Heated Auction For Copy Of U.S. Constitution Sold At Over $43 Million

The renowned fine arts company Sotheby’s hosted one of the most heated and highest priced auctions in the world for an original copy of the United States Constitution sold for $43.2 million. The winning bid might garner attention but the bidders made headlines with a heated battle for the prized American history artifact.
Auction bidders are typically only a single person, but one unprecedented bidder was a collective group of 17,000 crowd-funders contributing funding to ConstitutionDAO (decentralized autonomous organization). A group of cryptocurrency investors created the ConstitutionDAO platform giving people the chance to invest in history bidding at the maximum estimated value of up to $40 million in the few remaining moments of the auction with Sotheby’s reporting the group was in an eight-minute bidding battle over the telephones with an unidentified rival.
The auction took place on the evening of November 18, 2021, at the New York Sotheby’s auction house and was sold to benefit the Dorothy Tapper Goldman Foundation. The group stood a chance at making history of being a collective group representing a single auction bidder and an unprecedented crowd-funding effort for an auction. 

The ConstitutionDAO group was eventually outbid by CEO and founder of the hedge fund company Citadel LLC, Kenneth C. Griffin, for the winning bid of $43.2 million. The leader of Constitution DAO sent a message to donors stating, “While this wasn’t the outcome we hoped for, we still made history tonight. This is the largest crowdfund for a physical object that we are aware of—crypto or fiat. We are so incredibly grateful to have done this together with you all and are still in shock that we even got this far.”
The ConstitutionDAO crowd-funding group amassed more than $40 million within days of starting the campaign with the median donation of each donor estimated at $202.26 but will be refunded each donor as they didn’t win the auction. The auction house didn’t disclose the winner, but it was later revealed to be Griffin who made history buying the most ever paid for a printed text, book, or historical document.
There is more than one copy of the U.S. Constitution in existence as only 500 were created during the first printing but there are only 13 known existing copies with only two existing outside of institutional collections. The rarity of being able to personally acquire one of the two copies open to the public for sale drove the price along with the condition considering the document was printed on September 17, 1787.
The document from private hands sold the document at auction 13 years ago in 1988 selling for $165,000 that was later identified to be bought by Howard Goldman who was known for collecting historical American manuscripts and books. Following his death in 1997, the ownership of the document was transferred to his widow Dorothy Goldman.
The Goldman collection featured 42 pieces from the historical artifact collection that was on exhibit in several museums across the country for the last couple of years. Griffin, like Goldman, is an avid art collector and plans on loaning the historic document to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art located in Bentonville, Arkansas that is a free museum for the public founded by philanthropist and Walmart heiress, Alice Walton.