Top 10: US Presidential memorabilia
10 ) George Washington’s biography fragment - $834,500
Handwritten account by George Washington of his early military career, entitled: ‘Remarks’, prepared for a biography. Written circa 1786-89. Sold for $834,500 at Christie’s in October 2002.
9) Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural speech - $1,320,000
Manuscript handwritten and signed by Abraham Lincoln. Part of his second inaugural address, delivered a month before his death in March 1865, in which he famously spoke the words: ‘with malice toward none; with charity for all’. Sold for $1,320,000 at Christie’s in November 1992.
8) Thomas Jefferson’s exploration letter - $1,439,500
Handwritten letter from Thomas Jefferson, 1804, to French Explorer Bathelemy Faujas de Saint-Fond, announcing the objectives of the Lewis and Clark expedition to explore and chart the North American continent. Sold for $1,439,500 at Sotheby’s in December 2002.
7) George Washington’s pistols - $1,986,000
Pair of steel-mounted saddle pistols owned by George Washington (as well as the Marquis de Lafayette), sold for $1,986,000 at Christie’s in January 2002.
6) Abraham Lincoln’s last speech - $3,086,000
Autograph manuscript of Lincoln’s last address as President, delivered 11th April 1865 from the Whitehouse. Sold for $3,086,000 at Christie’s in March 2002.
5) George Washington’s constitution letter - $3,218,500
Handwritten letter signed by George Washington to his nephew Bushrod Washington, arguing the adoption of the proposed new constitution: ‘the power under the constitution will always be with the people’. Sold for $3,218,500 at Christie’s in December 2009.
4) Abraham Lincoln’s slave children letter - $3,401,000
Handwritten signed letter from Abraham Lincoln to Mrs Horace (Mary Tyler Peabody) Mann, relating to a petition from young people to the President imploring him to free slave children, dated 1864. Sold for $3,401,000 at Sotheby’s in April 2008.
3) Abraham Lincoln’s election speech - $3,442,500
Autograph manuscript of Lincoln’s election victory speech as President, delivered in Washington 10th November 1864. Sold at Christie’s for $3,442,500 in February 2009.
2) Abraham Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation - $3,778,500
Typed Proclamation of Emancipation freeing all American slaves including in the states still in rebellion during the Civil War, signed by Lincoln, sold at Sotheby’s for $3,778,500 in December 2010. Another copy of the same sold at Robert A. Siegel Auction Galleries for $2.1 million in June 2012.
1) George Washington’s Constitution - $9,826,500
George Washington’s personal bound copy of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the first session of the first congress, ‘Acts passed at a Congress of the United States of America’. This document represents the birth of the American Constitutional Government, and being George Washington’s own personal annotated copy, the most significant copy in existence. Bound with Washington’s personal armorial bookplate and signature. Sold for $9,826,500 at Christie’s in June 2012.
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