The most expensive in this sale titled Making Our Nation: Constitutions and Related Documents, at a premium-inclusive $1.53m (£1.14m), was a three-page document that features the first separate printing of amendments to the US Constitution that became the Bill of Rights.
Part of the first portion of a collection being sold to benefit the educational work of the Dorothy Tapper Goldman Foundation, this rare item was signed on the inside cover of its protective box by Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O’Connor, Stephen Byer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Bader Ginsburg bidding boost
The much more recent sale of Bader Ginsburg’s personal library, held by Bonhams New York (27.5/25/20/14.5% buyer’s premium) on January 27, was an extraordinary event. It attracted more bidders than any other in the US saleroom’s history and every one of the 162 lots sold, many at well beyond estimate sums.
The sale was topped by Bader Ginsburg’s own heavily annotated copy of the 1957- 58 Harvard Law Review, which made $67,500 (£50,375) rather than the $2500-3500 suggested, while a copy of My Own Words, a 2016 collection of her own writings that carried a high estimate of $2000, was sold instead at $65,000 (£48,505).
Works inscribed by others included a 2015 memoir, My Life on the Road, by the American feminist, journalist, social and political activist, Gloria Steinem, which made $42,000 (£31,345) against an estimate of $500-800.
Guided at $300-500, a copy of My Beloved World of 2013 that Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, inscribed to Bader Ginsburg was sold at $32,000 (£23,880).