(Bloomberg) -- One year after a copy of the US Constitution sold for $43.2 million, a second example is headed to auction on Dec. 13 at Sotheby’s in New York with an estimate of $20 million to $30 million.

The copy, which was printed in 1787 for submission to the Continental Congress and distributed to delegates at the Constitutional Convention, is what the auction house classifies as “The Official Edition of the Constitution, the First Printing of the Final Text of the Constitution.” About 500 were printed at the time; just 13 copies are known to remain, according to Sotheby’s.

It’s been owned by the same family for the past 128 years, and is one of two, the auction house says, still in private hands. (The other sold last year.) “We knew there was another,” says Richard Austin, the global head of Books & Manuscripts at Sotheby’s. “And in fact, we’d contacted the owner, who wasn’t interested and didn’t want to sell at the time. But things change.”

One of those changes could be the international brouhaha that led to last year’s copy, known as the Goldman Constitution, selling for a record sum.

ConstitutionDAO Versus Griffin

It began when a decentralized autonomous organization called ConstitutionDAO was formed to purchase the work. “We intend to put The Constitution in the hands of The People,” the organization’s website said at the time. (Never mind that the Constitution is already on display for anyone to visit at the National Archives in Washington.) The DAO eventually raised roughly $40 million from about 17,000 contributors, but it was outbid by hedge fund billionaire Kenneth Griffin.

Griffin, the founder of Citadel, later remarked that he purchased the artifact on the recommendation of his son. “I told myself, ‘I am going to own this,’” he said in an interview with Bloomberg News. “I don’t do that very often.” Soon after the sale, Griffin lent the work to fellow billionaire Alice Walton’s Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, where it’s on view through Jan. 2.

ConstitutionDAO disbanded, refunding many of its contributors minus transaction costs. Its website now states that “ConstitutionDAO (2021-2021) was a beautiful experiment in a single-purpose DAO. We now believe this project has run its course.”

A Second Copy Emerges

The activity was apparently enough to dislodge another Constitution copy. “It’s been in the same family since 1894,” says Austin.

It was purchased at auction and given as a childhood gift to Adrian Van Sinderen (1887-1963), who came to be known as one of the most prolific book collectors in the country. “He’s not well-known, but he was one of the great American collectors of the first half of the 20th century,” says Austin. The Constitution then passed, by descent, to the present owner, who’s decided to put it up for sale.

The last time this copy was seen by the public was 1987, when it was lent to Stanford University.

Potential Bidders

Given the price achieved by the Goldman Constitution, comparisons between the two copies are inevitable. “There are minor differences,” says Austin. “The Goldman copy is as close to pristine as you’re going to get. This one had a few very minor repairs at some point—it was stored in the back of a book, which is how a couple have been discovered, actually.” Generally, he continues, “it’s in excellent condition. It has a wonderful presence when you hold it. It’s a lovely example.”

With that in mind, Austin says, the estimate makes sense. “The Goldman copy achieved an extraordinary price,” he explains. “We wanted an estimate that was still conservative enough to attract bidding, and $20 million to $30 million still does that.”

It isn’t clear how many deep-pocketed bidders are still in the running. Griffin already owns his copy, and ConstitutionDAO is defunct. Austin, though, says there were more collectors waiting in the wings. “I always felt there were a number of people interested who didn’t get the chance,” he says, adding that “we would certainly welcome another DAO, or the same DAO’s participation, and I think that’s going to be one of the exciting things about having this opportunity.”

“It’s unusual to get second chances,” Austin concludes, “but this is it.”

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