Collectibles

The 50 most valuable scientific documents of 2017

The 50 most valuable scientifi...
Albert Einstein, science's rock star, is again prominent in our annual list of the most valuable scientific documents sold at auction
Albert Einstein, science's rock star, is again prominent in our annual list of the most valuable scientific documents sold at auction
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The world's most expensive earrings sold in Geneva on May 16, 2017 when the "Apollo and Artemis Diamonds" were snapped up by the same buyer for a total of $56,290,627.
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The world's most expensive earrings sold in Geneva on May 16, 2017 when the "Apollo and Artemis Diamonds" were snapped up by the same buyer for a total of $56,290,627.
A significant work in the history of science, this dedication copy of Galileo Galilei's last great work, Discorsi e dimostrazioni matematiche, intorno due nuove scienze attenenti alla mecanica & i movimenti locali (Discourses and Mathematical Demonstrations Relating to Two New Sciences) was sold in Paris for €727,919 (US$791,190), making it one of the 50 Most Valuable Scientific Documents of all-time. It is regarded by many as the world's first Physics textbook.
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A significant work in the history of science, this dedication copy of Galileo Galilei's last great work, Discorsi e dimostrazioni matematiche, intorno due nuove scienze attenenti alla mecanica & i movimenti locali (Discourses and Mathematical Demonstrations Relating to Two New Sciences) was sold in Paris for €727,919 (US$791,190), making it one of the 50 Most Valuable Scientific Documents of all-time. It is regarded by many as the world's first Physics textbook.
Look up the definition of "pink diamond" and in the first paragraph it mentions that there is only one known flawless pink diamond - the Pink Star. Last year the Pink Star went to auction on April 4, and needless to say, records tumbled. It fetched US$71.2 million (HK$553 million) to set several new auction records, the most impressive of which is that it is now the world's most valuable gem stone.
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Look up the definition of "pink diamond" and in the first paragraph it mentions that there is only one known flawless pink diamond - the Pink Star. Last year the Pink Star went to auction on April 4, and needless to say, records tumbled. It fetched US$71.2 million (HK$553 million) to set several new auction records, the most impressive of which is that it is now the world's most valuable gem stone.
On September 20, 2017, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) announced that it had acquired the original handwritten printer's manuscript of the Book of Mormon, as dictated by Joseph Smith. The price was reported as $35 million, which would make it the most valuable document in history.
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On September 20, 2017, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) announced that it had acquired the original handwritten printer's manuscript of the Book of Mormon, as dictated by Joseph Smith. The price was reported as $35 million, which would make it the most valuable document in history.
One of just five surviving copies of John Holt's 1776 broadside printing of the Declaration of Independence, and the only one still in private hands, this original copy remained in the family of its original recipient, Colonel David Mulford, for the 241 years prior to this sale. It sold for $1,800,000 at Blanchard's Auction Services on November 11, 2017
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One of just five surviving copies of John Holt's 1776 broadside printing of the Declaration of Independence, and the only one still in private hands, this original copy remained in the family of its original recipient, Colonel David Mulford, for the 241 years prior to this sale. It sold for $1,800,000 at Blanchard's Auction Services on November 11, 2017
One of just five surviving copies of John Holt's 1776 broadside printing of the Declaration of Independence, and the only one still in private hands, this original copy remained in the family of its original recipient, Colonel David Mulford, for the 241 years prior to this sale. It sold for $1,800,000 at Blanchard's Auction Services on November 11, 2017
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One of just five surviving copies of John Holt's 1776 broadside printing of the Declaration of Independence, and the only one still in private hands, this original copy remained in the family of its original recipient, Colonel David Mulford, for the 241 years prior to this sale. It sold for $1,800,000 at Blanchard's Auction Services on November 11, 2017
Few scientific treatises in history had such a profound public impact as Charles Darwin's publication on November 24, 1859 of his On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. The long-lost copy of Darwin's sheets of the third edition of his landmark book, complete with his autograph revisions sold for $1,054,100 (GBP £788,75) at Sothebys on April 28, 2016
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Few scientific treatises in history had such a profound public impact as Charles Darwin's publication on November 24, 1859 of his On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. The long-lost copy of Darwin's sheets of the third edition of his landmark book, complete with his autograph revisions sold for $1,054,100 (GBP £788,75) at Sothebys on April 28, 2016
While staying at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, a messenger came to his room and Einstein did not have a tip available. According to the auction description, Einstein decided to make the most of his new exalted status and give the messenger two of his writings. When he gave him the articles he told the messenger to keep them, as their future value may be much higher than a standard tip. When the writing fetched $1,560,000 at Winners Auctions on October 24, 2017, Einstein's assessment was validated. His advice: Stilles bescheidenes Leben gibt mehr Glueck als erfolgreiches Streben, verbunden mit bestaendiger Unruhe (A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness).
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While staying at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, a messenger came to his room and Einstein did not have a tip available. According to the auction description, Einstein decided to make the most of his new exalted status and give the messenger two of his writings. When he gave him the articles he told the messenger to keep them, as their future value may be much higher than a standard tip. When the writing fetched $1,560,000 at Winners Auctions on October 24, 2017, Einstein's assessment was validated. His advice: Stilles bescheidenes Leben gibt mehr Glueck als erfolgreiches Streben, verbunden mit bestaendiger Unruhe (A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness).
Joan Blaeu's Archipelagi Orientalis Sive Asiaticus (1659) is the earliest known map of Australia and New Zealand, and was referred to as "Australia's birth certificate" by the National Library of Australia during its recent Mapping Our World exhibition. The map was the first to name Australia as Nova Hollandia (New Holland) and the first to name Novo Zeelandia (New Zealand). Though only four copies of Joan Blaeu's map are known to exist, the map that sold for $321,819 (GBP £248,750) at Sotheby's on May 9, 2017 was created even earlier than the copy held by Australia's National Library (1663), having been finished in 1659. Full story
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Joan Blaeu's Archipelagi Orientalis Sive Asiaticus (1659) is the earliest known map of Australia and New Zealand, and was referred to as "Australia's birth certificate" by the National Library of Australia during its recent Mapping Our World exhibition. The map was the first to name Australia as Nova Hollandia (New Holland) and the first to name Novo Zeelandia (New Zealand). Though only four copies of Joan Blaeu's map are known to exist, the map that sold for $321,819 (GBP £248,750) at Sotheby's on May 9, 2017 was created even earlier than the copy held by Australia's National Library (1663), having been finished in 1659. Full story
On May 20, 2017,  the original cover art by Robert Crumb for his underground comic classic Fritz the Cat sold for $717,000 at Heritage Auctions to become the most valuable piece of American comic art yet sold. That's it above left. Crumb's best known work was the cover of the Big Brother and the Holding Company album, Cheap Thrills, famously commissioned by the band's lead singer Janis Joplin.  
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On May 20, 2017,  the original cover art by Robert Crumb for his underground comic classic Fritz the Cat sold for $717,000 at Heritage Auctions to become the most valuable piece of American comic art yet sold. That's it above left. Crumb's best known work was the cover of the Big Brother and the Holding Company album, Cheap Thrills, famously commissioned by the band's lead singer Janis Joplin.  
This glass celestial globe by John Cowley is the earliest glass celestial globe known, estimated to have been made between 1730 and 1740. It sold for $217,165 (GBP £162,500) at Christies on December 13, 2017
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This glass celestial globe by John Cowley is the earliest glass celestial globe known, estimated to have been made between 1730 and 1740. It sold for $217,165 (GBP £162,500) at Christies on December 13, 2017
The Ripley Scroll  is attributed to Sir George Ripley (circa 1415-1490), and is a 3.7-meter-long (12-ft) illustrated manuscript of which there are just 23 known copies. Twenty-two of those copies are in museums and libraries, with just one copy in private hands, and that copy went to auction in London at Christies Valuable Books and Manuscripts Sale on December 13, 2017. The Ripley Scroll, sold for $781,460 (GBP £584,750) at Christies on December 13, 2017.
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The Ripley Scroll  is attributed to Sir George Ripley (circa 1415-1490), and is a 3.7-meter-long (12-ft) illustrated manuscript of which there are just 23 known copies. Twenty-two of those copies are in museums and libraries, with just one copy in private hands, and that copy went to auction in London at Christies Valuable Books and Manuscripts Sale on December 13, 2017. The Ripley Scroll, sold for $781,460 (GBP £584,750) at Christies on December 13, 2017.
The record price for a first edition of Divina Proportione was achieved last year when Christies sold an exquisitely preserved copy for £194,500 (US$256,940 – see entry #24), though this latest first edition fetched just £175,000 (US$233,870)
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The record price for a first edition of Divina Proportione was achieved last year when Christies sold an exquisitely preserved copy for £194,500 (US$256,940 – see entry #24), though this latest first edition fetched just £175,000 (US$233,870)
An illustration from Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri by Albertus Seba. A First Edition of this work sold for $607,649 (EUR €511,500) at Christies on November 28, 2017. 
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An illustration from Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri by Albertus Seba. A First Edition of this work sold for $607,649 (EUR €511,500) at Christies on November 28, 2017. 
An unlikely best-seller in its time, first edition copies of The Wealth of Nations such as this reach auction most years and generally sell in the $100,000 to $200,000 range, with the dedication copy fetching $307,878 (GBP 182,500) at a Christies auction in May, 2014. This copy sold for $152,546 (GBP £118,750) at Sothebys on July 11, 2017 
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An unlikely best-seller in its time, first edition copies of The Wealth of Nations such as this reach auction most years and generally sell in the $100,000 to $200,000 range, with the dedication copy fetching $307,878 (GBP 182,500) at a Christies auction in May, 2014. This copy sold for $152,546 (GBP £118,750) at Sothebys on July 11, 2017 
A movie poster for the 1931 classic Dracula sold for $525,800 at Heritage Auctions on November 19, 2017, becoming the second most valuable movie poster ever sold.
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A movie poster for the 1931 classic Dracula sold for $525,800 at Heritage Auctions on November 19, 2017, becoming the second most valuable movie poster ever sold.
For many years it was the superhero genre of Superman, Batman at al that led the relentless price escalation for narrative art (comics), but over the last few years it has been the art of Hergé (Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi) and his unlikely hero, traveller, adventurer and journalist TinTin, that have outstripped all others. Every year since 2013  an individual piece of Hergé TinTin artwork has topped the comic art sales globally. Hergé and TinTin again topped the narrative art prices in 2017 with the above original art from the 1932 Tin-Tin comic,Tintin en Amérique, which fetched $797,471 (EUR €753,000) at an Artcurial auction on April 8, 2017
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For many years it was the superhero genre of Superman, Batman at al that led the relentless price escalation for narrative art (comics), but over the last few years it has been the art of Hergé (Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi) and his unlikely hero, traveller, adventurer and journalist TinTin, that have outstripped all others. Every year since 2013  an individual piece of Hergé TinTin artwork has topped the comic art sales globally. Hergé and TinTin again topped the narrative art prices in 2017 with the above original art from the 1932 Tin-Tin comic,Tintin en Amérique, which fetched $797,471 (EUR €753,000) at an Artcurial auction on April 8, 2017
The Voyage dans l'intérieur de l'Amérique du Nord, exécuté pendant les années 1832, 1833 et 1834  by Karl Bodmer and Prince Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied is justly celebrated as the greatest illustrated American travel narrative and the most important depiction of American Indians in the frontier era. This copy sold for $420,500 at Sothebys on June 13, 2017
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The Voyage dans l'intérieur de l'Amérique du Nord, exécuté pendant les années 1832, 1833 et 1834  by Karl Bodmer and Prince Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied is justly celebrated as the greatest illustrated American travel narrative and the most important depiction of American Indians in the frontier era. This copy sold for $420,500 at Sothebys on June 13, 2017
This rare gilt brass 3½-inch terrestrial globe was probably made in Southern Germany, circa 1560 – 1580 as the cartography is based on the world gores of Franciscus Demongenet which were drawn circa 1560. It sold for $238,438 (GBP £185,000) at Christies on July 12, 2017
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This rare gilt brass 3½-inch terrestrial globe was probably made in Southern Germany, circa 1560 – 1580 as the cartography is based on the world gores of Franciscus Demongenet which were drawn circa 1560. It sold for $238,438 (GBP £185,000) at Christies on July 12, 2017
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In this letter, dated December 1916, Albert Einstein discusses the cosmological constant, a concept equal to the energy density of the vacuum of space. The concept of a static universe was the accepted view at the time and Einstein later abandoned the concept after Hubble's 1929 discovery that the universe is expanding. The letter sold for $377,635 (GBP £293,000) at a Christies auction on July 12, 2017
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In this letter, dated December 1916, Albert Einstein discusses the cosmological constant, a concept equal to the energy density of the vacuum of space. The concept of a static universe was the accepted view at the time and Einstein later abandoned the concept after Hubble's 1929 discovery that the universe is expanding. The letter sold for $377,635 (GBP £293,000) at a Christies auction on July 12, 2017
The Voyage dans l'intérieur de l'Amérique du Nord, exécuté pendant les années 1832, 1833 et 1834  by Karl Bodmer and Prince Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied is justly celebrated as the greatest illustrated American travel narrative and the most important depiction of American Indians in the frontier era. This copy sold for $420,500 at Sothebys on June 13, 2017
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The Voyage dans l'intérieur de l'Amérique du Nord, exécuté pendant les années 1832, 1833 et 1834  by Karl Bodmer and Prince Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied is justly celebrated as the greatest illustrated American travel narrative and the most important depiction of American Indians in the frontier era. This copy sold for $420,500 at Sothebys on June 13, 2017
Faiz et Conquestes d'Alexandre (A History of Alexander the Great)  is a French translation of an ancient text. The translation was written in France circa 1480 byVasque de Lucène, and based on a copy of Historiarum Alexandri Magni Libri which was written in first Century Rome by historian Quinte-Curce (Quintus Curtius Rufus) about the life of Alexander the Great, which in turn was largely based on the panegyric eulogy of Alexander by Clitarque of Alexandria. Faiz et Conquestes d'Alexandre (A History of Alexander the Great) sold for $988,391 (EUR €832,000) at Aguttes on December 20, 2017
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Faiz et Conquestes d'Alexandre (A History of Alexander the Great)  is a French translation of an ancient text. The translation was written in France circa 1480 byVasque de Lucène, and based on a copy of Historiarum Alexandri Magni Libri which was written in first Century Rome by historian Quinte-Curce (Quintus Curtius Rufus) about the life of Alexander the Great, which in turn was largely based on the panegyric eulogy of Alexander by Clitarque of Alexandria. Faiz et Conquestes d'Alexandre (A History of Alexander the Great) sold for $988,391 (EUR €832,000) at Aguttes on December 20, 2017
Faiz et Conquestes d'Alexandre (A History of Alexander the Great)  is a French translation of an ancient text. The translation was written in France circa 1480 byVasque de Lucène, and based on a copy of Historiarum Alexandri Magni Libri which was written in first Century Rome by historian Quinte-Curce (Quintus Curtius Rufus) about the life of Alexander the Great, which in turn was largely based on the panegyric eulogy of Alexander by Clitarque of Alexandria. Faiz et Conquestes d'Alexandre (A History of Alexander the Great) sold for $988,391 (EUR €832,000) at Aguttes on December 20, 2017
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Faiz et Conquestes d'Alexandre (A History of Alexander the Great)  is a French translation of an ancient text. The translation was written in France circa 1480 byVasque de Lucène, and based on a copy of Historiarum Alexandri Magni Libri which was written in first Century Rome by historian Quinte-Curce (Quintus Curtius Rufus) about the life of Alexander the Great, which in turn was largely based on the panegyric eulogy of Alexander by Clitarque of Alexandria. Faiz et Conquestes d'Alexandre (A History of Alexander the Great) sold for $988,391 (EUR €832,000) at Aguttes on December 20, 2017
Faiz et Conquestes d'Alexandre (A History of Alexander the Great)  is a French translation of an ancient text. The translation was written in France circa 1480 byVasque de Lucène, and based on a copy of Historiarum Alexandri Magni Libri which was written in first Century Rome by historian Quinte-Curce (Quintus Curtius Rufus) about the life of Alexander the Great, which in turn was largely based on the panegyric eulogy of Alexander by Clitarque of Alexandria. Faiz et Conquestes d'Alexandre (A History of Alexander the Great) sold for $988,391 (EUR €832,000) at Aguttes on December 20, 2017
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Faiz et Conquestes d'Alexandre (A History of Alexander the Great)  is a French translation of an ancient text. The translation was written in France circa 1480 byVasque de Lucène, and based on a copy of Historiarum Alexandri Magni Libri which was written in first Century Rome by historian Quinte-Curce (Quintus Curtius Rufus) about the life of Alexander the Great, which in turn was largely based on the panegyric eulogy of Alexander by Clitarque of Alexandria. Faiz et Conquestes d'Alexandre (A History of Alexander the Great) sold for $988,391 (EUR €832,000) at Aguttes on December 20, 2017
Three illustrations from the "Columbus letter" (De Insulis nuper in mari Indico repertis), published in Basel in 1494 and sold for $751,500 by Bonhams on September 26, 2017. From left to right: Columbus's galleon, "Oceanica Classis," in full sail, Columbus landing in a small boat, from a galleon in the foreground, on the island of "Insula Hyspana" and the first map depicting a part of America with Columbus's ships among the West Indian islands of Fernanda, Hyspana, Ysabella, Saluatorie, and Conceptionis Maria.
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Three illustrations from the "Columbus letter" (De Insulis nuper in mari Indico repertis), published in Basel in 1494 and sold for $751,500 by Bonhams on September 26, 2017. From left to right: Columbus's galleon, "Oceanica Classis," in full sail, Columbus landing in a small boat, from a galleon in the foreground, on the island of "Insula Hyspana" and the first map depicting a part of America with Columbus's ships among the West Indian islands of Fernanda, Hyspana, Ysabella, Saluatorie, and Conceptionis Maria.
