Christie's - London

Wednesday, December 15th, 2021

Valuable Books and Manuscripts

This sale offers over 200 lots of books, manuscripts, maps and objects, many of which come with extraordinary provenance. 

Christie's - London is proud to bring to auction Charles Darwin’s family microscope, handed down from Charles to his son Leonard, and thence by descent. It is an unparalleled opportunity to acquire an instrument so intimately associated with Darwin’s discoveries and theories. The sale also includes two sets of books that accompanied Matthew Flinders aboard HMS Investigator on the first circumnavigation of Australia. Direct from the Flinders family, one is a copy of Cook’s First Voyage and the other a set of the Encyclopedia Britannica, both with autograph annotations by Flinders. These notes are of the utmost importance in the history of Australia, as they include corrections to Cook’s geographical descriptions and provide a 17-word dictionary of the language spoken by native inhabitants. From the same provenance, Christie's - London is also offering an autograph letter signed by Flinders to his half-sister from on board HMS Investigator, sending a souvenir of 'New Holland'. Other autograph letters and manuscripts in the sale include 18 lots relating to Albert Einstein. Highlights among the Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts are the second part of one of the finest collections of miniatures in private hands, two iconographically outstanding and profusely illuminated French Books of Hours, and a splendid illustrated German alchemical handbook.


Dec 11th 12pm – 5pm
Dec 12th 12pm – 5pm
Dec 13th 9am – 8pm
Dec 14th 9am – 5pm

Christie's - London
8 King Street St. James 's

London, UK

51.506573019969, -0.13736800000001

Christie's - London