Sotheby's to auction first printing of U.S. Constitution

"The first printing of the final text of the United States Constitution, done probably on the evening of the 16th of September, 1787.” - Sotheby's International Senior Specialist of Books and Manuscripts, Selby Kiffer

A rare copy of the U.S. Constitution is up for sale

Sotheby’s auction house estimates its value at $15- 20 million

(SOUNDBITE) (English) SOTHEBY'S INTERNATIONAL SENIOR SPECIALIST OF BOOKS AND MANUSCRIPTS, SELBY KIFFER, SAYING:​​

"Presumably, this belonged to one of the delegates to the Continental Convention or to a member of the Continental Congress. That's who this very small edition was printed for. // Of that small edition, only 11 copies survived. This is the only one that is not in a permanent institutional collection."

The document was last sold for $165,000 in 1988

It was acquired by a New York real estate developer and private collector

The document will now go on sale on the 234th anniversary of its signing

(SOUNDBITE) (English) SOTHEBY'S INTERNATIONAL SENIOR SPECIALIST OF BOOKS AND MANUSCRIPTS, SELBY KIFFER, SAYING:

"The Constitution has been in effect for 234 years. It's the longest-lasting charter of this form in world history. It's as relevant today as it was in 1787. People didn't know if they wanted this Constitution. There were vivid debates about whether it should be ratified or not. And those debates continue today."

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