New world record set for Darwin autograph

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AMHERST, N.H. — Charles Darwin, the English naturalist and author (1809-1882), revolutionized biology by setting forth his theory of evolution in the book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.  Since its publication in 1859, the book has taken a place among the most influential texts in the history of scientific thought.

In August, RR Auction sold a very rare, 2 1/2-inch by 4-inch carte-de-visite portrait of the elderly Darwin in profile to a final bid of $27,579, establishing a new world record for a signed autograph of Darwin. The words “from life copyright Julia Margaret Cameron” are printed under the image of Darwin, and the great man signed his name, “Ch. Darwin,” in the lower border in black ink. The portrait had light soiling to the gold-colored border but was otherwise in fine condition.

“This portrait is a prime example of Darwiniana at its most fascinating. It is only the third Darwin signed photo we have ever offered,” says Bobby Livingston of RR Auction.

The item was part of the Barry Hoffman collection that was up for auction in August.

Others items included documents linked to Johannes Brahms, Millard Fillmore, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Grandma Moses, and Robert E. Lee, just to name a few.

Established in 1976, RR Auction is known to collectors and dealers worldwide as the most respected auction source for guaranteed authentic autographs.

RR Auction’s next auction will be online Oct. 25, 2010. More details can be found online at


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