LONDON, Oct. 16 (Reuters) – A microscope Charles Darwin gave his son Leonard, which has been in the family for nearly 200 years, will be auctioned in December and is expected to fetch up to $ 480,000.
The instrument was designed by Charles Gould for the Cary firm around 1825 and is one of six surviving microscopes associated with the British naturalist, according to auction house Christie’s.
The date of its manufacture coincides with the time when Darwin studied zoophytes, organisms such as coral and sea anemone.
“It’s just an incredible tingle to look through this and see the microscopic world Darwin would have seen in the 1820s and 30s,” James Hyslop, department head, Scientific Instruments, Globes and Natural History, told Reuters, at Christie’s.
“Later in his life, in 1858, he wrote a wonderful letter to his oldest son saying that young Lenny was dissecting under a microscope and he was saying ‘Oh daddy, I should be so happy with this all my life.’ It’s wonderful to have this family connection of Charles Darwin just before he became internationally famous. “
Darwin published his groundbreaking work “On the Origin of Species” in 1859.
The microscope will be offered at Christie’s Valuable Books & Manuscripts auction on December 15 and is estimated to cost between 250,000 and 350,000 pounds ($ 343,050 – $ 480,270).
“Charles Darwin is one of the biggest names in the history of science, and Darwiniana (relating to Darwin) collectors are truly international,” Hyslop said.
($ 1 = 0.7288 pounds)
Reporting by Marissa Davison; Writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Mike Collett-White
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