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Collection Studio 4.75

[ release date: August 31, 2018 ]


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Developers' Blog

August 31

Declaration of Independence

In 1989, a Philadelphia financial analyst discovered something unusual in an old picture he'd bought for $4 at a flea market in Adamstown, PA. He'd purchased the painting (an old, torn depiction of a country scene) because he liked the frame. He liked it even more once he discovered that a rare copy of the Declaration of Independence lurked within it.

When he had attempted to detach the frame from the painting, the frame fell apart in his hands. He then found a folded document between the canvas and wood backing which appeared to be an old copy of the Declaration of Independence. A friend who collected Civil War memorabilia advised him to have it appraised.

It was real: one of 500 official copies from the first printing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. (Only twenty-four similar copies were known to exist before this find, of which a mere three were privately owned.) This rare document was offered for sale by Sotheby's on 4 June 1991, and the lucky find fetched even more than had been anticipated: the $800,000 to $1.2 million estimate turned into $2.42 million by the sound of the gavel.

The buyer was Donald J. Scheer of Atlanta, president of Visual Equities Inc., a year-old fine arts investment firm.

"We thought we would add historical documents to our portfolio," Mr. Scheer said, adding that "we were prepared to pay considerably more."

He stressed that he had bought the Declaration as more than just an investment. "I think this is a living document and the words are every bit as live today," he said.

Posted by serge, August 31, 2009. Post has 0 comments.
declaration independence Sotheby United States


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