Friday, June 22, 2012

Founding Father: Book Belonging to George Washington Sells for Eight Figures

A book once belonging to American president George Washington sold at Christie's Auction House in New York City for almost $10 million.

The book, titled The Acts of Congress, was printed in 1789 and contains Washington's annotated copy of the American Constitution, a draft of the Bill of Rights, as well as handwritten notes in the margins and his signature and family crest on the title page.

A fierce bidding war commenced at Christie's between two unidentified parties, but ultimately the winning bid of $9,826,500 was offered by the Mount Vernon Ladies Association, which owns and runs Washington's historic Mount Vernon estate in Virginia.

The book remained at Mount Vernon until 1876, when it was sold by Washington's nephew Lawrence for only $13, around $300 in today's money. It at one time belonged to publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst— who Orson Wells used for the basis of his classic film Citizen Kane.

The amount is one of the highest ever paid for a bound manuscript. The book is expected to be returned home to Mount Vernon by the Association.

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