George Washington’s personal copy of the Acts of Congress to go under the hammer
Christie’s New York is all set to put up for bidding what is described at “the most evocative and revealing American historical artifacts”. This personal copy of the Acts of Congress owned by George Washington will also include the Constitution and draft Bill of Rights, which was bound specially for him, in 1789 for his first year in office as the first President of the United States, with the cover reading, “President of the United States” in embossed gold. Estimated to fetch between $2 million and $3 million, the copy is in brilliant condition, despite being 223 years old. The title-page features his signature, “G˚: Washington”, and the marbled endpaper reads, Exitus acta probat, which was Washington’s motto.
In the rare copy, you can also sport Washington’s marginal notes that highlight key passages regarding the President’s responsibilities. The copy was printed and bound by a New York bookbinder, Thomas Allen, who also made such books for the first Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, and Attorney General John Jay.