Declaration Of Independence historic document etched and illuminated on glass by Etchlite Technology was presented to Honor Sheriff Of Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy Baca at Anahiem Heritage Forum, Anahiem California. The official first handwritten draft of the Declaration adopted by the Continental Congress in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776.
Rare copy of Declaration of Independence sells for $8.1 million
June 29, 2000 Web posted at: 6:48 p.m. EDT (2248 GMT)
By Phil Hirschkorn CNN Correspondent
NEW YORK (CNN) -- A rare 1776 printing of the Declaration of Independence sold for $8.1 million Thursday in a live Internet auction on Sotheby's Web site.
The final bid was $7.4 million in bidding that extended 40-minutes beyond the scheduled deadline. With a flat 10 percent commission on Internet sales, the total price came to $8,140,000.
The buyer's identity was not immediately disclosed.
Document in near mint condition
"It is the cornerstone document in the history of world freedom. It's as close as you can get to the founding of our country," Sotheby's Vice Chairman David Redden said in an interview with CNN.
The document, in near mint condition, is one of 25 known surviving copies of the official first printing of the Declaration adopted by the Continental Congress in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776.
"This was how Congress voted to disseminate the news of independence. So it was printed up from Thomas Jefferson's draft of the Declaration and then sent around by couriers to the armies in the field, to the newly independent colonies, to the committees of public safety and surely to the British too," Redden said.
The copy is one of only four in private hands. The other three have been promised to institutions.