World Record Price Set for Historic First Edition Copy of The Federalist

DALLAS — Heritage Auction Galleries of Dallas, Texas, set a new world record for the sale of a copy of The Federalist in their recent Rare Books and Manuscripts auction, held June 4-5, 2008. The price realized was $262,900, including the buyer’s premium, which is the highest price ever achieved for a copy of the landmark volume in its original boards.
"With government and politics on everyone’s mind during this historic election season, I’m not really surprised there was so much interest in these rare and important volumes," said James Gannon, Director of Rare Book auctions for Heritage. "The buzzword on everyone’s lips in this time leading up to the 2008 Presidential election is ‘change,’ which is exactly what James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton were talking about in a series of articles designed to gather support for the ratification of the United States Constitution, written under the pen name ‘Publius,’ between October 1787 and August 1788. These articles were ultimately collected and published late in 1788 as The Federalist, the most famous and influential American political work in our history."
"Heritage is a relatively new player in the Rare Books and Manuscripts field," Gannon said, "and I think results like those achieved for The Federalist, as well as some of the other exceptionally strong prices realized, prove that we’re a force to be reckoned with. As we move forward with future auctions, I expect to see more material of this caliber offered, and more world record prices set."
Other results of note from Heritage’s Grand Format Books & Manuscripts Auction included:
Edgar Rice Burroughs. Vast Single-Owner Collection of Rare First Editions. Realized: $95,600
John James Audubon. The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories. New York: Published by J. J. Audubon; Philadelphia: J. B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. Realized: $65,725

Herman Melville. The Whale. In Three Volumes. London: Richard Bentley, 1851. Realized: $53,775

Charles Dickens. A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas. With Illustrations by John Leech. London: Chapman & Hall, 1843. Realized: $33,460

For more information about Heritage’s auctions, and a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit