Reporting Paul Murnane
NEW YORK (AP/WCBS 880) — A historic document that details the original rules of basketball has been sold for more than $4 million at a New York City auction.
Sotheby’s offered the Naismith Rules on Friday as part of a sale of historic documents.
James Naismith wrote the 13 rules nearly 119 years ago. The physical education instructor invented basketball as a winter activity for a YMCA in Springfield, Mass.
The document is typed, but also contains handwritten notes.
It was sold to raise money for the Naismith International Basketball Foundation. It promotes sportsmanship and provides services to underprivileged youths around the world.
The sale price of $4.3 million includes a buyer’s premium.
Also on the auction block, a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln that was purchased by Robert F. Kennedy. It’s estimated to bring as much as $1.5 million.
Kennedy bought the printed copy of the 1863 document declaring all slaves “forever free” shortly after its centennial celebration at the White House. His widow, Ethel, is offering it at Sotheby’s on Friday.
It’s one of 48 printed copies signed by Lincoln. Sotheby’s says about half are known to survive; 14 are in public institutions and another eight to 10 are privately owned.
The original, handwritten Emancipation Proclamation is in the National Archives.
Kennedy bought the copy at Sotheby’s in 1964 for $9,500. It hung in a hallway of Hickory Hill, Kennedy’s home in McLean, Va.
Meanwhile, Bob Dylan’s signed lyrics for his classic protest song, “The Times They are A-Changin,”’ have sold at auction for $422,500. The pre-sale estimate was $200,000 to $300,000.
Sotheby’s says the buyer at Friday’s sale was Adam Sender. He’s a hedge fund manager and contemporary art collector who bid by phone.
Written in pencil on a sheet of unruled, three-hole notebook paper, the song was the title track on Dylan’s third album.
Dylan recorded it in 1963, and that same year he performed it at Carnegie Hall. Besides Dylan, the song has been performed by Simon & Garfunkel, Peter Paul & Mary and Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam.
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