Darwin documents up for auction

Extremely rare travel documents and photos, including a journal from ‘The Beagle’ – the ship made famous by Charles Darwin, will go under the hammer on May 7th.

Some of Darwin’s groundbreaking ideas on evolution came into fruition whilst aboard ‘The Beagle’, which put the ship firmly into the history books. Amongst the treasures going on sale is a journal kept by a commanding officer on the vessel, which details the dramatic end to her initial hydrographic surveying voyage to Patagonia.

Other highlights include six separate works by Captain James Cook, and a printed account written by one of his officers, of the captain’s second journey around the world. There is also a set of photos that capture the Royal visit to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, undertaken by Princess Alice in 1938.

Sotheby’s specialist Richard Fattorini described the album as ‘visually stunning and historically important’ adding that it ‘sheds light on a turning point in Anglo-Saudi relations.’ He went on to say that ‘HRH Princess Alice’s trip was the first of its kind to the region and it coincided with the hugely important discovery of commercial quantities of oil in the region.’

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A set of highly decorated 17th century globes designed by Vincenzo Coronelli, inspired by those created for Louis XIV are also included in the sale, as well as a collection of first hand travel accounts of voyages spanning the last 300 years.

Mr Fattorini went on to say that, ‘in a sale with such exciting highlights as the spectacular pair of globes and the important and rare photographic albums, we are also very privileged to include a selection of first-hand travel accounts in their contemporary bindings – many of them exceptionally fine copies – the condition of which we have not been privileged to offer for sale in many years.’

The Travel, Atlases, Maps and Natural History Auction will take place at Sotheby’s in central London on 7th May. For more information log onto www.sothebys.co.uk.

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