Lot 158 of 361:
With original portrait photograph of Darwin  

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Lot closed - unsold
$3,000 - $5,000

Uber die Entstehung der Arten - German edition of On The Origin of Species with earliest known paper photograph of Darwin

Darwin, Charles


E. Schweizerbart'sche



viii, 551 pp. With mounted albumen photograph portrait of Charles Darwin and one additional graph. 14.2x11.5 cm (5½x4½"). (8vo) 21.8x14 cm (8½x5½"), quarter-cloth over marbled boards. Second German Edition. 

While Darwin’s life (1809–1882) spanned the early development of photography, with the exception of a few daguerreotypes virtually all other known early portraits of him were drawn or painted.  The current photograph, the first on paper, is purported to be by Maull & Fox, probably by Maull & Polyblank per Jeremy Norman, although the printed caption below the photograph in the book identifies it as by “Bucher.”  In an 1899 paper, his son Francis Darwin wrote "The date of [this] photograph is probably 1854; it is, however, impossible to be certain on this point, the books of Messrs. Maull and Fox having been destroyed by fire.” According to Norman "During the past 55 or so years we have seen one example each of two different original photographs of Darwin on the market that were taken around the time of first publication of On the Origin of Species (1859)." Norman's copy was only the photograph, the present offering would mark the first time in over 55 years that the photograph has been sold in its original presentation in book form, and the second time that the photograph has come available at all. This early photograph of Darwin is among the most important photographic portraits in existence due both to the identity of the sitter, and to its extremely early date. 

Lot Amendments

Some rubbing to spine ends, edges and corners, light rubbing to marbled paper; moderate foxing; both volume and photograph in very good condition.

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