Second US President's political tome leads auction

An important series of letters by an American patriot was the star lot at PBA Galleries' sale of rare Colonial and US history books and manuscripts, on January 21.

By John Adams, sold for $4,200

A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America by John Adams - the second President of the United States - published in 1787, does as its title suggests.

Across its 392 pages, Adams compares the constitutions of the various states of the Union, and of the Union itself, with those of foreign countries and ancient cultures.

In very good condition, despite slight wear and cracked hinges, the book eventually sold in PBA's online sale for $4,200.

As recent sales - including the €3.2m final hammer price achieved by an letter penned by George Washington recently demonstrated - rare books and manuscripts concerning the US constitution, particularly those penned by US's founding fathers, make a big impact at auction.

Elsewhere in PBA's sale, Thomas Walker's Treatise Upon the Art of Mechanical Flying from 1810 - featuring Walker's fascinating early sketches of "plans for making a flying car with wings, in which a man may sit..." - realised $2,000.


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