responsibility to take care of her, to share her and to promote the constitutional principles of our nation,” Goldman said.
The 1787 edition is the final text of the Constitution printed for submission to the Continental Congress. Almost 500 copies have been printed, of which only 11 still exist.
Last June, Sotheby’s rethought its sales format in the aftermath of the pandemic. As part of the change, the house began to offer ultra-valuable works from other historical categories in the main evening sales dedicated to modern and contemporary works.
Some 80 other historical documents belonging to Goldman will go on sale in New York in November. Another group of rare works from the philanthropists‘ private collection will be auctioned off in an online sale that runs from November 23 to December 2. From this month, the copy of the Constitution will be on display in Los Angeles. After that, he will travel to Chicago and Dallas before returning to New York this fall.