Christie's to offer rare books from the Royal Institution collection



2015-10-21 13:08:03

Rare books from the collection of the Royal Institution will be offered for sale at Christie's in December.

A selection of 90 scientific and medical works spanning the 16th to 19th centuries will cross the block, from the historic collection of the pioneering scientific organization.

Founded in London in 1799, the Royal Institution (RI)is an organisation devoted to scientific education and research. With former members including Sir Humphry Davy, Henry Cavendish and Michael Faraday, the Institution has played a major role in the advancement of science and counts fifteen Nobel Prize winners amongst its historic ranks.

The rare volumes will be offered for the first time in two centuries, as the RI seeks to raise funds for its charitable work in the U.K and around the world.

“Christie's is honoured to work with the Ri to offer these highly desirable books," said Margaret Ford, International Head of Books and Manuscripts, Christie’s. "It has been exciting to work closely with such important and interesting books and gratifying to enable a new generation of collectors to engage with the history of science and medicine.”

Leading the sale is a stunning first edition copy of Andreas Vesalius’ 16th century 'De humani corporis fabrica', regarded as both the " most influential" and "most beautiful" medical book ever published.

The book forever changed mankind's understanding of the human body, and this rare copy is expected to sell for £140,000-£220,000 ($216,160-$339,690).

Further important highlights will include Francis Godwin’s The Man in the Moone, one of the earliest English language to feature space travel published in 1638, estimated at £7,000-£10,000 ($10,800-$15,440); and a series or rare and important geological sections by William Smith, known as the "Father of Geology", estimated at £30,000-£50,000 ($46,320-$77,200).

The Christie's sale of Science & Medicine Books From The Royal Institution of Great Britain takes place in London on Tuesday December 1.

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