For sale: One Magna Carta – gently used

Folks, I know some of you are collectors.  And some of you probably have a few million dollars to spare.  Of that small group of my amazing collected readership, I’m sure at least a few thousand are also historical artifact fanatics.  For those few, I would like to point out the impending sale of one original, signed, limited edition Magna Carta documents, up for auction by Sotheby’s.  It is one of only 2 copies known to exist outside of Britain – the other in the land of prisoners, kangaroos and dingoes known as Australia.

In the year 1215, a group of English barons handed King John a document written on parchment. Put your royal seal on this, they said. John did, and forever changed the relationship between the monarchy and those it governed.

. . .

While that original edict was initially ignored and John died the next year, its key ideas were included in other variations over the next few decades, most notably the right of Habeas Corpus, which protects citizens against unlawful imprisonment.

Of course, that most notable right is no longer honored in America, but many other democracies around the world still have ideas originated in the Magna Carta as the basis for their rules and rights.

So, how much will it be to take this treasure into your own home?

The document, which Sotheby’s vice chairman David Redden calls “the most important document in the world,” is expected to fetch a record $20-30 million.

Personally, I’m guessing it will go for more than that.  In recent years, so many things of real or imagined import seem to have gone for far more than expected by the auctioneers.  I’m going to peg this at $44-45 million.  What say we check back in two weeks and see how much this will cost Santa to deliver to some lucky and wealthy collector?  Same web-channel, same web-dork.

[tags]Magna Carter, Writ of Habeas Corpus, Birth of democracy,  Sotheby’s[/tags]

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