First edition of Charles Darwin’s “Origin of Species” has sold for $500,075 to an anonymous buyer in an online sale — double the amount expected.
Described by Bonhams as “in pristine condition,” the 160-year-old book, whose full title is “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection,” had been held in a private collection for nearly 100 years. It was originally owned by German botanist Robert Caspary, who received the book from Darwin.
In advertising the auction Bonhams said this “wonderful association” made it “a once in a generation opportunity.”
Darwin, a British naturalist and biologist who developed the theory of evolution by observing and studying birds, plants and fossils around the world, published the book in 1859.
His revolutionary scientific theory is considered a turning point in the history of science as it clashed with religious beliefs in creation.
The book was among a number of first edition presentation copies that were sent to family and friends shortly after it was published.