Newspaper Containing Words to “The Star-Spangled Banner” to Fetch Up to $500,000 at Auction
People who hone interests in history and print have cause to celebrate today. Thanks to a partnership with Christie’s, the American Antiquarian Society is auctioning an 1814 copy of the Baltimore Patriot and Evening Advertiser that contains the immortal words by Francis Scott Key that came to comprise “The Star-Spangled Banner.” One particular enthusiast will be willing to prove her or his love for the item in a big day, as the publication could fetch as much as $500,000.
— Ashley Cataldo (@thelostms) May 30, 2020
We certainly appreciate the fortitude that Key called on to pen the lyrics, which he did upon watching the bombing of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812, so we think that enthusiasm over owning the newspaper will lead to a lucrative wager that approaches the aforementioned total. InsideHook has said the lowest expected amount is $300,000 for the Sept. 20, 1814 print source that marks the first newspaper appearance for “The Star-Spangled Banner."
Whoever comes to secure the 206-year-old issue will have a print source that “offers a window into the world in which [“The Star-Spangled Banner] was written—chronicling the political convulsions of a nation that was bitterly divided over the War of 1812,” according to Christie’s. The British auction house notes on its website that the American Antiquarian Society owns another copy of the newspaper and that the organization is placing one up for auction so as to assist its collections acquisition fund. One wonders how the sale will end up bolstering that part of the society’s operations, particularly since “The Star-Spangled Banner” will next year mark its 90th anniversary as our national anthem.