Origin of Species

Showpiece Homepage

Add a £275,000 first edition ‘On the Origin of Species’ to your collection

Add a £275,000 first edition ‘On the Origin of Species’ to your collection

The greatest work of scientific literature that changed the world as we know it, can now be yours through shared ownership.

The greatest work of scientific literature that changed the world as we know it, can now be yours through shared ownership.

Charles Darwin’s illustrious legacy as the ‘Father of Evolutionary Biology’ owes its existence to this particular manuscript, which made history in 1859 as one of the only books to delve into the science behind the origin of all life. His treatise pioneered the development of modern sciences, forever changing the way that mankind looked at the nature of life.

This first-edition volume reflects Darwin’s initial ideas about evolution, and how species exhibited differences, inspired by his 5 year expedition on the HMS Beagle. Its contents shed light on some of the natural phenomena, and flora and fauna he observed and experimented with. The book also documents prominent principles of natural philosophy that explain the fundamentals of humanity’s purpose and existence.

What to look for in a first edition

Rupert Powell [Managing Director of Forum Auctions, specialist auctioneers of rare books and works on paper] talks about authenticating books, what to look for in a volume as rare as Darwin’s first-edition, and what makes Showpiece’s example so special.

Watch Rupert here

The signs of a first edition

1 of 6


Original green cloth with gilt lettering on the spine

Sheathed in a Moroccan-backed case, the copy boasts its original emerald green wave-grain cloth binding, and spine-lettering, complete with gilt decoration.

carousel image 1

1 / 8

Who was the man behind ‘The Origin of Species’?

Charles Darwin remains one of the most renowned biologists of all time, and is known by his several accomplishments as a naturalist. However, less commonly known is the fact that before he rose up the ranks in the scientific community, he was a simple boy harbouring an interest that a lot of us possess; collecting. His childhood collections included rocks, insects and plants. These collecting passions dictated a lot of his later interests, eventually propelling him towards the study of natural sciences.

Physical benefits included with ownership

1 of 2

Framed replica of the 'Tree of Life' lithograph.

Included with silver tier

Available to additionally purchase on the showpiece shop.

A Journey Through Darwin's Life

Read about the incredibly humorous, and heart-rending anecdotes from Darwin’s lifetime, and discover some of the fascinating experiments he conducted in our 6 part series.

Read More

“Let the collector's motto be, 'Trust nothing to the memory;' for the memory becomes a fickle guardian when one interesting object is succeeded by another still more interesting.”

Charles Darwin

Advised by Gurr Johns

"Externally there is the original green cloth that the book came with when published, with the gilt lettering on the spine. There are chocolate brown end papers at the beginning and at the end of the book. On the first leaf (half title) you can see the date of 1859 with the right to translation reserved on the title page. The folding lithograph plate is present and then at the end you can see 32 pages of Publishers advertisement from Murray's Publishers. Finally, the binders ticket of Edmonds and Remnants which is typical of copies of the first edition of Darwin's Origin is present." Rupert Powell - Forum Auctions

Check out our other Showpieces

1937 Edward VIII Penny

1937 Edward VIII Penny

One of only two thought to be in the hands of private collectors.

Read the story
1c Magenta Stamp

1c Magenta Stamp

By weight, the most valuable item in the world.


Andy Warhol’s

Reigning Queens 3/3

Showpiece Logo
Terms & Conditions
© Copyright Showpiece Technologies Ltd. 2024