1917 "Star Spangled Banner" Manuscript

Value (2011) | $10,000 Auction$15,000 Auction

In 1917, Woodrow Wilson asked for a standardized version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” since there were so many different ones. And the Department of Education appointed five men to standardize it: Mr. Damrosch, Mr. Earhart, Gantvoort, Sonneck, and Sousa.

John Philip Sousa.

John Philip Sousa. They each wrote what they felt that particular measure should be. They went back and voted as to which they felt should be the final version. And the way I got it was that my father was taking music theory classes with Dr. Gantvoort.


Dr. Gantvoort gave this copy to my father as a gift.

It's hard to determine whether each of them had gotten a manuscript or not. We may never know. We could put an auction estimate in the $10,000 to $15,000 range.


Appraisal Details

New York
New York, NY
Leslie Hindman Auctioneers
Appraised value (2011)
$10,000 Auction$15,000 Auction
Eugene, OR (June 04, 2011)
January 21, 2013: The circa 1917 standardization manuscript for "The Star Spangled Banner" is now part of the collection at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historical Shrine in Baltimore, Maryland. PBS's History Detectives interviewed the ANTIQUES ROADSHOW guest who brought in this American treasure. You can see the segment from episode 1009 on the History Detectives website.

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