A finely-coloured first edition in Latin of "perhaps the most celebrated and most beautiful herbal ever published" (PMM), De Historia Stirpium Commentarii Insignes was first published in Basel in 1542, covering 497 plants and with over 500 woodcut illustrations. Over 100 of the plants in the book were first descriptions, and Leonhart Fuchs is righfully regarded as one of the German fathers of the science of Botany. Fuchs name lives on through the plant and the colour named after him. Stanford University Press called this book, "one of the best illustrated books of all time and a masterpiece of the German Renaissance". In addition to the Latin first edition above, which sold for $405,799 (GBP £309,000) at Sothebys on November 2, 2107, a German edition of this book, entitled New Kreüterbuch, sold for $142,139 (1,250,000 SEK) at Stockholms Auktionsverk on June 20, 2017.
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A finely-coloured first edition in Latin of "perhaps the most celebrated and most beautiful herbal ever published" (PMM), De Historia Stirpium Commentarii Insignes was first published in Basel in 1542, covering 497 plants and with over 500 woodcut illustrations. Over 100 of the plants in the book were first descriptions, and Leonhart Fuchs is righfully regarded as one of the German fathers of the science of Botany. Fuchs name lives on through the plant and the colour named after him. Stanford University Press called this book, "one of the best illustrated books of all time and a masterpiece of the German Renaissance". In addition to the Latin first edition above, which sold for $405,799 (GBP £309,000) at Sothebys on November 2, 2107, a German edition of this book, entitled New Kreüterbuch, sold for $142,139 (1,250,000 SEK) at Stockholms Auktionsverk on June 20, 2017.
This Aquatint Engraving of Pileated Woodpecker by John James Audubon sold for $158,600 at Arader Galleries on June 4, 2017
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This Aquatint Engraving of Pileated Woodpecker by John James Audubon sold for $158,600 at Arader Galleries on June 4, 2017
The only surviving original manuscript of the first survey and town plan of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania made news when it sold for $158,600 at Arader Galleries on September 24, 2017
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The only surviving original manuscript of the first survey and town plan of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania made news when it sold for $158,600 at Arader Galleries on September 24, 2017
The Pomona Britannica is one of the most highly regarded illustrated books ever produced and bears testimony to the extraordinary talent of George Brookshaw. A first edition sold for $158,600 at Arader Galleries on October 29, 2017
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The Pomona Britannica is one of the most highly regarded illustrated books ever produced and bears testimony to the extraordinary talent of George Brookshaw. A first edition sold for $158,600 at Arader Galleries on October 29, 2017
Baron Ivan Fyodorovich Kruzenshtern accidentally led the first Russian circumnavigation of the globe (1803 - 1806), while on a mission for the Russian-American Company to develop the fur trade with Russian America (Alaska), facilitate trade with China, Japan, and South America, and examine the coast of California for a possible colony. This trip formed the basis for what the auction description for Atlas de l’Océan Pacifique cites as a "landmark of cartography", but it was clearly supplemented by many subsequent Russian voyages in the North and South Pacific and data gathered from other sources. The extremely rare copy sold for $162,500 at Christies on December 7, 2017
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Baron Ivan Fyodorovich Kruzenshtern accidentally led the first Russian circumnavigation of the globe (1803 - 1806), while on a mission for the Russian-American Company to develop the fur trade with Russian America (Alaska), facilitate trade with China, Japan, and South America, and examine the coast of California for a possible colony. This trip formed the basis for what the auction description for Atlas de l’Océan Pacifique cites as a "landmark of cartography", but it was clearly supplemented by many subsequent Russian voyages in the North and South Pacific and data gathered from other sources. The extremely rare copy sold for $162,500 at Christies on December 7, 2017
This Aquatint Engraving of a Carolina Parrot by John James Audubon sold for $170,800 at Arader Galleries on June 4, 2017
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This Aquatint Engraving of a Carolina Parrot by John James Audubon sold for $170,800 at Arader Galleries on June 4, 2017
The biggest sale of the 2017 baseball card year was the $462,000 paid for a 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle Rookie card at Memory Lane. Basketball cards aren't as popular as baseball cards, with the biggest sale of the year restricted to $240,000 for a 1969 Topps Lew Alcindor card at Heritage Auctions.
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The biggest sale of the 2017 baseball card year was the $462,000 paid for a 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle Rookie card at Memory Lane. Basketball cards aren't as popular as baseball cards, with the biggest sale of the year restricted to $240,000 for a 1969 Topps Lew Alcindor card at Heritage Auctions.
This finely-coloured first edition in Latin of "perhaps the most celebrated and most beautiful herbal ever published" (PMM), De Historia Stirpium Commentarii Insignes was first published in Basel in 1542, covering 497 plants and with over 500 woodcut illustrations. It sold for $405,799 (GBP £309,000) at Sothebys on November 2, 2107
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This finely-coloured first edition in Latin of "perhaps the most celebrated and most beautiful herbal ever published" (PMM), De Historia Stirpium Commentarii Insignes was first published in Basel in 1542, covering 497 plants and with over 500 woodcut illustrations. It sold for $405,799 (GBP £309,000) at Sothebys on November 2, 2107
Sidereus Nuncius is one of the landmark scientific publications in history. Written by Italian polymath Galileo Galilei (1564 - 1642), the book introduced the world to his astronomical discoveries made using his home-made telescope, and is hence the foundation work of modern astronomy. The copy auctioned by Christies last year sold for £314,500 ($415,464), with the record price for the book being $662,500 which was achieved at a Christie's (New York) auction in December, 2010. The copy sold for EUR €400,000) by Minerva Auctions on June 15 is just the second copy to reach auction since that record sale.
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Sidereus Nuncius is one of the landmark scientific publications in history. Written by Italian polymath Galileo Galilei (1564 - 1642), the book introduced the world to his astronomical discoveries made using his home-made telescope, and is hence the foundation work of modern astronomy. The copy auctioned by Christies last year sold for £314,500 ($415,464), with the record price for the book being $662,500 which was achieved at a Christie's (New York) auction in December, 2010. The copy sold for EUR €400,000) by Minerva Auctions on June 15 is just the second copy to reach auction since that record sale.
Sidereus Nuncius is one of the landmark scientific publications in history. Written by Italian polymath Galileo Galilei (1564 - 1642), the book introduced the world to his astronomical discoveries made using his home-made telescope, and is hence the foundation work of modern astronomy. The copy auctioned by Christies last year sold for £314,500 ($415,464), with the record price for the book being $662,500 which was achieved at a Christie's (New York) auction in December, 2010. The copy sold for EUR €400,000) by Minerva Auctions on June 15 is just the second copy to reach auction since that record sale.
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Sidereus Nuncius is one of the landmark scientific publications in history. Written by Italian polymath Galileo Galilei (1564 - 1642), the book introduced the world to his astronomical discoveries made using his home-made telescope, and is hence the foundation work of modern astronomy. The copy auctioned by Christies last year sold for £314,500 ($415,464), with the record price for the book being $662,500 which was achieved at a Christie's (New York) auction in December, 2010. The copy sold for EUR €400,000) by Minerva Auctions on June 15 is just the second copy to reach auction since that record sale.
The Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle Under the Command of Captain Fitzroy, R.N. encompasses the complete published series of zoological studies of specimens collected on the second voyage of the Beagle (December 27, 1831 to October 2, 1836). The five books were edited by Charles Darwin with each authored by a different expert on the field contained therein: Fossil Mammalia by Richard Owen, Mammalia by George R. Waterhouse, Birds by John Gould, Fish by Leonard Jenyns, and Reptiles (1842 – 1843), by Thomas Bell. This complete First Edition sold for $155,165 (AUD $198,400) at Mossgreen on October 22, 2017
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The Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle Under the Command of Captain Fitzroy, R.N. encompasses the complete published series of zoological studies of specimens collected on the second voyage of the Beagle (December 27, 1831 to October 2, 1836). The five books were edited by Charles Darwin with each authored by a different expert on the field contained therein: Fossil Mammalia by Richard OwenMammalia by George R. Waterhouse, Birds by John Gould, Fish by Leonard Jenyns, and Reptiles (1842 – 1843), by Thomas Bell. This complete First Edition sold for $155,165 (AUD $198,400) at Mossgreen on October 22, 2017
Significant musical manuscripts are closely held and rarely come to market, but autograph manuscripts of obscure compositions by famous composers still achieve greater prices than important scientific manuscripts. 2017 was a strong year for musical scores with this Bach autograph manuscript fetching $603,257 (GBP £464,750) at Sothebys on May 23, 2017
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Significant musical manuscripts are closely held and rarely come to market, but autograph manuscripts of obscure compositions by famous composers still achieve greater prices than important scientific manuscripts. 2017 was a strong year for musical scores with this Bach autograph manuscript fetching $603,257 (GBP £464,750) at Sothebys on May 23, 2017
Only two copies came to auction this year of De humani corporis fabrica libri septem  with this copy being the most valuable at $417,315 (EUR €367,237), sold by Dorotheum on June 28, 2017, and another copy sold by Christies fetching $343,500 on June 15, 2017.
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Only two copies came to auction this year of De humani corporis fabrica libri septem  with this copy being the most valuable at $417,315 (EUR €367,237), sold by Dorotheum on June 28, 2017, and another copy sold by Christies fetching $343,500 on June 15, 2017.
Plantae Selectae by Christoph Jakob Trew and Benedict Christian Vogel sold for $175,000 at a Sothebys auction on October 26, 2017
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Plantae Selectae by Christoph Jakob Trew and Benedict Christian Vogel sold for $175,000 at a Sothebys auction on October 26, 2017
This lot contains two of the best known works of one of history's greatest female scientists, Maria Sibylla Merian, bound in one volume: De Europische Insecten and Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium. The bound volume was sold for $215,900 at Arader Galleries on October 29, 2017 
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This lot contains two of the best known works of one of history's greatest female scientists, Maria Sibylla Merian, bound in one volume: De Europische Insecten and Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium. The bound volume was sold for $215,900 at Arader Galleries on October 29, 2017 
Salvator Mundi (Savior of the World) is a 500-year-old painting by Leonardo da Vinci of Jesus Christ that has long been known but was considered lost. In 2005, it was acquired for less than $10,000 at an auction in New Orleans by a consortium of art dealers that believed it to be the lost masterpiece. The painting was then restored by Dianne Dwyer Modestini and authenticated as a painting by Leonardo. It was sold at auction by  Christies  in New York on November 15, 2017 for $450,312,500
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Salvator Mundi (Savior of the World) is a 500-year-old painting by Leonardo da Vinci of Jesus Christ that has long been known but was considered lost. In 2005, it was acquired for less than $10,000 at an auction in New Orleans by a consortium of art dealers that believed it to be the lost masterpiece. The painting was then restored by Dianne Dwyer Modestini and authenticated as a painting by Leonardo. It was sold at auction by  Christies  in New York on November 15, 2017 for $450,312,500
Two copies of Gould's The Mammals of Australia sold in 2017, the first for $213,351 (AUD $272,800) at Mossgreen on  October 22, and the second copy at Christies for $162,500 on June 15, 2017.
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Two copies of Gould's The Mammals of Australia sold in 2017the first for $213,351 (AUD $272,800) at Mossgreen on  October 22, and the second copy at Christies for $162,500 on June 15, 2017.
This Aquatint Engraving of a Male Turkey by John James Audubon sold for $190,500 at Arader Galleries on September 24, 2017
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This Aquatint Engraving of a Male Turkey by John James Audubon sold for $190,500 at Arader Galleries on September 24, 2017
Three bound scientific works by Albrecht Dürer being Underweysung der messung, mit dem zirckel unn richtscheyt in Linien ebnen unnd gantzen corporen (1525), Etliche underricht, zu befestigung der Stett, Schlosz, und Flecken (1527) and Hierinn sind begriffen vier bücher von menschlicher Proportion (1528)., sold for $175,000 at Bonhams on September 26, 2017
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Three bound scientific works by Albrecht Dürer being Underweysung der messung, mit dem zirckel unn richtscheyt in Linien ebnen unnd gantzen corporen (1525), Etliche underricht, zu befestigung der Stett, Schlosz, und Flecken (1527) and Hierinn sind begriffen vier bücher von menschlicher Proportion (1528)., sold for $175,000 at Bonhams on September 26, 2017
Vincenzo Coronelli was a Franciscan friar, cartographer, publisher, and encyclopedist known for his globe and atlases and as the writer of more than 100 works of terrestrial and celestial cosmography in Latin, French and Italian. He is best known for producing a pair of terrestrial and celestial globes for French King Louis XIV, that 384 cm in diameter and weighed approximately 2 tons. These auctioned globes are just 18 1/2-inches in diameter, and were completed some 17 years after Coronelli's most famous globes, but they fetched $197,834 (GBP £149,000) at Bonhams on October 31, 2017
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Vincenzo Coronelli was a Franciscan friar, cartographer, publisher, and encyclopedist known for his globe and atlases and as the writer of more than 100 works of terrestrial and celestial cosmography in Latin, French and Italian. He is best known for producing a pair of terrestrial and celestial globes for French King Louis XIV, that 384 cm in diameter and weighed approximately 2 tons. These auctioned globes are just 18 1/2-inches in diameter, and were completed some 17 years after Coronelli's most famous globes, but they fetched $197,834 (GBP £149,000) at Bonhams on October 31, 2017
The Vegetable System is the largest botanical publication of the eighteenth century, taking 16 years of John Hill's life (1759 to 1775) to complete, and spanning 26 volumes and 1600 copper-plate engravings. A copy sold for $199,500 at Christies on June 15, 2017
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The Vegetable System is the largest botanical publication of the eighteenth century, taking 16 years of John Hill's life (1759 to 1775) to complete, and spanning 26 volumes and 1600 copper-plate engravings. A copy sold for $199,500 at Christies on June 15, 2017
Italian Jesuit Priest Matteo Ricci learned Chinese and began creating global maps showing China its place in the world in perspective in order to spread the influence of the Catholic Church. Known as Kunyu Wanquo Quantu (translated variously as A Map of the Myriad Countries of the World or Complete Geographical Map of all the Kingdoms of the World), the maps helped him become one of the most influential people in China. The map pictured above is the entire map, while the two segments of the map offered in this particular auction are believed to be remaining parts of one of just six known copies of the original eight maps he made between 1584 and 1609. They sold for $199,773 (GBP £155,000) at Christies on July 12, 2017
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Italian Jesuit Priest Matteo Ricci learned Chinese and began creating global maps showing China its place in the world in perspective in order to spread the influence of the Catholic Church. Known as Kunyu Wanquo Quantu (translated variously as A Map of the Myriad Countries of the World or Complete Geographical Map of all the Kingdoms of the World), the maps helped him become one of the most influential people in China. The map pictured above is the entire map, while the two segments of the map offered in this particular auction are believed to be remaining parts of one of just six known copies of the original eight maps he made between 1584 and 1609. They sold for $199,773 (GBP £155,000) at Christies on July 12, 2017
The movie poster at left is from the pioneer film of the science fiction genre, the epic 1927 silent movie Metropolis, the story of a dystopian future set in the year 2000. The scene in the center is from the film and if you go to the high res version in the image gallery, you'll see how the future (the year 2000) looked to the visionaries of 1927. The movie poster for the original German release of Metropolis (at right) is the most valuable movie poster in history, with just four extant. It sold for $690,000 at a Reel Galleries auction in November, 2005. German artist Heinz Schulz-Neudamm created the poster, the novel and screenplay were written by Thea Von Harbou, and the film was directed by Thea's husband, Fritz Lang. You can watch the trailer for the remastered original movie here. The poster at left sold on July 30, 2017 for $215,100 at Heritage Auctions
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The movie poster at left is from the pioneer film of the science fiction genre, the epic 1927 silent movie Metropolis, the story of a dystopian future set in the year 2000. The scene in the center is from the film and if you go to the high res version in the image gallery, you'll see how the future (the year 2000) looked to the visionaries of 1927. The movie poster for the original German release of Metropolis (at right) is the most valuable movie poster in history, with just four extant. It sold for $690,000 at a Reel Galleries auction in November, 2005. German artist Heinz Schulz-Neudamm created the poster, the novel and screenplay were written by Thea Von Harbou, and the film was directed by Thea's husband, Fritz Lang. You can watch the trailer for the remastered original movie here. The poster at left sold on July 30, 2017 for $215,100 at Heritage Auctions
Movie Posters as you might gather from these prices, are now big business, with the second (Dracula) and third (Casablanca) highest prices ever fetched by a movie poster occurring during 2017. When the Casablanca poster above sold for $428,000 in July, we ran a feature article on the history of movie poster prices.
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Movie Posters as you might gather from these prices, are now big business, with the second (Dracula) and third (Casablanca) highest prices ever fetched by a movie poster occurring during 2017. When the Casablanca poster above sold for $428,000 in July, we ran a feature article on the history of movie poster prices.
This map by Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson is entitled A 1753 map of the Inhabited Part of Virginia, containing the whole of the Province of Maryland with Part of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and North Carolina. It is one of only four known examples of the first edition, first state, of the most important 18th century map of Virginia. This particular copy is even more notable as it was the personal copy of Jacques Nicolas Bellin, chief mapmaker to the French government during a period that included the French and Indian war and the American Revolution. It sold for $256,250 at Arader Galleries on March 25, 2017
