Origin of Species Top Seller in Strong Books and Manuscripts Sale

A first edition, first issue copy of Charles Darwin' On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection sold for £150,063 at the Books and Manuscripts sale in London on 4 December. It had been estimated at £80,000-100,000.

The book was the top lot in a strong sale which achieved a total of £1,446,819 with 88% sold by lot, and 91% sold by value.

Other highlights of the sale included:

• an exceptional copy of the first edition of Homer's Iliad in modern Greek, and the first illustrated edition. Translated by Nikolaos Loukanis, the book was published in Venice in 1526. Sold for £81,313 (estimate: £10,000-20,000).

• a journal with a companion volume of watercolour illustrations, kept by Edward Pritchard, recording his service on board HMS Shannon in the Arctic and during the American War of 1812, including her duel with the Chesapeake in Boston Bay. Sold for £48,313 (estimate: £5,000-10,000).

• Edward Ardizzone's complete original artwork for Tim to the Rescue. Sold for £37,563 (estimate £30,000-50,000).

• A portrait of Charles Darwin by Julia Margaret Cameron. Sold for £22,563 (estimate £4,000-6,000).


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