A rare first printing of the US Constitution sells for a record $43M. At an auction at Sotheby’s in New York, it is certainly a record price for a document or book was paid. Sotheby’s stated on Friday that the buyer, hedge fund manager Kenneth Griffin. Griffin will loan the document to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, for public exhibition.
Griffin, the founder, and CEO of international hedge company Citadel outbid a group of 17,000 cryptocurrency enthusiasts from around the world who had crowdfunded to buy it in the previous week. “The U.S. Constitution is a sacred document that enshrines the rights of every American and all those who aspire to be,” Griffin said in a statement. “That is why I intend to ensure that this copy of our Constitution will be available for all Americans and visitors to view and appreciate in our museums and other public spaces.”
The U.S. Constitution is a sacred document
Crystal Bridges board chairperson Olivia Walton says, “We are honoured to exhibit one of the most important documents in our nation’s history. Our location in the heartland of America.” Alice Walton is the daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton. She founded the museum in 2011. Griffin’s acquisition at the auction on Thursday night is certainly one of 13 copies of the original printing of the Constitution. Also, one of just two in private hands.
S. Howard Goldman, a real estate developer and collector, purchased this edition of the Constitution at auction in 1988 for $165,000. As a result, the proceeds from Thursday’s auction will go to Goldman’s widow. Dorothy Tapper Goldman, to enhance the study of constitutional principles. “Tonight’s sale of this exceptionally rare and important printing of the Constitution is a monumental and historic occasion,” Selby Kiffer. Selby is Sotheby’s senior international specialist for books and manuscripts. Kiffer says the auction result reflects how relevant the Constitution remains, “not only in America but for global democracy.”
ConstitutionDAO, however, revealed its plan to gather millions of dollars to buy the Constitution on Twitter on Nov. 12, was the underbidder. DAO is an abbreviation for decentralised autonomous organisation, which is a sort of community-run business that functions on the blockchain. ConstitutionDAO tweeted on Thursday night, “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.”