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This map by Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson is entitled A 1753 map of the Inhabited Part of Virginia, containing the whole of the Province of Maryland with Part of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and North Carolina. It is one of only four known examples of the first edition, first state, of the most important 18th century map of Virginia. This particular copy is even more notable as it was the personal copy of Jacques Nicolas Bellin, chief mapmaker to the French government during a period that included the French and Indian war and the American Revolution. It sold for $256,250 at Arader Galleries on March 25, 2017
This map by Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson is entitled A 1753 map of the Inhabited Part of Virginia, containing the whole of the Province of Maryland with Part of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and North Carolina. It is one of only four known examples of the first edition, first state, of the most important 18th century map of Virginia. This particular copy is even more notable as it was the personal copy of Jacques Nicolas Bellin, chief mapmaker to the French government during a period that included the French and Indian war and the American Revolution. It sold for $256,250 at Arader Galleries on March 25, 2017
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This map by Joshua Fry and Peter Jefferson is entitled A 1753 map of the Inhabited Part of Virginia, containing the whole of the Province of Maryland with Part of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and North Carolina. It is one of only four known examples of the first edition, first state, of the most important 18th century map of Virginia. This particular copy is even more notable as it was the personal copy of Jacques Nicolas Bellin, chief mapmaker to the French government during a period that included the French and Indian war and the American Revolution. It sold for $256,250 at Arader Galleries on March 25, 2017
Les Liliacées by Pierre-Joseph Redouté (left) was produced under the patronage of Empress Josephine of France (the wife of Napoleon I – pictured above center) though prior to the French Revolution, he had been an official court artist of Queen Marie Antoinette of "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche" fame. Provenance is always one of the key factors in determining the price of an object at auction, and with three of history's most recognizable figures associated with this magnificent work, it's not surprising that Empress Josephine's personal copy would become one of the most valuable ever. Comprising 468 watercolors of flowers from the gardens of Malmaison, St.-Cloud, Versailles and Sevres, the 16 volume set weighs 320 pounds.
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Les Liliacées by Pierre-Joseph Redouté (left) was produced under the patronage of Empress Josephine of France (the wife of Napoleon I – pictured above center) though prior to the French Revolution, he had been an official court artist of Queen Marie Antoinette of "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche" fame. Provenance is always one of the key factors in determining the price of an object at auction, and with three of history's most recognizable figures associated with this magnificent work, it's not surprising that Empress Josephine's personal copy would become one of the most valuable ever. Comprising 468 watercolors of flowers from the gardens of Malmaison, St.-CloudVersailles and Sevres, the 16 volume set weighs 320 pounds.
Dutch painter and botanist Pierre Joseph Redouté was nicknamed "the Raphael of flowers" and has been called "the greatest botanical illustrator of all time." He was an official court artist of Queen Marie Antoinette of France, and at a later date, Empress Joséphine de Beauharnais, the first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte became his patron and he became her official artist. Les Roses is one of Redouté 's best known works and most of the roses drawn within it were painted at Malmaison and had been grown by Josephine. Les Roses was published in thirty parts from 1817 to 1825 and was available in four formats. This copy was created as the most desirable and expensive of those formats with the plates both in color and finished by hand, and in black on ochre paper. It sold for $200,000 at Sothebys on October 26, 2017 
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Dutch painter and botanist Pierre Joseph Redouté was nicknamed "the Raphael of flowers" and has been called "the greatest botanical illustrator of all time." He was an official court artist of Queen Marie Antoinette of France, and at a later date, Empress Joséphine de Beauharnais, the first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte became his patron and he became her official artist. Les Roses is one of Redouté 's best known works and most of the roses drawn within it were painted at Malmaison and had been grown by Josephine. Les Roses was published in thirty parts from 1817 to 1825 and was available in four formats. This copy was created as the most desirable and expensive of those formats with the plates both in color and finished by hand, and in black on ochre paper. It sold for $200,000 at Sothebys on October 26, 2017 
Harmonia Macrocosmica seu Atlas Universalis et Novus by Andreas Cellarius is a celestial atlas published in the Netherlands in 1661 and touted in the auction description "another outstanding example of atlas production from the Golden Age of Dutch cartography." Unlike the later celestial atlases, the Cellarius charts demonstrated various ancient and contemporary cosmological ideas, rather than just the names and positions of the stars. The purpose of the book was to assess different attempts to discover the underlying harmony of the universe. The charts represent the highest levels of seventeenth-century astronomical thought, with the diagrams showing aspects of the three great theories on the nature of the universe: the Ptolemaic, the Copernican and the Brahean.” A copy of  Harmonia Macrocosmica seu Atlas Universalis et Novus sold for $245,050 (GBP £187,500) at| Sothebys on November 2, 2017
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Harmonia Macrocosmica seu Atlas Universalis et Novus by Andreas Cellarius is a celestial atlas published in the Netherlands in 1661 and touted in the auction description "another outstanding example of atlas production from the Golden Age of Dutch cartography." Unlike the later celestial atlases, the Cellarius charts demonstrated various ancient and contemporary cosmological ideas, rather than just the names and positions of the stars. The purpose of the book was to assess different attempts to discover the underlying harmony of the universe. The charts represent the highest levels of seventeenth-century astronomical thought, with the diagrams showing aspects of the three great theories on the nature of the universe: the Ptolemaic, the Copernican and the Brahean.” A copy of  Harmonia Macrocosmica seu Atlas Universalis et Novus sold for $245,050 (GBP £187,500) at| Sothebys on November 2, 2017
A beautiful, crisp first edition copy of Opus Ruralium Commodorum by Pietro de' Crescenzi, the first printed book on agriculture. The unhurried pace at which such a worthwhile text found its readership might surprise readers who have grown up with the internet. The book was completed by retired lawyer Pietro de' Crescenzi, based largely on classical and medieval sources, some time around between 1304 and 1309. The structure and content is substantially based on the De re rustica of Lucius Junius Moderatus Columella, written in the first century AD. King Charles V of France ordered a French translation in 1373. In 1471, it was published in Augsburg by Johann Schüssler, and was another early best seller, with 57 editions in Latin, Italian, French, Polish and German appearing during the following century. It sold for $245,050 (GBP £187,500) at Sothebys on November 2, 2017
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A beautiful, crisp first edition copy of Opus Ruralium Commodorum by Pietro de' Crescenzi, the first printed book on agriculture. The unhurried pace at which such a worthwhile text found its readership might surprise readers who have grown up with the internet. The book was completed by retired lawyer Pietro de' Crescenzi, based largely on classical and medieval sources, some time around between 1304 and 1309. The structure and content is substantially based on the De re rustica of Lucius Junius Moderatus Columella, written in the first century AD. King Charles V of France ordered a French translation in 1373. In 1471, it was published in Augsburg by Johann Schüssler, and was another early best seller, with 57 editions in Latin, Italian, French, Polish and German appearing during the following century. It sold for $245,050 (GBP £187,500) at Sothebys on November 2, 2017
The Thames Tunnel is an unsung historic landmark of London. Though it was one of the great achievements of the heroic age of engineering, thousands of people pass through it daily without being aware of its significance. Tunnels were not a new thing in Victorian Britain – they'd been dug for thousands of years all over the world – but what made the Thames Tunnel different was that it was the first passenger tunnel ever to be constructed under a navigable waterway, and it was built to handle the traffic of what was then the largest city on the planet. It was built between 1825 and 1843 by Anglo-French engineer Sir Marc Isambard Brunel and his son Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who went on to become one of the greatest engineers of all time. This fascinating memento of the Industrial Revolution sold in London on November 15 for $263,251 (GBP £200,000) at a Bonhams auction. Full story
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The Thames Tunnel is an unsung historic landmark of London. Though it was one of the great achievements of the heroic age of engineering, thousands of people pass through it daily without being aware of its significance. Tunnels were not a new thing in Victorian Britain – they'd been dug for thousands of years all over the world – but what made the Thames Tunnel different was that it was the first passenger tunnel ever to be constructed under a navigable waterway, and it was built to handle the traffic of what was then the largest city on the planet. It was built between 1825 and 1843 by Anglo-French engineer Sir Marc Isambard Brunel and his son Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who went on to become one of the greatest engineers of all time. This fascinating memento of the Industrial Revolution sold in London on November 15 for $263,251 (GBP £200,000) at a Bonhams auctionFull story
A First Edition in English of Nova Francia: Or the Description of that Part of New France, which is one continent with Virginia by Marc Lescarbot, a cornerstone work on the French settlements in Canada, including the above map which pre-dates Champlain's famous map of the area which now resides in the Library of Congress. Marc Lescarbot was a Protestant lawyer who spent more than a year in America as part of the expedition that founded Port Royal in Nova Scotia, arriving in 1606 and this book was published to encourage settlement in the New World. The map extends up the St. Lawrence River as far as the Indian village Hochelaga, or Montreal as we now know it. Kebec is shown for the first time on a printed map in its Micmac form, meaning the "narrows of the river." This particular copy was previously sold by Christies as part of the famous Frank S. Streeter Collection on April 17, 2007, fetching $144,000. It sold for $247,500 at a Christies auction on June 15, 2017
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A First Edition in English of Nova Francia: Or the Description of that Part of New France, which is one continent with Virginia by Marc Lescarbot, a cornerstone work on the French settlements in Canada, including the above map which pre-dates Champlain's famous map of the area which now resides in the Library of Congress. Marc Lescarbot was a Protestant lawyer who spent more than a year in America as part of the expedition that founded Port Royal in Nova Scotia, arriving in 1606 and this book was published to encourage settlement in the New World. The map extends up the St. Lawrence River as far as the Indian village Hochelaga, or Montreal as we now know it. Kebec is shown for the first time on a printed map in its Micmac form, meaning the "narrows of the river." This particular copy was previously sold by Christies as part of the famous Frank S. Streeter Collection on April 17, 2007, fetching $144,000. It sold for $247,500 at a Christies auction on June 15, 2017
The work of Abraham Ortelius,  Theatrum Orbis Terrarum  is considered to be the first true atlas, in that it consisted of a collection of uniform map sheets for which copper printing plates were specifically engrave d, rather than a collection of maps from various sources. Theatrum Orbis Terrarum  contained 53 bundled maps of other map makers, all attributed, but all maps were redrawn to the same style and staandardised to the same size, then arranged in order by continent, region and state. This was hence the first time that the entirety of Western European knowledge of the world was brought together in one book. This copy sold for $253,217 (GBP £193,750) at Sothebys on November 2, 2017, with other copies selling for  $219,600 at Arader Galleries on October 29, $210,595 (EUR €198,400) at Galerie Bassenge on April 11, $155,454 (EUR € 132,500)  at Marc van de Wiele Auctions  on October 7, and $80,656 (EUR € 58,000) at Henri Godts Books and Prints Auctions on June 20.
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The work of Abraham OrteliusTheatrum Orbis Terrarum  is considered to be the first true atlas, in that it consisted of a collection of uniform map sheets for which copper printing plates were specifically engrave d, rather than a collection of maps from various sources. Theatrum Orbis Terrarum  contained 53 bundled maps of other map makers, all attributed, but all maps were redrawn to the same style and staandardised to the same size, then arranged in order by continent, region and state. This was hence the first time that the entirety of Western European knowledge of the world was brought together in one book. This copy sold for $253,217 (GBP £193,750) at Sothebys on November 2, 2017, with other copies selling for  $219,600 at Arader Galleries on October 29, $210,595 (EUR €198,400) at Galerie Bassenge on April 11, $155,454 (EUR € 132,500)  at Marc van de Wiele Auctions  on October 7, and $80,656 (EUR € 58,000) at Henri Godts Books and Prints Auctions on June 20.
John Gould's best known work amongst dozens of highly regarded major publications is his Birds of Australia and for good reason: with 828 extant endemic species, Australia is home to approximately one in 12 of the world's unique bird species, and most of the world's birds can trace their lineage to the continent. Given that Gould's seven volume Birds of Australiadescribes 681 species, 328 of which were new to science at the time of publication (1840 – 1848), he must have worked diligently in the two years he spent collecting specimens. Just 250 sets of the seven-volume work were printed, and they rarely reach auction, with this copy fetching $349,120 (AUD $446,400) at Mossgreen on October 22, 2017 and another copy sold by Christies on June 15, 2017 for $295,000.
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John Gould's best known work amongst dozens of highly regarded major publications is his Birds of Australia and for good reason: with 828 extant endemic species, Australia is home to approximately one in 12 of the world's unique bird species, and most of the world's birds can trace their lineage to the continent. Given that Gould's seven volume Birds of Australiadescribes 681 species, 328 of which were new to science at the time of publication (1840 – 1848), he must have worked diligently in the two years he spent collecting specimens. Just 250 sets of the seven-volume work were printed, and they rarely reach auction, with this copy fetching $349,120 (AUD $446,400) at Mossgreen on October 22, 2017 and another copy sold by Christies on June 15, 2017 for $295,000.
Itinerario Voyage ofte Schipvaert naer Oost ofte Portugaels Indien by Jan Huygen van Linschoten must have seemed like a treasure map to many when it was first published, as it contained all the information needed for the French, British and Dutch to break the Portuguese monopoly on trade in the East and West Indies. Jan Huyghen van Linschoten (1563 – 1611) was a Dutch trader who travelled extensively throughout these regions, and who was appointed as secretary to the Portuguese Viceroy in Goa between 1583 and 1588. Using the open access to the charts, archives, trading details and other closely held intellectual property of the Portugeuse Government which his position afforded him during this period, he copied it all and when he left the post, he wrote and published this book in 1596. The information contained within the published charts included the currents and depths, and other crucial navigational information which was used by the Dutch East India Company and British East India Company to break the 16th-century monopoly enjoyed by the Portuguese on trade with the East Indies. It sold for $247,500 at Christies in June 15, 2017
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Itinerario Voyage ofte Schipvaert naer Oost ofte Portugaels Indien by Jan Huygen van Linschoten must have seemed like a treasure map to many when it was first published, as it contained all the information needed for the French, British and Dutch to break the Portuguese monopoly on trade in the East and West Indies. Jan Huyghen van Linschoten (1563 – 1611) was a Dutch trader who travelled extensively throughout these regions, and who was appointed as secretary to the Portuguese Viceroy in Goa between 1583 and 1588. Using the open access to the charts, archives, trading details and other closely held intellectual property of the Portugeuse Government which his position afforded him during this period, he copied it all and when he left the post, he wrote and published this book in 1596. The information contained within the published charts included the currents and depths, and other crucial navigational information which was used by the Dutch East India Company and British East India Company to break the 16th-century monopoly enjoyed by the Portuguese on trade with the East Indies. It sold for $247,500 at Christies in June 15, 2017
Itinerario Voyage ofte Schipvaert naer Oost ofte Portugaels Indien by Jan Huygen van Linschoten must have seemed like a treasure map to many when it was first published, as it contained all the information needed for the French, British and Dutch to break the Portuguese monopoly on trade in the East and West Indies. Jan Huyghen van Linschoten (1563 – 1611) was a Dutch trader who travelled extensively throughout these regions, and who was appointed as secretary to the Portuguese Viceroy in Goa between 1583 and 1588. Using the open access to the charts, archives, trading details and other closely held intellectual property of the Portugeuse Government which his position afforded him during this period, he copied it all and when he left the post, he wrote and published this book in 1596. The information contained within the published charts included the currents and depths, and other crucial navigational information which was used by the Dutch East India Company and British East India Company to break the 16th-century monopoly enjoyed by the Portuguese on trade with the East Indies. It sold for $247,500 at Christies in June 15, 2017
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Itinerario Voyage ofte Schipvaert naer Oost ofte Portugaels Indien by Jan Huygen van Linschoten must have seemed like a treasure map to many when it was first published, as it contained all the information needed for the French, British and Dutch to break the Portuguese monopoly on trade in the East and West Indies. Jan Huyghen van Linschoten (1563 – 1611) was a Dutch trader who travelled extensively throughout these regions, and who was appointed as secretary to the Portuguese Viceroy in Goa between 1583 and 1588. Using the open access to the charts, archives, trading details and other closely held intellectual property of the Portugeuse Government which his position afforded him during this period, he copied it all and when he left the post, he wrote and published this book in 1596. The information contained within the published charts included the currents and depths, and other crucial navigational information which was used by the Dutch East India Company and British East India Company to break the 16th-century monopoly enjoyed by the Portuguese on trade with the East Indies. It sold for $247,500 at Christies in June 15, 2017
Itinerario Voyage ofte Schipvaert naer Oost ofte Portugaels Indien by Jan Huygen van Linschoten must have seemed like a treasure map to many when it was first published, as it contained all the information needed for the French, British and Dutch to break the Portuguese monopoly on trade in the East and West Indies. Jan Huyghen van Linschoten (1563 – 1611) was a Dutch trader who travelled extensively throughout these regions, and who was appointed as secretary to the Portuguese Viceroy in Goa between 1583 and 1588. Using the open access to the charts, archives, trading details and other closely held intellectual property of the Portugeuse Government which his position afforded him during this period, he copied it all and when he left the post, he wrote and published this book in 1596. The information contained within the published charts included the currents and depths, and other crucial navigational information which was used by the Dutch East India Company and British East India Company to break the 16th-century monopoly enjoyed by the Portuguese on trade with the East Indies. It sold for $247,500 at Christies in June 15, 2017
