Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


The opening bid for the Declaration of Independence, which went on sale at sothebys.com at 9am this morning, was $4,000,000.
June 29, 2000 6:57 AM   Subscribe

The opening bid for the Declaration of Independence, which went on sale at sothebys.com at 9am this morning, was $4,000,000. I can't comment too much, because I work for the Sotheby's, but when the sale closes at 5pm today, it may be the most valuable object ever sold online. We're all going to stand in a big room from 4-5 today and watch the bids come in.
posted by grumblebee (13 comments total)

 
Is it just me, or is there a sad, strange irony to the declaration of independance being sold on an online auction?
posted by Doug at 8:37 AM on June 29, 2000


It's just you. I think it's hilarious.
posted by rschram at 8:40 AM on June 29, 2000


take THAT eBay!
posted by starduck at 9:16 AM on June 29, 2000


Hey! At least we're not selling domain names ... yet.
posted by grumblebee at 9:25 AM on June 29, 2000


I was about to ask who owned it before and why it wasn't in the National Archives, but it turns out it's just a print: "its first printed form - of which only 25 known copies survive." Apparently some guy found it behind the canvas of a painting he bought for four bucks at a flea market. Sotheby's auctioned it off in 1991 for $2.4 million.
posted by daveadams at 9:28 AM on June 29, 2000


Well it might be old but if it's not the original then is it worth it? There are 25 other identical copies in the world - that seems too many to warrent such a high price.

Doug - I can see the irony of the situation, though the original would have had more of an impact. I wouldn't buy it, but then again, I don't have enough money.....
posted by iamcal at 9:47 AM on June 29, 2000


The original Declaration of Independence is held by the National Archives and is on public display, albiet very carefully maintained and cared for public display.

The National Archives page on the Declaration of Independence has more information about the state of the document and links to scans of the original.

In addition, according to the Sotheby's page, there are only 4 copies of the run of 25 that are in private hands, and only 3 copies (of which the one being auctioned off is one) that are in good condition. (Note that those groups are not necessarily overlapping.) It's definately quite valuable.
posted by Jeremy Bowers at 9:51 AM on June 29, 2000


4,100,000 USD
hmm.. You. Me. We can't imagine paying 100k for something. But when looking at this bidding, seems a bit small. Ohh, they *only* raised a 100k.
posted by tiaka at 10:01 AM on June 29, 2000


The original is located in the National Archives in Washington DC. I recommend a visit if your ever in DC.
posted by bhr1 at 10:20 AM on June 29, 2000


5.7m in extended bidding...and still going at 5:15pm EST
posted by judith at 2:09 PM on June 29, 2000


So should we start a pool on how much its going to go for? PayPal needs a pool service! I'd put in a dollar for $7.5 million.
posted by daveadams at 2:18 PM on June 29, 2000


SOLD! For a taudry $8,140,000!

Bill Gates loses at least that much change down the back of his sofa every day.
posted by grumblebee at 4:01 PM on June 29, 2000


I have several copies of the Declaration sitting around the apartment. As soon as I rip them out of various World Almanacs and Encyclopediae, the bidding may begin apace.
posted by dhartung at 8:17 PM on June 29, 2000


« Older Well this is Qte!...  |  Giving God His Props.... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments