Hamil-Swag: $2.6M Sotheby’s Auction of Hamilton Documents

On January 18, 2017, Sotheby’s held an auction titled: Alexander Hamilton: An Important Family Archive of Letters and Manuscripts.  This auction included it

Sotheby’s description of the auction items stated:

The material in the auction includes highly personal documents, such as love letters exchanged between Hamilton and his wife Eliza, as well as the condolence letter, sealed with black wax, his father-in-law, Phillip Skyler, sent to his daughter after Hamilton was killed in the duel with Burr (estimate $15/20,000). However, his public career is also well represented with notes he wrote for one of Washington’s annual addresses to congress (estimate $15/25,000) as well as legal papers from his private practice, among many others documents. Perhaps the most poignant relic in the sale is a lock of Hamilton’s hair with a letter of presentation from his wife Eliza (estimate $15/25,000).

Image from Sotheby’s

The New York Times coverage of the auction noted that Hamilton artifacts are now valued more than Washington artifacts:

“Hamilton has exceeded the value of George Washington with this auction,” John Reznikoff, a dealer from Stamford, Conn., said after the hammer dropped on the last of 77 lots of letters and documents, which had been held by Hamilton descendants for more than 200 years. “If you compare letters with comparable content, Hamilton’s now cost more.”

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