George Washington's personal copy of the Acts of Congress, featuring handwritten notes on the constitution, is to provide the only lot in a special sale from Christie's tomorrow (June 22).
The auction house will hold the dedicated New York sale in recognition of the book's undeniable importance. The awe-inspiring find contains Washington's personal copy of the bill of rights, the constitution and other key acts of the first US congress.
If that wasn't enough to excite collectors, the work has also been extensively annotated by Washington in the margins and features a bold, clear signature on the title page. Additionally, the president has also pasted his family's engraved coat of arms into the front endpaper of the book.
The beautiful tome was produced by the government's official printers, Francis Childs and John Swaine, and bound by Thomas Allen, who would later produce two identical copies for Thomas Jefferson and attorney general, John Jay. It remains in brilliant condition despite being over 223 years old, a testament to the trio's craftsmanship.
The item was presented to Washington following his inauguration in 1789 as the first president of the United States, after the country gained their independence from the British in 1783. Washington, who served as a general in the American war of independence, received 100% of the votes when he ran for election in 1789, a feat that he would repeat again in 1792.
The incredible item will go to auction with an estimate of $2-3m, though it is likely to exceed this given its unrivalled significance and auction precedents.
As one of America's most popular presidents, Washington memorabilia always sells with excellent results. The current world record for a Washington document was set in 2009, when a 1787 letter to his nephew, Bushrod Washington, on the ratification of the newly-established constitution, made $3.2m.
Paul Fraser Collectibles has a fantastic 1768 lottery ticket, signed by the president himself. We also have an authentic strand of Washington's hair on offer that comes with superb provenance.