Lifestyle & Belief

George Washington's constitution sold for $10M (UPDATE)


A copy of former President George Washington's personal copy of the Constitution and Bill of Rights is viewed at Christie's auction house on June 15, 2012 in New York City.


Spencer Platt

An actual piece of American history has gone to auction. 

President George Washington's personal copy of the Acts of Congress, including the United States Constitution and a draft of the Bill of Rights with Washington's own handwritten notations, has been sold by Christie's Auction House for $9.8 million, Reuters reports. 

"It gives us a very clear picture of the first president and his determination to be president according to the rules bound by the Constitution and later by the Bill of Rights," Chris Coover, senior specialist in books and manuscripts at Christie's, told CNN. 

According to CBS, the papers were largely unmarked, except for Washington's own notes, scribbled in pencil in the margins. Throughout the pages, Washington bracketed off and marked "president," indicating the duties and responsibilities Washington saw as his own.

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The Associated Press said, the auction house believed the 223-year-old presidential volume, which includes an engraved bookplate with the Washington family crest emblazoned on a marbleized inside cover, would go for around $3 million.

However, the BBC says that bidding between two interested parties boosted the price.   It was finally bought by the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association and will be included in a presidential library due to open next year.

"It's an exciting day. We are thrilled to be able to bring this extraordinary book back to Mount Vernon where it belongs," spokeswoman Ann Bookout is quoted as saying by AFP.

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