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Itinerario Voyage ofte Schipvaert naer Oost ofte Portugaels Indien by Jan Huygen van Linschoten must have seemed like a treasure map to many when it was first published, as it contained all the information needed for the French, British and Dutch to break the Portuguese monopoly on trade in the East and West Indies. Jan Huyghen van Linschoten (1563 – 1611) was a Dutch trader who travelled extensively throughout these regions, and who was appointed as secretary to the Portuguese Viceroy in Goa between 1583 and 1588. Using the open access to the charts, archives, trading details and other closely held intellectual property of the Portugeuse Government which his position afforded him during this period, he copied it all and when he left the post, he wrote and published this book in 1596. The information contained within the published charts included the currents and depths, and other crucial navigational information which was used by the Dutch East India Company and British East India Company to break the 16th-century monopoly enjoyed by the Portuguese on trade with the East Indies. It sold for $247,500 at Christies in June 15, 2017
The most expensive scientific instrument sold at auction each year is invariably a four-rotor (M4) Enigma machine, the most sought-after of the famous German WW2 cipher machines. Each year for the last few years we have seen successive M4 machines at auction setting new world record prices, as there are only around 100 known machines extant from the original 1600 produced. The most expensive scientific instrument sold at auction this year and the latest world record price for an Enigma was set by this machine, which fetched $547,500 at Christies on June 15, 2017eclipsing the $463,500 fetched in December 2016. Another M4 sold for $435,000 at a Sotheby's auction on December 12, 2017, giving the Enigma first and second place.
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The most expensive scientific instrument sold at auction each year is invariably a four-rotor (M4) Enigma machine, the most sought-after of the famous German WW2 cipher machines. Each year for the last few years we have seen successive M4 machines at auction setting new world record prices, as there are only around 100 known machines extant from the original 1600 produced. The most expensive scientific instrument sold at auction this year and the latest world record price for an Enigma was set by this machine, which fetched $547,500 at Christies on June 15, 2017eclipsing the $463,500 fetched in December 2016. Another M4 sold for $435,000 at a Sotheby's auction on December 12, 2017, giving the Enigma first and second place.
This is a first edition of The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands, the first published account of the flora and fauna of North America. Published by English naturalist Mark Catesby between 1729 and 1747, the two volume set included 220 plates of birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects, mammals, and plants, making Catesby the first natural historian to combine ornithological details with botanical ones. The first edition was published in parts and completed in 1747. It is the earliest color plate book on American birds and was exceptionally well received. In a contemporary review in Philosophical Transactions, Cromwell Mortimer, secretary of the Royal Society, called it "the most magnificent work I know since the Art of printing has been discovered." It sold for $305,000 at Arader Galleries on March 26, 2017
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This is a first edition of The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands, the first published account of the flora and fauna of North America. Published by English naturalist Mark Catesby between 1729 and 1747, the two volume set included 220 plates of birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects, mammals, and plants, making Catesby the first natural historian to combine ornithological details with botanical ones. The first edition was published in parts and completed in 1747. It is the earliest color plate book on American birds and was exceptionally well received. In a contemporary review in Philosophical Transactions, Cromwell Mortimer, secretary of the Royal Society, called it "the most magnificent work I know since the Art of printing has been discovered." It sold for $305,000 at Arader Galleries on March 26, 2017
This Aquatint Engraving of the Great Blue Heron by John James Audubon sold for $305,000 at Arader Galleries on October 28, 2017 
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This Aquatint Engraving of the Great Blue Heron by John James Audubon sold for $305,000 at Arader Galleries on October 28, 2017 
As New Atlas' David Szondy wrote in his preview for the auction of this document, "Apollo 11 was one of the great milestones in human exploration, and Apollo 13 was one of the most dramatic episodes. The flight plan used aboard the Apollo 13 Command Module wasn't just along for the ride, it played a central role in this drama ... The loose-leaf binder not only includes instructions for the crew, but hastily scribbled notes used as the astronauts struggled to survive the return journey to Earth after their spacecraft was damaged." The Apollo 13 Flight Plan sold for $275,000 at Sotheby's on July 20, 2017. Full story
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As New Atlas' David Szondy wrote in his preview for the auction of this document, "Apollo 11 was one of the great milestones in human exploration, and Apollo 13 was one of the most dramatic episodes. The flight plan used aboard the Apollo 13 Command Module wasn't just along for the ride, it played a central role in this drama ... The loose-leaf binder not only includes instructions for the crew, but hastily scribbled notes used as the astronauts struggled to survive the return journey to Earth after their spacecraft was damaged." The Apollo 13 Flight Plan sold for $275,000 at Sotheby's on July 20, 2017. Full story
This copy of Totius Orbis Descriptio (c.1570) fetched quite an astonishing amount of money for a single map, but it is one of just three copies of this First State map (one is in the British Library and the other in the John Carter Brown Library) and this was the first known appearance of any First State copy at auction when it fetched $246,168 (GBP £187,500) at Sothebys on November 14, 2017. An example of the second state was sold at Sotheby's in 2000 for $153,118 (GBP £104,450)
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This copy of Totius Orbis Descriptio (c.1570) fetched quite an astonishing amount of money for a single map, but it is one of just three copies of this First State map (one is in the British Library and the other in the John Carter Brown Library) and this was the first known appearance of any First State copy at auction when it fetched $246,168 (GBP £187,500) at Sothebys on November 14, 2017. An example of the second state was sold at Sotheby's in 2000 for $153,118 (GBP £104,450)
While staying at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, a messenger came to the room of Albert Einstein who did not have a tip available. According to the auction description for this piece, Einstein decided to make the most of his new exalted status and give the messenger two of his writings. When he gave him the articles he told the messenger to keep them, as their future value may be much higher than a standard tip. The autograph two-line message pictured above is one of the two articles which Professor Einstein gave to a messenger in the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo in lieu of a tip, saying that it is possible that the day will come that they will be worth more than a standard tip. He was right, and this piece of paper, one of the two "tips" that day, which translates to the well known maxim "Where there's a will there's a way", sold for $240,000 at Winner's Auctions in Jerusalem on October 24, 2017
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While staying at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, a messenger came to the room of Albert Einstein who did not have a tip available. According to the auction description for this piece, Einstein decided to make the most of his new exalted status and give the messenger two of his writings. When he gave him the articles he told the messenger to keep them, as their future value may be much higher than a standard tip. The autograph two-line message pictured above is one of the two articles which Professor Einstein gave to a messenger in the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo in lieu of a tip, saying that it is possible that the day will come that they will be worth more than a standard tip. He was right, and this piece of paper, one of the two "tips" that day, which translates to the well known maxim "Where there's a will there's a way", sold for $240,000 at Winner's Auctions in Jerusalem on October 24, 2017
Stirpes novae, aut minus cognitae, quas descriptionibus et iconibus Illustravit was written by Charles Louis L'Héritier de Brutelle, one of the early great French botanists, and this particular lot is a very rare, complete, deluxe handcolored first edition of his first work. One of the influences on this price is no doubt the involvement of Pierre-Joseph Redouté, whose first tentative steps into commercialising his vast talent as a a botanical illustrator were in this very production. Redouté later gave L'Héritier the credit for starting him on his illustrious career. Two of Redoute's famous works are listed later in this 2017 top-sellers list and his famous book, Les Lilliaces was once the second most valuable book to have ever sold at auction, fetching $5,500,000 at a Sotheby's (New York) auction in November, 1985. This copy sold for $137,500 at Sothebys on October 26, 2017.
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Stirpes novae, aut minus cognitae, quas descriptionibus et iconibus Illustravit was written by Charles Louis L'Héritier de Brutelle, one of the early great French botanists, and this particular lot is a very rare, complete, deluxe handcolored first edition of his first work. One of the influences on this price is no doubt the involvement of Pierre-Joseph Redouté, whose first tentative steps into commercialising his vast talent as a a botanical illustrator were in this very production. Redouté later gave L'Héritier the credit for starting him on his illustrious career. Two of Redoute's famous works are listed later in this 2017 top-sellers list and his famous book, Les Lilliaces was once the second most valuable book to have ever sold at auction, fetching $5,500,000 at a Sotheby's (New York) auction in November, 1985. This copy sold for $137,500 at Sothebys on October 26, 2017.
Elementa geometriae by Euclid of Alexandria is the "oldest mathematical textbook still in common use today". It was originally written 2300 years ago by Euclid, translated from the Arabic text 900 years ago by Adelard of Bath, edited 800 years ago by Campanus of Novara, and printed in Venice on May 25, 1482. Almost all of history's great mathematicians have studied this text, as it was the standard higher learning textbook for two millenia, and because of that longevity, it is claimed by some to have been even more influential than Newton's Principia. First editions of this book are rare, with this copy the only one being presented at auction in 2017, as was the case in 2016 when the only copy to reach auction fetched $148,842 (see #42 of The 50 most valuable scientific documents of 2016). This copy sold for $125,000 at Christies on June 15, 2017
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Elementa geometriae by Euclid of Alexandria is the "oldest mathematical textbook still in common use today". It was originally written 2300 years ago by Euclid, translated from the Arabic text 900 years ago by Adelard of Bath, edited 800 years ago by Campanus of Novara, and printed in Venice on May 25, 1482. Almost all of history's great mathematicians have studied this text, as it was the standard higher learning textbook for two millenia, and because of that longevity, it is claimed by some to have been even more influential than Newton's Principia. First editions of this book are rare, with this copy the only one being presented at auction in 2017, as was the case in 2016 when the only copy to reach auction fetched $148,842 (see #42 of The 50 most valuable scientific documents of 2016). This copy sold for $125,000 at Christies on June 15, 2017
This first edition copy of the earliest atlas of England and Wales, has all maps hand-coloured and was probably printed around 1590. Christopher Saxton is regarded as "the father of English cartography" and this book was the first atlas ever produced of any individual country, commissioned by Queen Elizabeth I. A copy of this book is also one of the very few to have sold for more than US$1 million, with a copy having sold for $1,296,471 (GBP £669,600) at a Sotheby's (London) auction in March, 2007, see #25 of The Most Valuable Scientific Documents of All-Time. Very few copies of this book ever reach auction, and those that do generally fall in this price range, with the most recent sales prior to this being $195,200 at Arader Galleries in 2015 and $122,388 (GBP £76,900) by Bonhams in 2013. This book sold for $139,852 (£106,250) at Bonhams on November 15, 2017
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This first edition copy of the earliest atlas of England and Wales, has all maps hand-coloured and was probably printed around 1590. Christopher Saxton is regarded as "the father of English cartography" and this book was the first atlas ever produced of any individual country, commissioned by Queen Elizabeth I. A copy of this book is also one of the very few to have sold for more than US$1 million, with a copy having sold for $1,296,471 (GBP £669,600) at a Sotheby's (London) auction in March, 2007, see #25 of The Most Valuable Scientific Documents of All-Time. Very few copies of this book ever reach auction, and those that do generally fall in this price range, with the most recent sales prior to this being $195,200 at Arader Galleries in 2015 and $122,388 (GBP £76,900) by Bonhams in 2013. This book sold for $139,852 (£106,250) at Bonhams on November 15, 2017
In this letter from Albert Einstein to Michele Besso, dated December 1916, Einstein discusses the cosmological constant, a concept equal to the energy density of the vacuum of space. The concept of a static universe was the accepted view at the time and Einstein later abandoned the concept after Hubble's 1929 discovery that the universe is expanding. The letter fetched $377,635 (GBP £293,000) at Christies on July 12, 2017
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In this letter from Albert Einstein to Michele Besso, dated December 1916, Einstein discusses the cosmological constant, a concept equal to the energy density of the vacuum of space. The concept of a static universe was the accepted view at the time and Einstein later abandoned the concept after Hubble's 1929 discovery that the universe is expanding. The letter fetched $377,635 (GBP £293,000) at Christies on July 12, 2017
This autograph signed four-page letter to Michele Besso by Albert Einstein was written from Berlin on January 3, 1916. Translated in parts in the auction description, the letter  includes this excerpt: 'The great success of gravitation pleases me extraordinarily. I have the serious intention of writing a book soon about special and general relativity, and yet have difficulty in getting started, as with all things that don't spring from a burning desire. And yet if I don't do it, the theory will not be understood, no matter how simple its basis'. Einstein's book on relativity theory was to be published later that year as Die Grundlage der allgemeinen Relativitaetstheorie (A full translation of that book can be found at The Foundation of the Generalised Theory of Relativity. The letter sold for $125,000 at Christies on July 13, 2017
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This autograph signed four-page letter to Michele Besso by Albert Einstein was written from Berlin on January 3, 1916. Translated in parts in the auction description, the letter  includes this excerpt: 'The great success of gravitation pleases me extraordinarily. I have the serious intention of writing a book soon about special and general relativity, and yet have difficulty in getting started, as with all things that don't spring from a burning desire. And yet if I don't do it, the theory will not be understood, no matter how simple its basis'. Einstein's book on relativity theory was to be published later that year as Die Grundlage der allgemeinen Relativitaetstheorie (A full translation of that book can be found at The Foundation of the Generalised Theory of Relativity. The letter sold for $125,000 at Christies on July 13, 2017
The Atlas Maior world map shows two hemispheres watched over by Ptolemy and Copernicus, with their conflicting geocentric and heliocentric views. Blaeu’s illustrations silently endorsed Copernicus’ heliocentric theories.
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The Atlas Maior world map shows two hemispheres watched over by Ptolemy and Copernicus, with their conflicting geocentric and heliocentric views. Blaeu’s illustrations silently endorsed Copernicus’ heliocentric theories.
Dated October 30, 1949, this letter contains reference to one of Einstein's most famous quotations. He writes of a recently published book about him (Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist, ed. P.A. Schilpp, 1949) and reflects, "Darin habe ich den lieben Gott gegen die Zumutung beständigen Würfelns verteidigt" (In it I have defended the good Lord against the insinuation that he plays a continual game of dice). Einstein's dice quote has been one of continual fascination to scientists ever since, with some of mankind's finest, such as Stephen Hawking, weighing in on the topic. The letter sold for $137,500 at Christies on July 13, 2017
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Dated October 30, 1949, this letter contains reference to one of Einstein's most famous quotations. He writes of a recently published book about him (Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist, ed. P.A. Schilpp, 1949) and reflects, "Darin habe ich den lieben Gott gegen die Zumutung beständigen Würfelns verteidigt" (In it I have defended the good Lord against the insinuation that he plays a continual game of dice). Einstein's dice quote has been one of continual fascination to scientists ever since, with some of mankind's finest, such as Stephen Hawking, weighing in on the topic. The letter sold for $137,500 at Christies on July 13, 2017
The most expensive scientific instrument sold at auction each year is invariably a four-rotor (M4) Enigma machine, the most sought-after of the famous German WW2 cipher machines. Each year for the last few years we have seen successive M4 machines at auction setting new world record prices, as there are only around 100 known machines extant from the original 1600 produced. The most expensive scientific instrument sold at auction this year and the latest world record price for an Enigma was set when an M4 Enigma fetched $547,500 at Christies on June 15, 2017eclipsing the $463,500 fetched in December 2016. Another M4 sold for $435,000 at a Sotheby's auction on December 12, 2017, giving the Enigma first and second place.
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The most expensive scientific instrument sold at auction each year is invariably a four-rotor (M4) Enigma machine, the most sought-after of the famous German WW2 cipher machines. Each year for the last few years we have seen successive M4 machines at auction setting new world record prices, as there are only around 100 known machines extant from the original 1600 produced. The most expensive scientific instrument sold at auction this year and the latest world record price for an Enigma was set when an M4 Enigma fetched $547,500 at Christies on June 15, 2017eclipsing the $463,500 fetched in December 2016. Another M4 sold for $435,000 at a Sotheby's auction on December 12, 2017, giving the Enigma first and second place.
Dated December 21, 1915, this postcard from Einstein to Besso is just subsequent to his landmark presentation of four papers on the General Theory of Relativity to the Prussian Academy of Sciences in November 1915. The postcard reads in part (translated): Read the articles! They provide final release from all the difficulties. The most delightful thing is the exact correspondence of the movement of the perihelion [of Mercury] and general covariance, but the most remarkable is the circumstance that Newton's field theory is already false for equations of the first order ... And now Planck is beginning to take the whole thing more seriously; though he is still resisting a bit. The postcard sold for $150,000 at a Christies auction on July 13, 2017
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Dated December 21, 1915, this postcard from Einstein to Besso is just subsequent to his landmark presentation of four papers on the General Theory of Relativity to the Prussian Academy of Sciences in November 1915. The postcard reads in part (translated): Read the articles! They provide final release from all the difficulties. The most delightful thing is the exact correspondence of the movement of the perihelion [of Mercury] and general covariance, but the most remarkable is the circumstance that Newton's field theory is already false for equations of the first order ... And now Planck is beginning to take the whole thing more seriously; though he is still resisting a bit. The postcard sold for $150,000 at a Christies auction on July 13, 2017
Forty years ago, this was a state-of-the-art personal computer, with just the internals selling for $666 – you needed to add the keyboard, case and monitor yourself. At Christies New York on June 15, 2017, this computer sold for US$355,500
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Forty years ago, this was a state-of-the-art personal computer, with just the internals selling for $666 – you needed to add the keyboard, case and monitor yourself. At Christies New York on June 15, 2017, this computer sold for US$355,500
The most expensive automobile sold during 2017 was this Aston Martin DBR1. The RM Sotheby's press release called it "the most important Aston Martin ever produced." Only five were made, and between them they won the 24 Hour of Le Mans and the World Sportscar Championship in 1959. The DBR1 also won the 1000 km Nürburgring race in 1957, 1958 and 1959, forever validating it had found the ideal balance of performance and handling to conquer endurance racing on the most demanding racetrack in the world. This car won the third of those victories and helped dethrone Ferrari for the world title in 1959. It was sold by RM-Sothebys for $22,550,000 on August 19, 2017 and is now the most expensive Aston Martin, the most expensive British car and the seventh most expensive automobile ever to sell at auction.
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The most expensive automobile sold during 2017 was this Aston Martin DBR1. The RM Sotheby's press release called it "the most important Aston Martin ever produced." Only five were made, and between them they won the 24 Hour of Le Mans and the World Sportscar Championship in 1959. The DBR1 also won the 1000 km Nürburgring race in 19571958 and 1959, forever validating it had found the ideal balance of performance and handling to conquer endurance racing on the most demanding racetrack in the world. This car won the third of those victories and helped dethrone Ferrari for the world title in 1959. It was sold by RM-Sothebys for $22,550,000 on August 19, 2017 and is now the most expensive Aston Martin, the most expensive British car and the seventh most expensive automobile ever to sell at auction.
On October 26, 2017 , Paul Newman's Rolex Ref. 6239 wristwatch became the most valuable wristwatch in history when it sold for $17,752,500 at Phillips
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On October 26, 2017 , Paul Newman's Rolex Ref. 6239 wristwatch became the most valuable wristwatch in history when it sold for $17,752,500 at Phillips
On October 26, 2017 , Paul Newman's Rolex Ref. 6239 wristwatch became the most valuable wristwatch in history when it sold for $17,752,500 at Phillips
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On October 26, 2017 , Paul Newman's Rolex Ref. 6239 wristwatch became the most valuable wristwatch in history when it sold for $17,752,500 at Phillips
Plantae Selectae by Christoph Jakob Trew and Benedict Christian Vogel sold for $175,000 at a Sothebys auction on October 26, 2017
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Plantae Selectae by Christoph Jakob Trew and Benedict Christian Vogel sold for $175,000 at a Sothebys auction on October 26, 2017
Plantae Selectae by Christoph Jakob Trew and Benedict Christian Vogel sold for $175,000 at a Sothebys auction on October 26, 2017
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Plantae Selectae by Christoph Jakob Trew and Benedict Christian Vogel sold for $175,000 at a Sothebys auction on October 26, 2017
Plantae Selectae by Christoph Jakob Trew and Benedict Christian Vogel sold for $175,000 at a Sothebys auction on October 26, 2017
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Plantae Selectae by Christoph Jakob Trew and Benedict Christian Vogel sold for $175,000 at a Sothebys auction on October 26, 2017
Plantae Selectae by Christoph Jakob Trew and Benedict Christian Vogel sold for $175,000 at a Sothebys auction on October 26, 2017
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Plantae Selectae by Christoph Jakob Trew and Benedict Christian Vogel sold for $175,000 at a Sothebys auction on October 26, 2017
The Marine Atlas or Seaman's Complete Pilot by William Heather is rare and the last two copies to come to auction prior to this were at Sotheby's in 2012 where it fetched $91,044 (GBP £56,450) and Christies in 2016 where it fetched $115,440 (GBP £80,500). This copy fetched $147,004 at Christies on December 13, 2017
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The Marine Atlas or Seaman's Complete Pilot by William Heather is rare and the last two copies to come to auction prior to this were at Sotheby's in 2012 where it fetched $91,044 (GBP £56,450) and Christies in 2016 where it fetched $115,440 (GBP £80,500). This copy fetched $147,004 at Christies on December 13, 2017
The Marine Atlas or Seaman's Complete Pilot by William Heather is rare and the last two copies to come to auction prior to this were at Sotheby's in 2012 where it fetched $91,044 (GBP £56,450) and Christies in 2016 where it fetched $115,440 (GBP £80,500). This copy fetched $147,004 at Christies on December 13, 2017
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The Marine Atlas or Seaman's Complete Pilot by William Heather is rare and the last two copies to come to auction prior to this were at Sotheby's in 2012 where it fetched $91,044 (GBP £56,450) and Christies in 2016 where it fetched $115,440 (GBP £80,500). This copy fetched $147,004 at Christies on December 13, 2017
A wood block illustration from the "Columbus letter" (De Insulis nuper in mari Indico repertis), published in Basel in 1494 and sold for $751,500 by Bonhams on September 26, 2017. The blocks used to illustrate this 1494 issue were also used to illustrate the first Basel edition of 1493, of which there is only one complete copy extant, being the copy at the New York Public Library.  This portrait of Ferdinand II of Aragon appears on the title page of the first text.
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A wood block illustration from the "Columbus letter" (De Insulis nuper in mari Indico repertis), published in Basel in 1494 and sold for $751,500 by Bonhams on September 26, 2017. The blocks used to illustrate this 1494 issue were also used to illustrate the first Basel edition of 1493, of which there is only one complete copy extant, being the copy at the New York Public Library.  This portrait of Ferdinand II of Aragon appears on the title page of the first text.
A wood block illustration from the "Columbus letter" (De Insulis nuper in mari Indico repertis), published in Basel in 1494 and sold for $751,500 by Bonhams on September 26, 2017. The blocks used to illustrate this 1494 issue were also used to illustrate the first Basel edition of 1493, of which there is only one complete copy extant, being the copy at the New York Public Library.  The image shows  Columbus landing in a small boat, from a galleon in the foreground, on the island of "Insula Hyspana", with groups of natives standing on the shore.
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A wood block illustration from the "Columbus letter" (De Insulis nuper in mari Indico repertis), published in Basel in 1494 and sold for $751,500 by Bonhams on September 26, 2017. The blocks used to illustrate this 1494 issue were also used to illustrate the first Basel edition of 1493, of which there is only one complete copy extant, being the copy at the New York Public Library.  The image shows  Columbus landing in a small boat, from a galleon in the foreground, on the island of "Insula Hyspana", with groups of natives standing on the shore.
A wood block illustration from the "Columbus letter" (De Insulis nuper in mari Indico repertis), published in Basel in 1494 and sold for $751,500 by Bonhams on September 26, 2017. The blocks used to illustrate this 1494 issue were also used to illustrate the first Basel edition of 1493, of which there is only one complete copy extant, being the copy at the New York Public Library.  The image is actually the first "map" ever produced depicting a part of America and illustrates Columbus's ships among the West Indian islands of Fernanda, Hyspana, Ysabella, Saluatorie, and Conceptionis Maria.
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A wood block illustration from the "Columbus letter" (De Insulis nuper in mari Indico repertis), published in Basel in 1494 and sold for $751,500 by Bonhams on September 26, 2017. The blocks used to illustrate this 1494 issue were also used to illustrate the first Basel edition of 1493, of which there is only one complete copy extant, being the copy at the New York Public Library.  The image is actually the first "map" ever produced depicting a part of America and illustrates Columbus's ships among the West Indian islands of Fernanda, Hyspana, Ysabella, Saluatorie, and Conceptionis Maria.
A wood block illustration from the "Columbus letter" (De Insulis nuper in mari Indico repertis), published in Basel in 1494 and sold for $751,500 by Bonhams on September 26, 2017. The blocks used to illustrate this 1494 issue were also used to illustrate the first Basel edition of 1493, of which there is only one complete copy extant, being the copy at the New York Public Library.  The image shows the building of a fort along the coast, with “Insula hyspana" in the background.
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A wood block illustration from the "Columbus letter" (De Insulis nuper in mari Indico repertis), published in Basel in 1494 and sold for $751,500 by Bonhams on September 26, 2017. The blocks used to illustrate this 1494 issue were also used to illustrate the first Basel edition of 1493, of which there is only one complete copy extant, being the copy at the New York Public Library.  The image shows the building of a fort along the coast, with “Insula hyspana" in the background.
A wood block illustration from the "Columbus letter" (De Insulis nuper in mari Indico repertis), published in Basel in 1494 and sold for $751,500 by Bonhams on September 26, 2017. The blocks used to illustrate this 1494 issue were also used to illustrate the first Basel edition of 1493, of which there is only one complete copy extant, being the copy at the New York Public Library.  The image shows Columbus's galleon, "Oceanica Classis," in full sail.
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A wood block illustration from the "Columbus letter" (De Insulis nuper in mari Indico repertis), published in Basel in 1494 and sold for $751,500 by Bonhams on September 26, 2017. The blocks used to illustrate this 1494 issue were also used to illustrate the first Basel edition of 1493, of which there is only one complete copy extant, being the copy at the New York Public Library.  The image shows Columbus's galleon, "Oceanica Classis," in full sail.
An illustration from Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri by Albertus Seba. A First Edition of this work sold for $607,649 (EUR €511,500) at Christies on November 28, 2017. 
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An illustration from Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri by Albertus Seba. A First Edition of this work sold for $607,649 (EUR €511,500) at Christies on November 28, 2017. 
An illustration from Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri by Albertus Seba. A First Edition of this work sold for $607,649 (EUR €511,500) at Christies on November 28, 2017. 
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An illustration from Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri by Albertus Seba. A First Edition of this work sold for $607,649 (EUR €511,500) at Christies on November 28, 2017. 
An illustration from Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri by Albertus Seba. A First Edition of this work sold for $607,649 (EUR €511,500) at Christies on November 28, 2017. 
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An illustration from Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri by Albertus Seba. A First Edition of this work sold for $607,649 (EUR €511,500) at Christies on November 28, 2017. 
For many years it was the superhero genre of Superman, Batman at al that led the relentless price escalation for narrative art (comics), but over the last few years it has been the art of Hergé (Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi) and his unlikely hero, traveller, adventurer and journalist TinTin, that have outstripped all others. Every year since 2013  an individual piece of Hergé TinTin artwork has topped the comic art sales globally. Hergé and TinTin again topped the narrative art prices in 2017 with the above original art from the 1932 Tin-Tin comic,Tintin en Amérique, which fetched $797,471 (EUR €753,000) at an Artcurial auction on April 8, 2017
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For many years it was the superhero genre of Superman, Batman at al that led the relentless price escalation for narrative art (comics), but over the last few years it has been the art of Hergé (Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi) and his unlikely hero, traveller, adventurer and journalist TinTin, that have outstripped all others. Every year since 2013  an individual piece of Hergé TinTin artwork has topped the comic art sales globally. Hergé and TinTin again topped the narrative art prices in 2017 with the above original art from the 1932 Tin-Tin comic,Tintin en Amérique, which fetched $797,471 (EUR €753,000) at an Artcurial auction on April 8, 2017
Illustrations from Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri by Albertus Seba. A First Edition of this work sold for $607,649 (EUR €511,500) at Christies on November 28, 2017. 
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Illustrations from Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri by Albertus Seba. A First Edition of this work sold for $607,649 (EUR €511,500) at Christies on November 28, 2017. 
One of the ten most valuable motorcycles ever to sell at auction, this completely original, unrestored 115-year-old Henderson Four was the most valuable two-wheeler to sell during 2017. The 57 cubic inch (934 cc) F-head four-cylinder Henderson sold with both the original paint and the original tires for $539,000 at Mecum Auctions on January 28, 2017. Full Story
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One of the ten most valuable motorcycles ever to sell at auction, this completely original, unrestored 115-year-old Henderson Four was the most valuable two-wheeler to sell during 2017. The 57 cubic inch (934 cc) F-head four-cylinder Henderson sold with both the original paint and the original tires for $539,000 at Mecum Auctions on January 28, 2017. Full Story
One of the ten most valuable motorcycles ever to sell at auction, this completely original, unrestored 115-year-old Henderson Four was the most valuable two-wheeler to sell during 2017. The 57 cubic inch (934 cc) F-head four-cylinder Henderson sold with both the original paint and the original tires for $539,000 at Mecum Auctions on January 28, 2017. Full Story
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One of the ten most valuable motorcycles ever to sell at auction, this completely original, unrestored 115-year-old Henderson Four was the most valuable two-wheeler to sell during 2017. The 57 cubic inch (934 cc) F-head four-cylinder Henderson sold with both the original paint and the original tires for $539,000 at Mecum Auctions on January 28, 2017. Full Story
The world's most expensive earrings sold in Geneva on May 16, 2017, when the "Apollo and Artemis Diamonds" were sold to the same buyer for $41,255,566 and $15,035,061 respectively.
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The world's most expensive earrings sold in Geneva on May 16, 2017, when the "Apollo and Artemis Diamonds" were sold to the same buyer for $41,255,566 and $15,035,061 respectively.
The world's most expensive earrings sold in Geneva on May 16, 2017, when the "Apollo and Artemis Diamonds" were sold to the same buyer for $41,255,566 and $15,035,061 respectively.
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The world's most expensive earrings sold in Geneva on May 16, 2017, when the "Apollo and Artemis Diamonds" were sold to the same buyer for $41,255,566 and $15,035,061 respectively.
The world's most expensive earrings sold in Geneva on May 16, 2017, when the "Apollo and Artemis Diamonds" were sold to the same buyer for $41,255,566 and $15,035,061 respectively.
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The world's most expensive earrings sold in Geneva on May 16, 2017, when the "Apollo and Artemis Diamonds" were sold to the same buyer for $41,255,566 and $15,035,061 respectively.
The world's most expensive earrings sold in Geneva on May 16, 2017, when the "Apollo and Artemis Diamonds" were sold to the same buyer for $41,255,566 and $15,035,061 respectively.
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The world's most expensive earrings sold in Geneva on May 16, 2017, when the "Apollo and Artemis Diamonds" were sold to the same buyer for $41,255,566 and $15,035,061 respectively.
The world's most expensive earrings sold in Geneva on May 16, 2017, when the "Apollo and Artemis Diamonds" were sold to the same buyer for $41,255,566 and $15,035,061 respectively.
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The world's most expensive earrings sold in Geneva on May 16, 2017, when the "Apollo and Artemis Diamonds" were sold to the same buyer for $41,255,566 and $15,035,061 respectively.
The world's most expensive earrings sold in Geneva on May 16, 2017, when the "Apollo and Artemis Diamonds" were sold to the same buyer for $41,255,566 and $15,035,061 respectively. The Apollo earring is blue and much rarer than its pink Artemis partner, and hence the more expensive of the pair, which were sold as separate lots.
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The world's most expensive earrings sold in Geneva on May 16, 2017, when the "Apollo and Artemis Diamonds" were sold to the same buyer for $41,255,566 and $15,035,061 respectively. The Apollo earring is blue and much rarer than its pink Artemis partner, and hence the more expensive of the pair, which were sold as separate lots.
The world's most expensive earrings sold in Geneva on May 16, 2017, when the "Apollo and Artemis Diamonds" were sold to the same buyer for $41,255,566 and $15,035,061 respectively. The Apollo earring is blue and much rarer than its pink Artemis partner, and hence the more expensive of the pair, which were sold as separate lots.
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The world's most expensive earrings sold in Geneva on May 16, 2017, when the "Apollo and Artemis Diamonds" were sold to the same buyer for $41,255,566 and $15,035,061 respectively. The Apollo earring is blue and much rarer than its pink Artemis partner, and hence the more expensive of the pair, which were sold as separate lots.
Look up the definition of "pink diamond" and in the first paragraph it mentions that there is only one known flawless pink diamond - the Pink Star. Last year the Pink Star went to auction on April 4, and needless to say, records tumbled. It fetched US$71.2 million (HK$553 million) to set several new auction records, the most impressive of which is that it is now the world's most valuable gem stone.
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Look up the definition of "pink diamond" and in the first paragraph it mentions that there is only one known flawless pink diamond - the Pink Star. Last year the Pink Star went to auction on April 4, and needless to say, records tumbled. It fetched US$71.2 million (HK$553 million) to set several new auction records, the most impressive of which is that it is now the world's most valuable gem stone.
Look up the definition of "pink diamond" and in the first paragraph it mentions that there is only one known flawless pink diamond - the Pink Star. Last year the Pink Star went to auction on April 4, and needless to say, records tumbled. It fetched US$71.2 million (HK$553 million) to set several new auction records, the most impressive of which is that it is now the world's most valuable gem stone.
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Look up the definition of "pink diamond" and in the first paragraph it mentions that there is only one known flawless pink diamond - the Pink Star. Last year the Pink Star went to auction on April 4, and needless to say, records tumbled. It fetched US$71.2 million (HK$553 million) to set several new auction records, the most impressive of which is that it is now the world's most valuable gem stone.
Look up the definition of "pink diamond" and in the first paragraph it mentions that there is only one known flawless pink diamond - the Pink Star. Last year the Pink Star went to auction on April 4, and needless to say, records tumbled. It fetched US$71.2 million (HK$553 million) to set several new auction records, the most impressive of which is that it is now the world's most valuable gem stone.
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Look up the definition of "pink diamond" and in the first paragraph it mentions that there is only one known flawless pink diamond - the Pink Star. Last year the Pink Star went to auction on April 4, and needless to say, records tumbled. It fetched US$71.2 million (HK$553 million) to set several new auction records, the most impressive of which is that it is now the world's most valuable gem stone.
