George Washington’s Original Thanksgiving Proclamation to be Sold at Christie’s

New York — On November 14, in a special single-lot evening sale, Christie’s New York is honored to offer a proclamation signed by George Washington on October 3, 1789 establishing the first federal Thanksgiving Day, called for the last Thursday of November (estimate: $8-12 million). This sale, which follows a national tour*, offers a unique opportunity to acquire a foundational document in the history of our great national tradition of Thanksgiving.

Excerpts of the Proclamation include: 

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation… 

…both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer… 

Now therefore do I recommend and assign Thursday the 26th  day of November next to be devoted by the People of these  States to the service of that great and glorious Being…That  we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and  humble thanks--for... the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed--for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted--for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge... 

*The Thanksgiving Proclamation will be on exhibition the following dates: 

October 17-20, Los Angeles, The Reagan Library 

October 22, Dallas, Harlan Crow Library 

October 24, Chicago, Christie’s Chicago 

October 30, Boston 

November 4, Washington, D.C., The Jefferson 

November 5, Philadelphia, National Constitution Center 

November 7-13, New York, Christie’s Galleries 

PRESS CONTACT: Sung-Hee Park | +1 212 636 2680 | 

About Christie’s 

Christie’s, the world's leading art business, reached a total of £2.4 billion/$3.68 billion in global auction and private sales in the first six months of 2013. In 2012, global auction and private sales totaled £3.92 billion/$6.27 billion, marking the highest annual revenue ever reached by Christie’s. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise, as well as international glamour. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie's has since conducted the greatest and most celebrated auctions through the centuries providing a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Christie’s offers over 450 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewelry, photography, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with an emphasis on Post-War and Contemporary, Impressionist and Modern, Old Masters and Jewelry. Global private sales totaled £465 million/$711 million in the first half year of 2013, an increase of 13% from the same period last year, breaking the sales record of half year private sales for Christie’s and the art market for three consecutive years. 

Christie’s has a global presence of 53 offices in 32 countries and 11 salerooms around the world including London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. Christie’s has recently led in growth markets such as Russia, China, India and The United Arab Emirates, with successful sales, exhibitions and initiatives held in Beijing, Mumbai and Dubai. 

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and do not reflect costs, financing fees or application of buyer’s or seller’s credits. 

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