A signed copy of the original Good Friday Agreement proposal has performed well at a Dublin auction, which was held on January 26.
The copy, which was signed by major political figures including Tony Blair, John Hume, Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness, Mo Mowlam and Bertie Ahern, sold for $12,106 - an 80% increase on its $6,726 high estimate. It is believed to be the only known signed copy of the proposal and once belonged to a 16-year-old member of the Northern Ireland Women's Coalition.
The Good Friday Agreement was a major breakthrough in relations between Northern Ireland and the Republic, as well as between both parts of Ireland and England, Scotland and Wales. Signed in 1998, it came at the end of a lengthy and exhausting process that aimed to put an end to "The Troubles", a complex series of conflicts which had raged in Northern Ireland since the late 1960s.
The details of the agreement are still being implemented, a similarly gruelling task.
The proposal was sold along with a cover sheet memorandum that was issued by the Office of the Independent Chairman and titled "final agreement". Dated April 10, 1998, it reads in part: "This is, in all likelihood, our last memorandum to you. We take this occasion to thank each of you for your courtesy. It has been a pleasure to work with you."
As proved by this auction, collecting historical documents can be an enjoyable and rewarding hobby, as well as a strong investment. Paul Fraser Collectibles has a number of important manuscripts for sale, which would provide the perfect centrepiece to any collection.