1848 Declaration of Independence to be sold in UK auction
An 1848 copy of the US Declaration of Independence is to be auctioned in the UK on May 24
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Tuesday 22 May 2012
Bidders from the United States will have the chance to return the rare manuscript to home soil, however, as the sale is being held online.
In 1820, the US Secretary of State John Quincy Adams commissioned a new engraving of the 1776 document to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the United States' foundation. English-born engraver William J Stone was presented with the task and spent the next three years creating a perfect copy of the original document.
The copy at auction was created using William J Stone's original template by US politician and historian Peter Force.
Force had been commissioned by Congress to compile and publish the American Archives in 1843. 1,500 copies of the resulting document were prepared on rice paper to be included in the archives, which were sold by subscription.
The copies, printed in 1848, saw disappointing sales which resulted in only one third of them ever being issued, increasing the rarity of the example in the sale.
Copies of the Declaration of Independence have always proved popular at auction, with US investors eager to prove their patriotism. In April, a Dallas sale saw an earlier copy of America's most important document sell for $597,500, achieving a 70% increase on estimate.
The current sale at PFC Auctions offers a superb opportunity for investors, with bids currently standing at just £19,800.
You may have seen the recent coverage regarding PFC Auctions' sale of Ronald Reagan's blood, which was taken from the assassination attempt in 1981. For a less controversial presidential purchase, see the strands of George Washington's hair, also available in the sale.
You can see the magnificent manuscript here.
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