Holt Printing of Declaration of Independence Fetches Record Price at Auction

  • Copy of the Declaration of Independence, printed by John Holt, July 9, 1776.

    Copy of the Declaration of Independence, printed by John Holt, July 9, 1776.

    Blanchard's Auction Service

One of five known 1776 copies of the Declaration of Independence printed in New York by John Holt sold for a record price to a California collector at auction on Saturday.

Blanchard's in Potsdam, New York, sold the newly-discovered document for $1.5 million, setting a world record for any New York printing of the Declaration, and far surpassing the presale estimate of $500,000-$1 million.

The anonymous consignor, whose family passed down Col. David Mulford's copy of the declaration for 241 years, also offered up 70 rare documents from the Mulford, Gardiner and Buell families, including Revolutionary broadsides and manuscripts, documenting the history of East Hampton, Long Island, the American Revolution, and slavery in New York, from 1667-1815.

The second lot of documents, estimated to bring $25,000 to $50,000, catapulted to $290,000, and the Watertown Daily Times reports that both lots went to Holly M. Kinyon of California, who was a floor bidder.

“My great-grandmother’s name was Witherspoon, and our Witherspoon lineage is direct to John Witherspoon, who signed” the Declaration, Ms. Kinyon said to the Daily Times. “One of the more profound experiences I’ve ever had was when I saw (the Declaration) in D.C. as a younger woman — it’s difficult to explain how important this is to me, personally.”

Cambridge, Mass., historian Keith Arbour, who authenticated the documents, spoke to the Watertown Daily Times, saying, “I want to call your attention to just one phrase in the Declaration of Independence.”

Arbour continued, “‘When in the course of human events.’... And what’s remarkable about this collection is we have all the human events, not that some anonymous person underwent, but the human events that the people that handled that Declaration of Independence underwent.”

More News Feed Headlines

Rendering of For Lazy Lobster, part of the Artscapes series at the de Young museum in San Francisco this summer, by Cosima von Bonin, 2018.  Courtesy the artist and Petzel Gallery.

ARTFIXdaily Closed From June 25 to July 6

  • June 24, 2018 23:45

ARTFIXdaily will be closed from June 25 to July 6. Subscriber e-newsletter service will resume on ...

Read More

"Purdue" by Domenic Esposito

Gallery Owner Arrested for Placing 11-Foot Drug Spoon Sculpture Outside Purdue Pharma

  • June 24, 2018 23:45

From the Hartford Courant: A Stamford, Connecticut, art gallery owner was arrested and charged ...

Read More

Grafton Tyler Brown, Cascade Cliffs, Columbia River, 1885.  Oil on canvas.  17 x 32 inches.  Courtesy of the Melvin Holmes Collection of African American Art.  Photo © John Wilson White Studio

Pasadena Museum of California Art Will Close This Fall

  • June 20, 2018 18:49

Without mention of any reason, the 16-year-old Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA) announced ...

Read More

A copy of "Nativity with San Lorenzo and San Francesco" by Caravaggio hangs where the original was stolen from a church in Sicily.

Italy Reopens Investigation Into Missing Caravaggio Masterpiece

  • June 20, 2018 17:08

Nearly 50 years have passed since a Caravaggio masterpiece was stolen, in a case considered ...

Read More

Related Press Releases

 

ArtfixDaily Artwire