Look up the definition of "pink diamond" and in the first paragraph it mentions that there is only one known flawless pink diamond - the Pink Star. Last year the Pink Star went to auction on April 4, and needless to say, records tumbled. It fetched US$71.2 million (HK$553 million) to set several new auction records, the most impressive of which is that it is now the world's most valuable gem stone.
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Look up the definition of "pink diamond" and in the first paragraph it mentions that there is only one known flawless pink diamond - the Pink Star. Last year the Pink Star went to auction on April 4, and needless to say, records tumbled. It fetched US$71.2 million (HK$553 million) to set several new auction records, the most impressive of which is that it is now the world's most valuable gem stone.
Look up the definition of "pink diamond" and in the first paragraph it mentions that there is only one known flawless pink diamond - the Pink Star. Last year the Pink Star went to auction on April 4, and needless to say, records tumbled. It fetched US$71.2 million (HK$553 million) to set several new auction records, the most impressive of which is that it is now the world's most valuable gem stone.
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Look up the definition of "pink diamond" and in the first paragraph it mentions that there is only one known flawless pink diamond - the Pink Star. Last year the Pink Star went to auction on April 4, and needless to say, records tumbled. It fetched US$71.2 million (HK$553 million) to set several new auction records, the most impressive of which is that it is now the world's most valuable gem stone.
The Ripley Scroll  is attributed to Sir George Ripley (circa 1415-1490), and is a 3.7-meter-long (12-ft) illustrated manuscript of which there are just 23 known copies. Twenty-two of those copies are in museums and libraries, with just one copy in private hands, and that copy went to auction in London at Christies Valuable Books and Manuscripts Sale on December 13, 2017. The Ripley Scroll, sold for $781,460 (GBP £584,750) at Christies on December 13, 2017.
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The Ripley Scroll  is attributed to Sir George Ripley (circa 1415-1490), and is a 3.7-meter-long (12-ft) illustrated manuscript of which there are just 23 known copies. Twenty-two of those copies are in museums and libraries, with just one copy in private hands, and that copy went to auction in London at Christies Valuable Books and Manuscripts Sale on December 13, 2017. The Ripley Scroll, sold for $781,460 (GBP £584,750) at Christies on December 13, 2017.
The Ripley Scroll  is attributed to Sir George Ripley (circa 1415-1490), and is a 3.7-meter-long (12-ft) illustrated manuscript of which there are just 23 known copies. Twenty-two of those copies are in museums and libraries, with just one copy in private hands, and that copy went to auction in London at Christies Valuable Books and Manuscripts Sale on December 13, 2017. The Ripley Scroll, sold for $781,460 (GBP £584,750) at Christies on December 13, 2017.
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The Ripley Scroll  is attributed to Sir George Ripley (circa 1415-1490), and is a 3.7-meter-long (12-ft) illustrated manuscript of which there are just 23 known copies. Twenty-two of those copies are in museums and libraries, with just one copy in private hands, and that copy went to auction in London at Christies Valuable Books and Manuscripts Sale on December 13, 2017. The Ripley Scroll, sold for $781,460 (GBP £584,750) at Christies on December 13, 2017.
The Ripley Scroll  is attributed to Sir George Ripley (circa 1415-1490), and is a 3.7-meter-long (12-ft) illustrated manuscript of which there are just 23 known copies. Twenty-two of those copies are in museums and libraries, with just one copy in private hands, and that copy went to auction in London at Christies Valuable Books and Manuscripts Sale on December 13, 2017. The Ripley Scroll, sold for $781,460 (GBP £584,750) at Christies on December 13, 2017.
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The Ripley Scroll  is attributed to Sir George Ripley (circa 1415-1490), and is a 3.7-meter-long (12-ft) illustrated manuscript of which there are just 23 known copies. Twenty-two of those copies are in museums and libraries, with just one copy in private hands, and that copy went to auction in London at Christies Valuable Books and Manuscripts Sale on December 13, 2017. The Ripley Scroll, sold for $781,460 (GBP £584,750) at Christies on December 13, 2017.
The Ripley Scroll  is attributed to Sir George Ripley (circa 1415-1490), and is a 3.7-meter-long (12-ft) illustrated manuscript of which there are just 23 known copies. Twenty-two of those copies are in museums and libraries, with just one copy in private hands, and that copy went to auction in London at Christies Valuable Books and Manuscripts Sale on December 13, 2017. The Ripley Scroll, sold for $781,460 (GBP £584,750) at Christies on December 13, 2017.
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The Ripley Scroll  is attributed to Sir George Ripley (circa 1415-1490), and is a 3.7-meter-long (12-ft) illustrated manuscript of which there are just 23 known copies. Twenty-two of those copies are in museums and libraries, with just one copy in private hands, and that copy went to auction in London at Christies Valuable Books and Manuscripts Sale on December 13, 2017. The Ripley Scroll, sold for $781,460 (GBP £584,750) at Christies on December 13, 2017.
The Ripley Scroll  is attributed to Sir George Ripley (circa 1415-1490), and is a 3.7-meter-long (12-ft) illustrated manuscript of which there are just 23 known copies. Twenty-two of those copies are in museums and libraries, with just one copy in private hands, and that copy went to auction in London at Christies Valuable Books and Manuscripts Sale on December 13, 2017. The Ripley Scroll, sold for $781,460 (GBP £584,750) at Christies on December 13, 2017.
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The Ripley Scroll  is attributed to Sir George Ripley (circa 1415-1490), and is a 3.7-meter-long (12-ft) illustrated manuscript of which there are just 23 known copies. Twenty-two of those copies are in museums and libraries, with just one copy in private hands, and that copy went to auction in London at Christies Valuable Books and Manuscripts Sale on December 13, 2017. The Ripley Scroll, sold for $781,460 (GBP £584,750) at Christies on December 13, 2017.
The Ripley Scroll  is attributed to Sir George Ripley (circa 1415-1490), and is a 3.7-meter-long (12-ft) illustrated manuscript of which there are just 23 known copies. Twenty-two of those copies are in museums and libraries, with just one copy in private hands, and that copy went to auction in London at Christies Valuable Books and Manuscripts Sale on December 13, 2017. The Ripley Scroll, sold for $781,460 (GBP £584,750) at Christies on December 13, 2017.
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The Ripley Scroll  is attributed to Sir George Ripley (circa 1415-1490), and is a 3.7-meter-long (12-ft) illustrated manuscript of which there are just 23 known copies. Twenty-two of those copies are in museums and libraries, with just one copy in private hands, and that copy went to auction in London at Christies Valuable Books and Manuscripts Sale on December 13, 2017. The Ripley Scroll, sold for $781,460 (GBP £584,750) at Christies on December 13, 2017.
An illustration of Albertus Seba from Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri . A First Edition of this work sold for $607,649 (EUR €511,500) at Christies on November 28, 2017. 
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An illustration of Albertus Seba from Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri . A First Edition of this work sold for $607,649 (EUR €511,500) at Christies on November 28, 2017. 
The Pomona Britannica is one of the most highly regarded illustrated books ever produced and bears testimony to the extraordinary talent of George Brookshaw. A first edition sold for $158,600 at Arader Galleries on October 29, 2017
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The Pomona Britannica is one of the most highly regarded illustrated books ever produced and bears testimony to the extraordinary talent of George Brookshaw. A first edition sold for $158,600 at Arader Galleries on October 29, 2017
The Pomona Britannica is one of the most highly regarded illustrated books ever produced and bears testimony to the extraordinary talent of George Brookshaw. A first edition sold for $158,600 at Arader Galleries on October 29, 2017
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The Pomona Britannica is one of the most highly regarded illustrated books ever produced and bears testimony to the extraordinary talent of George Brookshaw. A first edition sold for $158,600 at Arader Galleries on October 29, 2017
The Pomona Britannica is one of the most highly regarded illustrated books ever produced and bears testimony to the extraordinary talent of George Brookshaw. A first edition sold for $158,600 at Arader Galleries on October 29, 2017
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The Pomona Britannica is one of the most highly regarded illustrated books ever produced and bears testimony to the extraordinary talent of George Brookshaw. A first edition sold for $158,600 at Arader Galleries on October 29, 2017
The Pomona Britannica is one of the most highly regarded illustrated books ever produced and bears testimony to the extraordinary talent of George Brookshaw. A first edition sold for $158,600 at Arader Galleries on October 29, 2017
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The Pomona Britannica is one of the most highly regarded illustrated books ever produced and bears testimony to the extraordinary talent of George Brookshaw. A first edition sold for $158,600 at Arader Galleries on October 29, 2017
A scene from the pioneer film of the science fiction genre, the epic 1927 silent movie Metropolis, the story of a dystopian future set in the year 2000. The novel and screenplay were written by Thea Von Harbou, and the film was directed by Thea's husband, Fritz Lang. You can watch the trailer for the remastered original movie here.
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A scene from the pioneer film of the science fiction genre, the epic 1927 silent movie Metropolis, the story of a dystopian future set in the year 2000. The novel and screenplay were written by Thea Von Harbou, and the film was directed by Thea's husband, Fritz Lang. You can watch the trailer for the remastered original movie here.
A scene from the pioneer film of the science fiction genre, the epic 1927 silent movie Metropolis, the story of a dystopian future set in the year 2000. The novel and screenplay were written by Thea Von Harbou, and the film was directed by Thea's husband, Fritz Lang. You can watch the trailer for the remastered original movie here.
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A scene from the pioneer film of the science fiction genre, the epic 1927 silent movie Metropolis, the story of a dystopian future set in the year 2000. The novel and screenplay were written by Thea Von Harbou, and the film was directed by Thea's husband, Fritz Lang. You can watch the trailer for the remastered original movie here.
A scene from the pioneer film of the science fiction genre, the epic 1927 silent movie Metropolis, the story of a dystopian future set in the year 2000. The novel and screenplay were written by Thea Von Harbou, and the film was directed by Thea's husband, Fritz Lang. You can watch the trailer for the remastered original movie here.
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A scene from the pioneer film of the science fiction genre, the epic 1927 silent movie Metropolis, the story of a dystopian future set in the year 2000. The novel and screenplay were written by Thea Von Harbou, and the film was directed by Thea's husband, Fritz Lang. You can watch the trailer for the remastered original movie here.
A scene from the pioneer film of the science fiction genre, the epic 1927 silent movie Metropolis, the story of a dystopian future set in the year 2000. The novel and screenplay were written by Thea Von Harbou, and the film was directed by Thea's husband, Fritz Lang. You can watch the trailer for the remastered original movie here.
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A scene from the pioneer film of the science fiction genre, the epic 1927 silent movie Metropolis, the story of a dystopian future set in the year 2000. The novel and screenplay were written by Thea Von Harbou, and the film was directed by Thea's husband, Fritz Lang. You can watch the trailer for the remastered original movie here.
A scene from the pioneer film of the science fiction genre, the epic 1927 silent movie Metropolis, the story of a dystopian future set in the year 2000. The novel and screenplay were written by Thea Von Harbou, and the film was directed by Thea's husband, Fritz Lang. You can watch the trailer for the remastered original movie here.
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A scene from the pioneer film of the science fiction genre, the epic 1927 silent movie Metropolis, the story of a dystopian future set in the year 2000. The novel and screenplay were written by Thea Von Harbou, and the film was directed by Thea's husband, Fritz Lang. You can watch the trailer for the remastered original movie here.
A scene from the pioneer film of the science fiction genre, the epic 1927 silent movie Metropolis, the story of a dystopian future set in the year 2000. The novel and screenplay were written by Thea Von Harbou, and the film was directed by Thea's husband, Fritz Lang. You can watch the trailer for the remastered original movie here.
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A scene from the pioneer film of the science fiction genre, the epic 1927 silent movie Metropolis, the story of a dystopian future set in the year 2000. The novel and screenplay were written by Thea Von Harbou, and the film was directed by Thea's husband, Fritz Lang. You can watch the trailer for the remastered original movie here.
A scene from the pioneer film of the science fiction genre, the epic 1927 silent movie Metropolis, the story of a dystopian future set in the year 2000. The novel and screenplay were written by Thea Von Harbou, and the film was directed by Thea's husband, Fritz Lang. You can watch the trailer for the remastered original movie here.
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A scene from the pioneer film of the science fiction genre, the epic 1927 silent movie Metropolis, the story of a dystopian future set in the year 2000. The novel and screenplay were written by Thea Von Harbou, and the film was directed by Thea's husband, Fritz Lang. You can watch the trailer for the remastered original movie here.
The movie poster for the original German release is the most valuable movie poster in history, with just four extant. It sold for $690,000 at a Reel Galleries auction in November, 2005. German artist Heinz Schulz-Neudamm created the poster, the novel and screenplay were written by Thea Von Harbou, and the film was directed by Thea's husband, Fritz Lang. You can watch the trailer for the remastered original movie here.
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The movie poster for the original German release is the most valuable movie poster in history, with just four extant. It sold for $690,000 at a Reel Galleries auction in November, 2005. German artist Heinz Schulz-Neudamm created the poster, the novel and screenplay were written by Thea Von Harbou, and the film was directed by Thea's husband, Fritz Lang. You can watch the trailer for the remastered original movie here.
This movie poster almost deserves a position on our scientific documents listing because it represents the pioneer film of the science fiction genre, the epic 1927 silent movie Metropolis, the story of a dystopian future set in the year 2000. It sold for $215,100 at Heritage Auctions on July 30, 2017
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This movie poster almost deserves a position on our scientific documents listing because it represents the pioneer film of the science fiction genre, the epic 1927 silent movie Metropolis, the story of a dystopian future set in the year 2000. It sold for $215,100 at Heritage Auctions on July 30, 2017
A scene from the pioneer film of the science fiction genre, the epic 1927 silent movie Metropolis, the story of a dystopian future set in the year 2000. The novel and screenplay were written by Thea Von Harbou, and the film was directed by Thea's husband, Fritz Lang. You can watch the trailer for the remastered original movie here.
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A scene from the pioneer film of the science fiction genre, the epic 1927 silent movie Metropolis, the story of a dystopian future set in the year 2000. The novel and screenplay were written by Thea Von Harbou, and the film was directed by Thea's husband, Fritz Lang. You can watch the trailer for the remastered original movie here.
A scene from the pioneer film of the science fiction genre, the epic 1927 silent movie Metropolis, the story of a dystopian future set in the year 2000. The novel and screenplay were written by Thea Von Harbou, and the film was directed by Thea's husband, Fritz Lang. You can watch the trailer for the remastered original movie here.
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A scene from the pioneer film of the science fiction genre, the epic 1927 silent movie Metropolis, the story of a dystopian future set in the year 2000. The novel and screenplay were written by Thea Von Harbou, and the film was directed by Thea's husband, Fritz Lang. You can watch the trailer for the remastered original movie here.
An illustration from Les Liliacées by Pierre-Joseph Redouté . A copy of  Les Liliacées  sold for $244,000 at Arader Galleries on October 25, 2017
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An illustration from Les Liliacées by Pierre-Joseph Redouté . A copy of  Les Liliacées  sold for $244,000 at Arader Galleries on October 25, 2017
An illustration from Les Liliacées by Pierre-Joseph Redouté . A copy of  Les Liliacées  sold for $244,000 at Arader Galleries on October 25, 2017
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An illustration from Les Liliacées by Pierre-Joseph Redouté . A copy of  Les Liliacées  sold for $244,000 at Arader Galleries on October 25, 2017
An illustration from Les Roses by Pierre-Joseph Redouté . A copy of Les Roses  sold for $200,000 at Sothebys on October 26, 2017
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An illustration from Les Roses by Pierre-Joseph Redouté . A copy of Les Roses  sold for $200,000 at Sothebys on October 26, 2017
An illustration from Harmonia Macrocosmica seu Atlas Universalis et Novus by Andreas Cellarius,  a celestial atlas published in the Netherlands in 1661 and touted in the auction description "another outstanding example of atlas production from the Golden Age of Dutch cartography." Unlike the later celestial atlases, the Cellarius charts demonstrated various ancient and contemporary cosmological ideas, rather than just the names and positions of the stars. The purpose of the book was to assess different attempts to discover the underlying harmony of the universe. The charts represent the highest levels of seventeenth-century astronomical thought, with the diagrams showing aspects of the three great theories on the nature of the universe: the Ptolemaic, the Copernican and the Brahean.” A copy of  Harmonia Macrocosmica seu Atlas Universalis et Novus sold for $245,050 (GBP £187,500) at| Sothebys on November 2, 2017
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An illustration from Harmonia Macrocosmica seu Atlas Universalis et Novus by Andreas Cellarius,  a celestial atlas published in the Netherlands in 1661 and touted in the auction description "another outstanding example of atlas production from the Golden Age of Dutch cartography." Unlike the later celestial atlases, the Cellarius charts demonstrated various ancient and contemporary cosmological ideas, rather than just the names and positions of the stars. The purpose of the book was to assess different attempts to discover the underlying harmony of the universe. The charts represent the highest levels of seventeenth-century astronomical thought, with the diagrams showing aspects of the three great theories on the nature of the universe: the Ptolemaic, the Copernican and the Brahean.” A copy of  Harmonia Macrocosmica seu Atlas Universalis et Novus sold for $245,050 (GBP £187,500) at| Sothebys on November 2, 2017
An illustration from Harmonia Macrocosmica seu Atlas Universalis et Novus by Andreas Cellarius,  a celestial atlas published in the Netherlands in 1661 and touted in the auction description "another outstanding example of atlas production from the Golden Age of Dutch cartography." Unlike the later celestial atlases, the Cellarius charts demonstrated various ancient and contemporary cosmological ideas, rather than just the names and positions of the stars. The purpose of the book was to assess different attempts to discover the underlying harmony of the universe. The charts represent the highest levels of seventeenth-century astronomical thought, with the diagrams showing aspects of the three great theories on the nature of the universe: the Ptolemaic, the Copernican and the Brahean.” A copy of  Harmonia Macrocosmica seu Atlas Universalis et Novus sold for $245,050 (GBP £187,500) at| Sothebys on November 2, 2017
