The first edition of Charles Darwin’s ‘Origin of Species’ was auctioned for half a million dollars

Darwin is considered as a noted scientific mind of all times. His revolutionary theory is often referred to as a turning point in the history of science as it clashed with the then belief in creation taught by established religions. It is no doubt then, that all of the succeeding works are known to be of immense importance, one of which happens to be the iconic ‘Origin of Species’ book that the maverick wrote himself in 1895.

After it was published, a number of the book’s first edition presentation copies were sent to family and friends shortly – one of which belonged to German botanist Robert Caspary, whose work is discussed in other Darwin publications. Caspary’s copy that also bears an inscription reading – “Professor Caspary / Koenigsberg / from the author ” was later sold in the early 20th century to Edward Bradford Titchener and has now been auctioned by Bonhams for a whopping $500,975! Yes, that’s right.

After being held in private collection for 100 years, the book has gone on to fetch an amount twice its estimate. Described by the auction house as being “in pristine condition,” the book, whose full title is “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection,” now belongs to an anonymous buyer after being sold in an online bid on Thursday. All said, a work of Darwin’s as precious as this sure deserves the said amount and more!


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