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Our Declaration Auction Sets a Record

The rare first newspaper printing of the Declaration of Independence we auctioned yesterday brought $632,500—a record price for any historic newspaper. The sale was held with Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries in New York City. The newspaper was purchased by David Rubenstein.

The July 6, 1776, edition of the Pennsylvania Evening Post was only the second printing of the Declaration in any form. The copy sold yesterday is one of just four issues of the Post’s Declaration printing that have appeared at auction in the past 50 years. We have handled three of those four copies.

George Washington at Christie’s
Another noteworthy sale took place June 21st at Christie’s, where George Washington’s 1788 letter to John Armstrong endorsing ratification of the Constitution sold for $1,443,750 net. To see our selection of great Washington documents—which includes several important letters—click here.


We have a number of other scare Declaration printings at a variety of price points—just in time for the Fourth of July.

Rare July 1776 Declaration of Independence Broadside
All July 1776 broadside printings of the Declaration are rare and valuable, but this example is exceptionally so. It is the earliest known publication of the Declaration in Massachusetts—the birthplace of the American Revolution—and its unique, four-column format makes it one of the rarest and most interesting of the printings. Including this example, only six copies of this broadside are known, four of which are already in institutional collections.
#21747.99     Price on Request

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A Stone/Force Printing of the Declaration
This second edition printing of the first exact facsimile remains one of the best representations of the Declaration as the manuscript looked when it was signed and prior to its nearly complete deterioration. Very little of the original is legible today. Originally bound into Peter Force’s American Archives.
#22929      $28,000

Scarce, Never Folded Stone/Force Declaration
Another Stone/Force print. Copies that were never folded are far more rare on the market than folded ones.
#20728      $45,000

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America’s Three Founding Documents
A 1791 printing of the Complete Acts of the First Congress, including the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights (which had just been ratified).
#22592      $1,400

1808 Commemorative Printing of the Declaration and Patriotic Songs
This 1808 commemorative printing from the Philadelphia Aurora also contains “Freedom and Peace…Or, The Voice of America. A National Song,” along with other patriotic songs for the occasion.
#23035.01     $700

Declaration of Independence Centennial Printing
The July 8, 1876, issue of Harper’s Weekly, containing a supplement celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, complete with a centerspread facsimile of one of Jefferson’s draft manuscripts and the signatures of the signers, along with related engravings.
#30011.001    $145

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Posted by on June 27, 2013 in General

 

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Declarations & Visions

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I am pleased to announce our offering of a very rare printing of the Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Towne’s July 6 Pennsylvania Evening Post was the first newspaper to print the Declaration, and only the second printing in any format. It will be sold at public auction in New York on June 25, 2013, by Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries, as part of their 50th annual Rarities of the World sale.

Our catalog explores differences between the Post’s Declaration and the Dunlap broadside, the only earlier Declaration imprint (published on July 5th). I know it sounds dry, but our catalog announces an interesting find: our newspaper is closer to Thomas Jefferson’s style while the Dunlap is closer to John Adams’. One intriguing possibility that follows is that there may have been two July 4 manuscripts—one penned by Jefferson and the other by Adams.

The Pennsylvania Evening Post issue of the Declaration is one of only four copies found in major auction and dealer records of the last hundred years; we’ve had the privilege of handling three.

Want to learn more? The Siegel auction catalog is available online here.

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We are also pleased to announce our new dealer catalog, Parallel Visions: American & Israeli Documents of Freedom.

Parallel Visions explores the similarities in the ideals and founding struggles of two great democracies —both aspiring to be “a light unto the nations.” In these letters and documents—over many years and through multiple wars—we see George Washington, Theodor Herzl, Thomas Paine, David Ben-Gurion, Chaim Weizmann, Golda Meir, and other visionaries fight to create, develop, and protect new countries.

We will happily work with any philanthropist interested in acquiring a critical mass of the collection and making it available for public display.

See the catalog online here.

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2013 in General

 

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