Auctioneer Press Release Morton Subastas

First Edition of “On the Origin of Species” by Charles Darwin Up for Auction at Morton Subastas

Dec 21,2019 | 18:00 EST By Morton Subastas

On Tuesday, January 28th, 2020, Morton Subastas will be hosting a remarkable auction: Books by Explorers and Travelers, Maps, Landscapes, Science, and Religion Auction.

One of the auction’s highlights is a first edition of  “On the Origin of Species” (estimated at $5,000,000-$6,000,000 MXN), written by Charles Darwin. Regarded as “the most important biology book ever written in the history of humanity” (Peckham, Morse. Origin of Species A Variorum Text), this volume was part of the library collection belonging to Mr. Lorenzo Zambrano.

Lot 186a, Darwin, Charles., On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.London: John Murray, 1859; Estimate MXN $5,000,000 - MXN $6,000,000

“On the Origin of Species” was written by Darwin in 1858 as a result of his five-year journey around the globe aboard the HMS Beagle. Through his observations, Darwin concluded that evolution occurs through a process of natural selection, which means that both plants and animals adapt to their surroundings over a period of time in order to have a better chance of surviving and reproducing. “On the Origin of Species” was later edited by John Murray in 1859, and 1250 copies were published later that same year. This first edition is also accompanied by a letter addressed to William Ogle, written by Emma Darwin and signed by Charles Darwin, as well as an envelope also signed by him.

Lot 47, Ortelij, Abrahami. Epitome Theatri Orbis Terrarum. Antuerpiae: Exstat in Officina Plantinian, 1612; Estimate; MXN $100,000 - MXN $120,000

Other extraordinary lots included in this auction are a pocket atlas created by Abraham Ortelius, considered to be the father of modern cartography, Epitome Theatri Orbis Terrarum (estimated at $100,000.00 - $120,000.00 MXN). Each map is accompanied by a text explaining the history, topographical details, and anecdotes about the part of the world represented in each one.

Lot 105, México y sus Alrededores. Méx, 1855-56; MXN$90,000 - MXN$100,000

Considered one of the most beautiful jewels of Mexican lithography, México y sus Alrededores (“Mexico and its Surroundings”), 1855 - 1856 (estimated at $90,000.00 - $100,000.00 MXN), includes 39 lithographs made by the Mexican artists Casimiro Castro, Ignacio Cumplido, Julián Campillo, Luis Auda, and G. Rodríguez. This work is a visual chronicle that reflects many of Mexico City’s hidden corners. 

Another extraordinary item is the Recentisima Novi Orbis Sive Americae Septentrionalis et Meridionalis, created by Caroli Allard ca. 1700 (estimated at $30,000.00 - $40,000.00 MXN).

This map shows California as an island, based on Nicolas Sanson’s map that captures the myth of Terra Esonis, a fictional ground connection linking the American Northwest and Japan.

By Morton Subastas