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An illustration from Harmonia Macrocosmica seu Atlas Universalis et Novus by Andreas Cellarius,  a celestial atlas published in the Netherlands in 1661 and touted in the auction description "another outstanding example of atlas production from the Golden Age of Dutch cartography." Unlike the later celestial atlases, the Cellarius charts demonstrated various ancient and contemporary cosmological ideas, rather than just the names and positions of the stars. The purpose of the book was to assess different attempts to discover the underlying harmony of the universe. The charts represent the highest levels of seventeenth-century astronomical thought, with the diagrams showing aspects of the three great theories on the nature of the universe: the Ptolemaic, the Copernican and the Brahean.” A copy of  Harmonia Macrocosmica seu Atlas Universalis et Novus sold for $245,050 (GBP £187,500) at| Sothebys on November 2, 2017
An illustration from Harmonia Macrocosmica seu Atlas Universalis et Novus by Andreas Cellarius,  a celestial atlas published in the Netherlands in 1661 and touted in the auction description "another outstanding example of atlas production from the Golden Age of Dutch cartography." Unlike the later celestial atlases, the Cellarius charts demonstrated various ancient and contemporary cosmological ideas, rather than just the names and positions of the stars. The purpose of the book was to assess different attempts to discover the underlying harmony of the universe. The charts represent the highest levels of seventeenth-century astronomical thought, with the diagrams showing aspects of the three great theories on the nature of the universe: the Ptolemaic, the Copernican and the Brahean.” A copy of  Harmonia Macrocosmica seu Atlas Universalis et Novus sold for $245,050 (GBP £187,500) at| Sothebys on November 2, 2017
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An illustration from Harmonia Macrocosmica seu Atlas Universalis et Novus by Andreas Cellarius,  a celestial atlas published in the Netherlands in 1661 and touted in the auction description "another outstanding example of atlas production from the Golden Age of Dutch cartography." Unlike the later celestial atlases, the Cellarius charts demonstrated various ancient and contemporary cosmological ideas, rather than just the names and positions of the stars. The purpose of the book was to assess different attempts to discover the underlying harmony of the universe. The charts represent the highest levels of seventeenth-century astronomical thought, with the diagrams showing aspects of the three great theories on the nature of the universe: the Ptolemaic, the Copernican and the Brahean.” A copy of  Harmonia Macrocosmica seu Atlas Universalis et Novus sold for $245,050 (GBP £187,500) at| Sothebys on November 2, 2017
An illustration from Harmonia Macrocosmica seu Atlas Universalis et Novus by Andreas Cellarius,  a celestial atlas published in the Netherlands in 1661 and touted in the auction description "another outstanding example of atlas production from the Golden Age of Dutch cartography." Unlike the later celestial atlases, the Cellarius charts demonstrated various ancient and contemporary cosmological ideas, rather than just the names and positions of the stars. The purpose of the book was to assess different attempts to discover the underlying harmony of the universe. The charts represent the highest levels of seventeenth-century astronomical thought, with the diagrams showing aspects of the three great theories on the nature of the universe: the Ptolemaic, the Copernican and the Brahean.” A copy of  Harmonia Macrocosmica seu Atlas Universalis et Novus sold for $245,050 (GBP £187,500) at| Sothebys on November 2, 2017
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An illustration from Harmonia Macrocosmica seu Atlas Universalis et Novus by Andreas Cellarius,  a celestial atlas published in the Netherlands in 1661 and touted in the auction description "another outstanding example of atlas production from the Golden Age of Dutch cartography." Unlike the later celestial atlases, the Cellarius charts demonstrated various ancient and contemporary cosmological ideas, rather than just the names and positions of the stars. The purpose of the book was to assess different attempts to discover the underlying harmony of the universe. The charts represent the highest levels of seventeenth-century astronomical thought, with the diagrams showing aspects of the three great theories on the nature of the universe: the Ptolemaic, the Copernican and the Brahean.” A copy of  Harmonia Macrocosmica seu Atlas Universalis et Novus sold for $245,050 (GBP £187,500) at| Sothebys on November 2, 2017
Elementa geometriae by Euclid of Alexandria is the "oldest mathematical textbook still in common use today". It was originally written 2300 years ago by Euclid, translated from the Arabic text 900 years ago by Adelard of Bath, edited 800 years ago by Campanus of Novara, and printed in Venice on May 25, 1482. Almost all of history's great mathematicians have studied this text, as it was the standard higher learning textbook for two millenia, and because of that longevity, it is claimed by some to have been even more influential than Newton's Principia. First editions of this book are rare, with this copy the only one being presented at auction in 2017, as was the case in 2016 when the only copy to reach auction fetched $148,842 (see #42 of The 50 most valuable scientific documents of 2016). This copy sold for $125,000 at Christies on June 15, 2017
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Elementa geometriae by Euclid of Alexandria is the "oldest mathematical textbook still in common use today". It was originally written 2300 years ago by Euclid, translated from the Arabic text 900 years ago by Adelard of Bath, edited 800 years ago by Campanus of Novara, and printed in Venice on May 25, 1482. Almost all of history's great mathematicians have studied this text, as it was the standard higher learning textbook for two millenia, and because of that longevity, it is claimed by some to have been even more influential than Newton's Principia. First editions of this book are rare, with this copy the only one being presented at auction in 2017, as was the case in 2016 when the only copy to reach auction fetched $148,842 (see #42 of The 50 most valuable scientific documents of 2016). This copy sold for $125,000 at Christies on June 15, 2017
This first edition copy of the earliest atlas of England and Wales, has all maps hand-coloured and was probably printed around 1590. Christopher Saxton is regarded as "the father of English cartography" and this book was the first atlas ever produced of any individual country, commissioned by Queen Elizabeth I. A copy of this book is also one of the very few to have sold for more than US$1 million, with a copy having sold for $1,296,471 (GBP £669,600) at a Sotheby's (London) auction in March, 2007, see #25 of The Most Valuable Scientific Documents of All-Time. Very few copies of this book ever reach auction, and those that do generally fall in this price range, with the most recent sales prior to this being $195,200 at Arader Galleries in 2015 and $122,388 (GBP £76,900) by Bonhams in 2013. This book sold for $139,852 (£106,250) at Bonhams on November 15, 2017
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This first edition copy of the earliest atlas of England and Wales, has all maps hand-coloured and was probably printed around 1590. Christopher Saxton is regarded as "the father of English cartography" and this book was the first atlas ever produced of any individual country, commissioned by Queen Elizabeth I. A copy of this book is also one of the very few to have sold for more than US$1 million, with a copy having sold for $1,296,471 (GBP £669,600) at a Sotheby's (London) auction in March, 2007, see #25 of The Most Valuable Scientific Documents of All-Time. Very few copies of this book ever reach auction, and those that do generally fall in this price range, with the most recent sales prior to this being $195,200 at Arader Galleries in 2015 and $122,388 (GBP £76,900) by Bonhams in 2013. This book sold for $139,852 (£106,250) at Bonhams on November 15, 2017
This first edition copy of the earliest atlas of England and Wales, has all maps hand-coloured and was probably printed around 1590. Christopher Saxton is regarded as "the father of English cartography" and this book was the first atlas ever produced of any individual country, commissioned by Queen Elizabeth I. A copy of this book is also one of the very few to have sold for more than US$1 million, with a copy having sold for $1,296,471 (GBP £669,600) at a Sotheby's (London) auction in March, 2007, see #25 of The Most Valuable Scientific Documents of All-Time. Very few copies of this book ever reach auction, and those that do generally fall in this price range, with the most recent sales prior to this being $195,200 at Arader Galleries in 2015 and $122,388 (GBP £76,900) by Bonhams in 2013. This book sold for $139,852 (£106,250) at Bonhams on November 15, 2017
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This first edition copy of the earliest atlas of England and Wales, has all maps hand-coloured and was probably printed around 1590. Christopher Saxton is regarded as "the father of English cartography" and this book was the first atlas ever produced of any individual country, commissioned by Queen Elizabeth I. A copy of this book is also one of the very few to have sold for more than US$1 million, with a copy having sold for $1,296,471 (GBP £669,600) at a Sotheby's (London) auction in March, 2007, see #25 of The Most Valuable Scientific Documents of All-Time. Very few copies of this book ever reach auction, and those that do generally fall in this price range, with the most recent sales prior to this being $195,200 at Arader Galleries in 2015 and $122,388 (GBP £76,900) by Bonhams in 2013. This book sold for $139,852 (£106,250) at Bonhams on November 15, 2017
The work of Abraham Ortelius,  Theatrum Orbis Terrarum  is considered to be the first true atlas, in that it consisted of a collection of uniform map sheets for which copper printing plates were specifically engrave d, rather than a collection of maps from various sources. Theatrum Orbis Terrarum  contained 53 bundled maps of other map makers, all attributed, but all maps were redrawn to the same style and staandardised to the same size, then arranged in order by continent, region and state. This was hence the first time that the entirety of Western European knowledge of the world was brought together in one book. This copy sold for $253,217 (GBP £193,750) at Sothebys on November 2, 2017, with other copies selling for  $219,600 at Arader Galleries on October 29, $210,595 (EUR €198,400) at Galerie Bassenge on April 11, $155,454 (EUR € 132,500)  at Marc van de Wiele Auctions  on October 7, and $80,656 (EUR € 58,000) at Henri Godts Books and Prints Auctions on June 20.
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The work of Abraham OrteliusTheatrum Orbis Terrarum  is considered to be the first true atlas, in that it consisted of a collection of uniform map sheets for which copper printing plates were specifically engrave d, rather than a collection of maps from various sources. Theatrum Orbis Terrarum  contained 53 bundled maps of other map makers, all attributed, but all maps were redrawn to the same style and staandardised to the same size, then arranged in order by continent, region and state. This was hence the first time that the entirety of Western European knowledge of the world was brought together in one book. This copy sold for $253,217 (GBP £193,750) at Sothebys on November 2, 2017, with other copies selling for  $219,600 at Arader Galleries on October 29, $210,595 (EUR €198,400) at Galerie Bassenge on April 11, $155,454 (EUR € 132,500)  at Marc van de Wiele Auctions  on October 7, and $80,656 (EUR € 58,000) at Henri Godts Books and Prints Auctions on June 20.
The work of Abraham Ortelius,  Theatrum Orbis Terrarum  is considered to be the first true atlas, in that it consisted of a collection of uniform map sheets for which copper printing plates were specifically engrave d, rather than a collection of maps from various sources. Theatrum Orbis Terrarum  contained 53 bundled maps of other map makers, all attributed, but all maps were redrawn to the same style and staandardised to the same size, then arranged in order by continent, region and state. This was hence the first time that the entirety of Western European knowledge of the world was brought together in one book. This copy sold for $253,217 (GBP £193,750) at Sothebys on November 2, 2017, with other copies selling for  $219,600 at Arader Galleries on October 29, $210,595 (EUR €198,400) at Galerie Bassenge on April 11, $155,454 (EUR € 132,500)  at Marc van de Wiele Auctions  on October 7, and $80,656 (EUR € 58,000) at Henri Godts Books and Prints Auctions on June 20.
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The work of Abraham OrteliusTheatrum Orbis Terrarum  is considered to be the first true atlas, in that it consisted of a collection of uniform map sheets for which copper printing plates were specifically engrave d, rather than a collection of maps from various sources. Theatrum Orbis Terrarum  contained 53 bundled maps of other map makers, all attributed, but all maps were redrawn to the same style and staandardised to the same size, then arranged in order by continent, region and state. This was hence the first time that the entirety of Western European knowledge of the world was brought together in one book. This copy sold for $253,217 (GBP £193,750) at Sothebys on November 2, 2017, with other copies selling for  $219,600 at Arader Galleries on October 29, $210,595 (EUR €198,400) at Galerie Bassenge on April 11, $155,454 (EUR € 132,500)  at Marc van de Wiele Auctions  on October 7, and $80,656 (EUR € 58,000) at Henri Godts Books and Prints Auctions on June 20.
The work of Abraham Ortelius,  Theatrum Orbis Terrarum  is considered to be the first true atlas, in that it consisted of a collection of uniform map sheets for which copper printing plates were specifically engrave d, rather than a collection of maps from various sources. Theatrum Orbis Terrarum  contained 53 bundled maps of other map makers, all attributed, but all maps were redrawn to the same style and staandardised to the same size, then arranged in order by continent, region and state. This was hence the first time that the entirety of Western European knowledge of the world was brought together in one book. This copy sold for $253,217 (GBP £193,750) at Sothebys on November 2, 2017, with other copies selling for  $219,600 at Arader Galleries on October 29, $210,595 (EUR €198,400) at Galerie Bassenge on April 11, $155,454 (EUR € 132,500)  at Marc van de Wiele Auctions  on October 7, and $80,656 (EUR € 58,000) at Henri Godts Books and Prints Auctions on June 20.
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The work of Abraham OrteliusTheatrum Orbis Terrarum  is considered to be the first true atlas, in that it consisted of a collection of uniform map sheets for which copper printing plates were specifically engrave d, rather than a collection of maps from various sources. Theatrum Orbis Terrarum  contained 53 bundled maps of other map makers, all attributed, but all maps were redrawn to the same style and staandardised to the same size, then arranged in order by continent, region and state. This was hence the first time that the entirety of Western European knowledge of the world was brought together in one book. This copy sold for $253,217 (GBP £193,750) at Sothebys on November 2, 2017, with other copies selling for  $219,600 at Arader Galleries on October 29, $210,595 (EUR €198,400) at Galerie Bassenge on April 11, $155,454 (EUR € 132,500)  at Marc van de Wiele Auctions  on October 7, and $80,656 (EUR € 58,000) at Henri Godts Books and Prints Auctions on June 20.
The work of Abraham Ortelius,  Theatrum Orbis Terrarum  is considered to be the first true atlas, in that it consisted of a collection of uniform map sheets for which copper printing plates were specifically engraved, rather than a collection of maps from various sources. Theatrum Orbis Terrarum  contained 53 bundled maps of other map makers, all attributed, but all maps were redrawn to the same style and staandardised to the same size, then arranged in order by continent, region and state. This was hence the first time that the entirety of Western European knowledge of the world was brought together in one book. This copy sold for $253,217 (GBP £193,750) at Sothebys on November 2, 2017, with one of the key reasons for the price being the engraved title with arms of Philip II of Spain(above) with other copies selling for  $219,600 at Arader Galleries on October 29, $210,595 (EUR €198,400) at Galerie Bassenge on April 11, $155,454 (EUR € 132,500)  at Marc van de Wiele Auctions  on October 7, and $80,656 (EUR € 58,000) at Henri Godts Books and Prints Auctions on June 20.
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The work of Abraham OrteliusTheatrum Orbis Terrarum  is considered to be the first true atlas, in that it consisted of a collection of uniform map sheets for which copper printing plates were specifically engraved, rather than a collection of maps from various sources. Theatrum Orbis Terrarum  contained 53 bundled maps of other map makers, all attributed, but all maps were redrawn to the same style and staandardised to the same size, then arranged in order by continent, region and state. This was hence the first time that the entirety of Western European knowledge of the world was brought together in one book. This copy sold for $253,217 (GBP £193,750) at Sothebys on November 2, 2017, with one of the key reasons for the price being the engraved title with arms of Philip II of Spain(above) with other copies selling for  $219,600 at Arader Galleries on October 29, $210,595 (EUR €198,400) at Galerie Bassenge on April 11, $155,454 (EUR € 132,500)  at Marc van de Wiele Auctions  on October 7, and $80,656 (EUR € 58,000) at Henri Godts Books and Prints Auctions on June 20.
Robby was more than a suit. He included seven war-surplus electric motors to power his mechanical "scanners" and "brain," plus a "mouth" made of blue neon tubes run by a 40,000 Volt power source run via a cable out of the robot's heel or onboard batteries.
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Robby was more than a suit. He included seven war-surplus electric motors to power his mechanical "scanners" and "brain," plus a "mouth" made of blue neon tubes run by a 40,000 Volt power source run via a cable out of the robot's heel or onboard batteries.
Forbidden Planet was MGM's first major science fiction film. Robby cost US$120,000 to build (US$1.2 million in today's money) and was constructed out of vacuum-form Royalite plastic, acetate, and aluminum with rubber hands, a Perspex transparent "head" and a pair of men's size 10.5B black leather loafers inside the feet for the actor wearing the 100 to 120 lb (45 to 54 kg)) prop/costume, which was articulated like a suit of armor.
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Forbidden Planet was MGM's first major science fiction film. Robby cost US$120,000 to build (US$1.2 million in today's money) and was constructed out of vacuum-form Royalite plastic, acetate, and aluminum with rubber hands, a Perspex transparent "head" and a pair of men's size 10.5B black leather loafers inside the feet for the actor wearing the 100 to 120 lb (45 to 54 kg)) prop/costume, which was articulated like a suit of armor.
It is a sign of the times that one of the earliest and best known robots in movie history should move to the top of the list of the most expensive movie props ever sold. Now that robots have progressed from science fiction to reality, it isn't all that surprising that Robby the Robot's price has surpassed all but one of the most iconic movie props in history.
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It is a sign of the times that one of the earliest and best known robots in movie history should move to the top of the list of the most expensive movie props ever sold. Now that robots have progressed from science fiction to reality, it isn't all that surprising that Robby the Robot's price has surpassed all but one of the most iconic movie props in history.
The only purpose-built movie prop to have ever sold for more is Marilyn Monroe's "subway dress" from The Seven Year Itch (1955) which was sold by Profiles in History for $5,520,000 (inc. buyers premium) in 2011.
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The only purpose-built movie prop to have ever sold for more is Marilyn Monroe's "subway dress" from The Seven Year Itch (1955) which was sold by Profiles in History for $5,520,000 (inc. buyers premium) in 2011.
Albert Einstein, science's rock star, is again prominent in our annual list of the most valuable scientific documents sold at auction
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Albert Einstein, science's rock star, is again prominent in our annual list of the most valuable scientific documents sold at auction
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2017 was a spectacular year in almost every facet of the auction industry specializing in historically significant and storied objects. The world's most valuable painting, gemstone, earrings, wristwatch, manuscript and religious document all changed hands, but as usual, scant regard was paid to the landmark scientific texts that underpin mankind's understanding of the world.

