Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (1859) is one of the most important scientific books ever published.
Next month Christie’s will auction a manuscript copy featuring Darwin’s own annotations.
Darwin sent this annotated copy of his famous treatise to his German translator in 1862
This was the version Darwin sent to his German translator, HG Bronn, in 1862.
However, Bronn died a couple of months after receiving it. The text ended up in the possession of the palaeontologist Melchior Neumayr, whose family has owned it ever since.
While scholars were aware the copy existed, it has not been seen for many years.
This is the first time an annotated copy of this hugely influential scientific text has appeared at auction.
Christie’s estimates its value at £300,000-500,000 ($400,608-667,680) ahead of the December 13 sale.
Christie’s expert Meg Ford told the Guardian newspaper: “Annotated copies by him are incredibly rare. This one really shows him engaging with his text...
“To have his own thoughts on a text that we know occupied him fully right up until his death is really just remarkable.
“This physical manifestation of a great scientist grappling with his great work is extraordinary, both in terms of its rarity, and the physical evidence of it.”
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