First edition Charles Darwin book proves its $62,500 worth in New York
His famous work on rare species is now rare and collectible itself, as were this sale's other great lots
A large and impressive assortment of rare manuscripts, letters and signed documents sold for high prices at Christie's New York last Thursday, June 23.
Even though there were lots related to many famous names, such as Ernest Hemingway, Beatrix Potter, Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin, probably some of the most interesting pieces were those linked to Sir Winston Churchill.
Britain's Prime Minister during World War II, Churchill was famed for his rousing speeches and addresses to the nation, as well as writing a significant amount of books.
So respected and admired these documents, that original copies sell for many thousands. As part of the sale, a set of inscribed and signed first editions of some of his books were sold for $30,000, almost double their estimate.
They include his 1942 work The Unrelenting Struggle, which contains speeches he made during the early part of the war from 1940 to 1941, and the triumphant Victory, written four years later in 1946 after it had ended.
His unmistakable signature obviously adds significant value to the works, with letters like this one written by him contain a lot of interest for collectors of militaria or political documents.
Also selling well above its estimate was this incredible first edition copy of Charles Darwin's monumentally important work from 1859, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. Expected to sell for $30,000-40,000, it eventually reached the much higher price of $62,500.
Released to criticism when it came out, it did become popular and widely recognised as a hugely significant work.
Through his travels and studies, Darwin had produced his theory about natural selection and evolution, which is now widely accepted as being correct.
So famous and important was this book that first editions are always going to be very sought after items, so it is little wonder it sold above its estimate.
Another first edition which sold higher than its guide value price was a rare early copy of Ian Fleming's landmark novel Casino Royale, which introduced the legendary character James Bond into the public consciousness.
The unique 1953 book sold for $17,500, again more than its $8,000-12,000 estimate. Given the ever popular stories of James Bond, an original copy of Fleming's work would make a fantastic investment.
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