The Nobel Prize award presented to Francis Crick for his co-discovery of the structure of DNA has been consigned to auction from the Francis Crick Family Trust Collection.
The auction will take place on April 10-11, though UK collectors will be able to attend an exclusive viewing in London on March 4. The medal is expected to sell for $500,000+ when it finally crosses the block in New York.
It was Englishman Francis Crick and his partner James D Watson who first revealed the famous double helix structure of DNA, the molecule that contains much of the information used in the development and function of all living organisms.
This fundamental development, published in 1953, has since led to countless important scientific discoveries, and for their efforts Crick and Watson were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1962, together with Maurice Wilkins, who had also worked on the project.
The medal itself was designed by Swedish artist Erik Lindbergh and minted in 23 carat gold. Weighting almost 200 grams, it features a portrait of Alfred Nobel and was presented to Crick by King Gustav VI Adolf of Sweden.
Also featuring is the cheque that Crick was awarded as part of his Nobel Prize win. Made payable to Doctor Francis Crick for the amount of 85,739 Swedish krona, it sports a fine example of his signature and is in good condition, with just a very small tear to the bottom edge and some small areas of staining.
Scientific collectibles are rare, but those that do come to the market almost always see strong results, such as Fahrenheit's original thermometer, which sold for $107,802 at Christie's last year. PFC Auctions is currently offering a fascinating series of correspondence from Albert Einstein to the prominent socialist philosopher Corliss Lamont.
Paul Fraser Collectibles has a fantastic autographed document from Edison as head of the Edison Spanish Colonial Light Company.