Rare First Edition of the Star Spangled Banner to Be Sold at Christie’s in New York


NEW YORK, NY.- On Dec 3, Christie’s will offer a very rare first edition of the lyrics and music of the Star Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key (estimate: $200,000-300,000) as part of its autumn Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts including Americana sale. It is the only known copy in private hands- 1 of 11 known copies. The other copies are all in institutions or university libraries. Francis Scott Key’s famous patriotic verses were inspired by a shipboard vigil on the night of September 13-14, 1814, when a British naval flotilla bombarded Fort McHenry for hours, prefatory to a planned full-scale assault. Key, a young lawyer, and a colleague had gone on board a British ship under a flag of truce to secure the release of an American physician, Dr. William Beanes, held as a prisoner. To ensure that no military information on the impending attack