NEW YORK (Reuters) - A copy of President Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Emancipation Proclamation to end slavery that was owned by Robert F. Kennedy will be auctioned in December, Sotheby's said on Wednesday.
The document, signed by Lincoln and is one of only 19 copies known to still exist, is expected to sell for between $1 million and $1.5 million dollars, the auction house said in a statement.
Kennedy was U.S. attorney when he bought the copy of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1964. It has been kept since at the Hickory Hill residence in McLean, Virginia, that he shared with his wife, Ethel.
Kennedy, the brother of assassinated U.S. President John F. Kennedy, was shot and killed in 1968 while campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination.
"The Kennedy Emancipation Proclamation links the noblest ideals of the 1860s to the 1960s, links Robert Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln, civil rights and Civil War," Sotheby's Vice Chairman David Redden said in a statement.
"It is a talisman of two times and a reminder that there is no end to the struggle for freedom," he said.
The Kennedy Emancipation Proclamation will be exhibited to the public in Boston, Philadelphia and New York ahead of the December 10 auction.
Reporting by Bernd Debusmann Jr.; Editing Michelle Nichols and Bill Trott