Declaration of Independence Sold for $3.36m


Founding documents coming to auction at Sotheby's

In the Sotheby’s sale of rare contemporary printings of the three founding documents of the United States, one of the earliest obtainable printings of The Declaration of Independence has sold for $3.36m. 
The copy of the Declaration of Independence, printed within a week of the first printing by John Dunlap is one of just five surviving copies and had an estimate of $2.5m - £5m. It is one of just five recorded copies of a distinctive newspaper-broadside hybrid printed within a week of John Dunlap’s first edition broadside, and the only copy of this group in private hands. 

John Holt’s printing appeared in the July 11, 1776, issue of his newspaper the New-York Journal; or, the General Advertiser. Holt understood its significance and devoted the entirety of the third page of that day’s paper to the Declaration. On the second page of the issue he added an editorial comment: “The Declaration of the United States of America, is inserted in this paper, in the present form, to oblige a number of our Customers, who intend to separate it from the rest of the paper, and fix it up, in open view, in their Houses, as a mark of their approbation of the Independent Spirit of their Representatives.” 

Also under the hammer in the same auction was a copy of The Constitution which sold for $1.02m and a recently rediscovered printing of the Bill of Rights, likely the only surviving copy of an edition of 100 printed for the use of Pennsylvania’s legislators that went for $1.2m.