A 1st edition of Darwin's classic work to be sold at auction in Mexico

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  • Mon, 08/20/2018 - 14:11
  • robotto.mx

A first edition of British naturalist Charles Darwin's "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection" published in 1859 has been put up for auction to be sold at a price between $52,083 and $62,500.

The book by Darwin (1809-1882) - which is considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology - is part of an auction specializing in works by explorers and pioneers, taking place Tuesday at Mexico City's Morton Subastas auction house.

The book is one of the 1,250 copies comprising the first edition printed in 1859 by famed British publisher John Murray.

Specifically, the work is one of the 23 "courtesy copies" that the editor and Darwin set aside as gifts for experts and friends, the company said.

The book was purchased by its current owner at an auction at Swann Auction Galleries in New York in 1993, and features the printer's information, as well as the rag paper typically used at the time, and a handwritten note that reads "From the author" on the first page, Rodrigo Aguero, book specialist at Morton's, told EFE.

"There is an error on page 20, line 11," Aguero said, putting on gloves before picking up the copy to show potential buyers. "One can read 'specieis' where it should say 'species'."

The initial opening bid is between 1 million pesos ($52,083) and 1.2 million pesos ($62,500) and the auction is expected to welcome a "wide range" of potential clients, Jose Cruz, head of book and document appraisals, told EFE.

The expert said that the last time a copy of this first edition was put for sale, it fetched about $4 million on account that "it had annotations by Darwin himself."

by Jose Antonio Torres


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