History of Science auctions focus on the highlights of scientific and technological endeavor and feature not only rare books and manuscripts from the 15th through 20th centuries, but also scientific and technological instruments from the earliest known scientific artifacts, to computing rarities from the twentieth century. The works of celebrated minds such as Darwin, Newton, Galileo, Copernicus, and Einstein are well represented, as well as the work of more recent minds such as Gödel and Turing. Scientific instruments offered range from early telescopes, astrolabes, armillary spheres, globes, quadrants, microscopes, surveying and navigational instruments, sundials and medical instruments to Enigma machines, and early computers.
The sales take place annually in New York, and highlights include many record-breaking sales, such as a manuscript by computing pioneer Alan Turing on the foundations of mathematics and computer science for $1,025,000, a beautiful and fully operational Apple-1 computer for $950,000, a first edition, author's presentation offprint of Gödel's groundbreaking paper "Über formal unentscheidbare Sätze der Principia Mathematica und verwandter Systeme I" for $68,750, and fully operational 3-Rotor Enigma machine at $269,000, to name but a few. Bonhams is a market leader is this rapidly growing field.