The Dunlap broadside, as this example is called, is one of only 25 known remaining copies of the first printing, only four of which, including this one, remain in private hands. It was discovered in 1989 by a Philadelphia man browsing through a flea market in Pennsylvania. He bought an old torn painting for $4 because he thought the frame might prove useful and, on removing the picture from the frame found the document concealed behind it.
It sold at Sotheby’s in 1991 for a premium-inclusive $2.4m, which rose to a premium-inclusive $8.14m on sothebys.com last week.
The purchasers, TV writer Norman Lear and Internet entrepreneur David Hayden, intend to tour the United States, putting the Declaration on show.