Upon publication in 1859, a number of presentation copies were sent to family and colleagues, including one to Professor Robert Caspary (1818-1887), a German botanist and a frequent Darwin correspondent. Caspary and his work are discussed in Darwin's 1868 The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication as well as in his 1877 The Different Forms of Flowers on Plants of the Same Species. The book was purchased in the early 20th century by Edward Bradford Titchener (1867-1927), an English-born psychologist, professor at Cornell University, and descended to the current owner.
Additional highlights from the sale include:
- An unpublished letter from Ernest Hemingway to his father, with a detailed account of his recent bull fighting activities in Spain and a suggestion of his early decision to write his first novel, The Sun Also Rises. Estimate: $20,000-30,000.
- First printing of The Tragedie of Coriolanus, William Shakespeare's most incisive exploration of the body politic. Estimate: $40,000-60,000.
- First edition of Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver's Travels, Teerink's "A" edition, one of the greatest satirical fables of the 18th century, which was published on 28 October 1726 and sold out within two weeks. Estimate: $15,000-25,000.