May 2015 Auction Ends Thursday, May 28th, 5pm Pacific


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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/28/2015
1843 Force Declaration of Independence from the original copper plate by William Stone, one of the earliest copies of the Declaration of Independence. In 1823, Congress authorized the production of facsimile copies of the Declaration of Independence for two reasons: the original was deteriorating rapidly and many of the aging original Signers sought copies. John Quincy Adams, then Secretary of State, oversaw the project and commissioned noted engraver William J. Stone to reproduce the document. Stone used a new Wet-Ink transfer process to create a copper plate from which facsimile copies were made. By wetting the original document, some of the original ink was transferred to the copperplate, which was then used for printing. Stone printed 201 copies on vellum, keeping one copy for himself (now residing in the Smithsonian) and distributing other copies to Thomas Jefferson, President James Monroe, members of Congress, surviving original Signers, various colleges and universities, and others. Of the original 201 copies, only 31 examples are currently known to exist, 19 of which are permanently housed in museums. In 1843, Peter Force used the original Stone copperplate to print additional copies of the Declaration of Independence on rice paper for inclusion in his book, ''American Archives''. Congress authorized up to 1,500 copies of the book to be printed, and while the actual number of copies printed is unknown, it's generally estimated at 500. The Stone and Force copies represent an irony: certainly, they allowed additional people and institutions to obtain an identical facsimile of this most beloved of all historic American documents, but Stone's Wet-Ink transfer process contributed to the deterioration of the original signed copy of the Declaration. The parchment did not respond well to water, with the unfortunate result being that the original Declaration of Independence, on display in our nation's capitol, is in a rather sad state of preservation. This Force Declaration measures approximately 25.5'' x 29'' on rice paper. Folded for its original purpose of inclusion in Force's book. Separation starting along folds, especially along lowermost horizontal fold, otherwise in near fine condition. The points of separation can be repaired with archival tape to be almost indiscernible when framed. A visually stunning example of one of America's most beloved documents.
Rare and Beautiful 1843 Force Declaration of Independence From Original Copper Plate
Rare and Beautiful 1843 Force Declaration of Independence From Original Copper Plate
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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $12,500
Final prices include buyers premium.: $15,625
Number Bids: 1
Auction closed on Thursday, May 28, 2015.
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