Indeed, the success of the 2017 auction year depends on the way in which it is measured.

The number of documents and manuscripts to sell for more than US$1,000,000 hit its lowest point in many years with just five exceeding that figure, only one of which was scientific in nature.

This compares unfavorably with 2016 (13 documents, three scientific documents), 2015 (11 documents, two scientific documents), 2014 (nine documents, one scientific document), 2013 (nine documents, four scientific documents), 2012 (11 documents, six scientific documents) and 2011 (11 documents, three scientific documents).

Our list of the 50 most valuable scientific documents of 2016 featured three items of immense value (Newton's Principia @ $3.72 million, Besler's Hortus Eystettensis @ $2.55 million, and Rheticus' De Libris Revolutionum @ $2.4 million) yet the 50th entry on our list this year (2017) is within a few dollars of number 50 in 2016.

Einstein shines as usual

The influence of Albert Einstein, science's rock star, is again obvious in our list for this year as a significant cache of correspondence sent by Einstein to his life-long friend Michele Besso found its way to auction, with the most significant letters and postcards fetching $377,635, $150,000, $137,500, $136,941 and $125,000 respectively.

The correspondence with Besso covers not just their shared passion for physics (Besso was his only acknowledged collaborator on the ground-breaking theory of Special Relativity), but every aspect of life, and the letters cover a 50 year period. Those with scientific content have been included and as usual, we've included a bunch of non-scientific documents and objects (marked DNQ) so that comparisons can be made on how the marketplace values significant cultural and religious artifacts.

Aquatint prints from John James Audubon

We decided against giving individual leafs from Birds of America an official position in our listing this year.

The Birds of America is a book by Franco-American ornithologist, naturalist and artist John James Audubon (1785 – 1851), first published as an irregular series between 1827 and 1838. Fewer than 200 sets of the original "elephant edition" (a reference to its size of 99 cm by 66 cm) were published, containing 435 life-sized watercolors of North American birds and this astonishingly beautiful work is now reproduced digitally on the Audubon site for all to behold. Reproduction editions of the books in "baby elephant" format are also available, and given that this book would constitute the majority of the top 10 scientific documents ever sold if we counted the multiple copies that have achieved astronomical prices, the $185 price makes an ideal gift for conservationists and bird lovers.

There are nearly 100 recorded auction sales of bound volumes of Birds of America for prices in excess of $100,000 and seven auction sales in excess of US$3,000,000. The record price for a Birds of America is $11,570,496 (£7,321,250) achieved by Sothebys (London) in December, 2010, but other prices for Birds of America include $8,802,500 by Christie's in March, 2000, $7,922,500 by Christie's in January, 2012, $5,616,000 by Christie's in December, 2005, $3,525,000 by Sotheby's in April, 2014, $3,043,040 (£1,760,000) by Sotheby's in June, 1990 and $3,027,500 by Christie's in October, 1993.

With all known copies so closely held, and speculators now purchasing and dismembering those copies, listing the individual leafs from those books in our annual listing quite literally feels like promoting the ivory trade. Individually, those prints become simple ornithological illustrations and if we included them, our humble annual listing might become too unwieldily, as there are many scientific illustrations that sell individually each year, but not as part of a scientific work. At the same time, we feel we have a duty to report transactions so you'll see those items which would otherwise achieve a position by virtue of price alone, included without an official position (DNQ).

Equal 49th - Autograph signed letter to Michele Besso by Albert Einstein

This autograph signed four-page letter to Michele Besso by Albert Einstein was written from Berlin on January 3, 1916. Translated in parts in the auction description, the letter  includes this excerpt: 'The great success of gravitation pleases me extraordinarily. I have the serious intention of writing a book soon about special and general relativity, and yet have difficulty in getting started, as with all things that don't spring from a burning desire. And yet if I don't do it, the theory will not be understood, no matter how simple its basis'. Einstein's book on relativity theory was to be published later that year as Die Grundlage der allgemeinen Relativitaetstheorie (A full translation of that book can be found at The Foundation of the Generalised Theory of Relativity. The letter sold for $125,000 at Christies on July 13, 2017
This autograph signed four-page letter to Michele Besso by Albert Einstein was written from Berlin on January 3, 1916. Translated in parts in the auction description, the letter  includes this excerpt: 'The great success of gravitation pleases me extraordinarily. I have the serious intention of writing a book soon about special and general relativity, and yet have difficulty in getting started, as with all things that don't spring from a burning desire. And yet if I don't do it, the theory will not be understood, no matter how simple its basis'. Einstein's book on relativity theory was to be published later that year as Die Grundlage der allgemeinen Relativitaetstheorie (A full translation of that book can be found at The Foundation of the Generalised Theory of Relativity. The letter sold for $125,000 at Christies on July 13, 2017

$125,000 | Christies | July 13, 2017

Translated in parts in the auction description, this four-page letter written from Berlin on January 3, 1916, includes this excerpt: 'The great success of gravitation pleases me extraordinarily. I have the serious intention of writing a book soon about special and general relativity, and yet have difficulty in getting started, as with all things that don't spring from a burning desire. And yet if I don't do it, the theory will not be understood, no matter how simple its basis'.

Einstein's book on relativity theory was to be published later that year as Die Grundlage der allgemeinen Relativitaetstheorie (A full translation of that book can be found at The Foundation of the Generalised Theory of Relativity.

49 - Elementa geometriae by Euclid of Alexandria

Elementa geometriae by Euclid of Alexandria is the "oldest mathematical textbook still in common use today". It was originally written 2300 years ago by Euclid, translated from the Arabic text 900 years ago by Adelard of Bath, edited 800 years ago by Campanus of Novara, and printed in Venice on May 25, 1482. Almost all of history's great mathematicians have studied this text, as it was the standard higher learning textbook for two millenia, and because of that longevity, it is claimed by some to have been even more influential than Newton's Principia. First editions of this book are rare, with this copy the only one being presented at auction in 2017, as was the case in 2016 when the only copy to reach auction fetched $148,842 (see #42 of The 50 most valuable scientific documents of 2016). This copy sold for $125,000 at Christies on June 15, 2017
Elementa geometriae by Euclid of Alexandria is the "oldest mathematical textbook still in common use today". It was originally written 2300 years ago by Euclid, translated from the Arabic text 900 years ago by Adelard of Bath, edited 800 years ago by Campanus of Novara, and printed in Venice on May 25, 1482. Almost all of history's great mathematicians have studied this text, as it was the standard higher learning textbook for two millenia, and because of that longevity, it is claimed by some to have been even more influential than Newton's Principia. First editions of this book are rare, with this copy the only one being presented at auction in 2017, as was the case in 2016 when the only copy to reach auction fetched $148,842 (see #42 of The 50 most valuable scientific documents of 2016). This copy sold for $125,000 at Christies on June 15, 2017

$125,000 | Christies | June 15, 2017 | Full copy available on the internet

Readers may well recognize some of the diagrams in this book from the textbooks of their youth, as the auction description quite rightly acknowledges it to be "the first edition of the oldest mathematical textbook still in common use today". It was originally written 2300 years ago by Euclid, translated from the Arabic text 900 years ago by Adelard of Bath, edited 800 years ago by Campanus of Novara, and first printed in Venice on May 25, 1482.

Almost all of history's great mathematicians have studied this text, as it was the standard higher learning textbook for 2300 years, and because of that longevity, it is claimed by some to have been even more influential than Newton's Principia.

First editions of this book are rare, with this copy the only one presented at auction in 2017, as was the case in 2016 when the only copy to reach auction fetched $148,842 (see #42 of The 50 most valuable scientific documents of 2016).

48 - Autograph signed letter to Michele Besso by Albert Einstein

In this letter from Albert Einstein to Michele Besso, dated December 1916, Einstein discusses the cosmological constant, a concept equal to the energy density of the vacuum of space. The concept of a static universe was the accepted view at the time and Einstein later abandoned the concept after Hubble's 1929 discovery that the universe is expanding. The letter fetched $377,635 (GBP £293,000) at Christies on July 12, 2017
In this letter from Albert Einstein to Michele Besso, dated December 1916, Einstein discusses the cosmological constant, a concept equal to the energy density of the vacuum of space. The concept of a static universe was the accepted view at the time and Einstein later abandoned the concept after Hubble's 1929 discovery that the universe is expanding. The letter fetched $377,635 (GBP £293,000) at Christies on July 12, 2017

$136,941 (£106,250) | Christies | July 12, 2017

Written on October 31, 1916, this letter acknowledges the first flush of acceptance of the general theory of relativity, as Einstein recounts spending some '"wunderschöne tage" ("wonderful days") in Holland, where "general relativity is already flourishing", and "in England too the theory has put down roots." After spending much of his life to this point as an anonymous individual, the acceptance of his theory of relativity meant he was suddenly able to gain time with some of the greatest minds of the period. The letter recounts, " I spent unforgettable hours with Ehrenfest and especially with Lorentz", referring to famous theoretical physicists, Paul Ehrenfest and Hendrik Lorentz.

Expected to fetch between £50,000 and £80,000, this signed autograph letter more than doubled its official estimate.

47 - Autograph signed letter to Michele Besso by Albert Einstein

Dated October 30, 1949, this letter contains reference to one of Einstein's most famous quotations. He writes of a recently published book about him (Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist, ed. P.A. Schilpp, 1949) and reflects, "Darin habe ich den lieben Gott gegen die Zumutung beständigen Würfelns verteidigt" (In it I have defended the good Lord against the insinuation that he plays a continual game of dice). Einstein's dice quote has been one of continual fascination to scientists ever since, with some of mankind's finest, such as Stephen Hawking, weighing in on the topic. The letter sold for $137,500 at Christies on July 13, 2017
Dated October 30, 1949, this letter contains reference to one of Einstein's most famous quotations. He writes of a recently published book about him (Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist, ed. P.A. Schilpp, 1949) and reflects, "Darin habe ich den lieben Gott gegen die Zumutung beständigen Würfelns verteidigt" (In it I have defended the good Lord against the insinuation that he plays a continual game of dice). Einstein's dice quote has been one of continual fascination to scientists ever since, with some of mankind's finest, such as Stephen Hawking, weighing in on the topic. The letter sold for $137,500 at Christies on July 13, 2017

$137,500 | Christies | July 13, 2017

Dated October 30, 1949, this letter contains reference to one of Einstein's most famous quotations. He writes of a recently published book about him (Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist, ed. P.A. Schilpp, 1949) and reflects, "Darin habe ich den lieben Gott gegen die Zumutung beständigen Würfelns verteidigt" (In it I have defended the good Lord against the insinuation that he plays a continual game of dice).

Einstein's dice quote has been one of continual fascination to scientists ever since, with some of mankind's finest, such as Stephen Hawking, weighing in on the topic.

46 - Stirpes novae, aut minus cognitae, quas descriptionibus et iconibus Illustravit by Charles Louis L'Héritier de Brutelle

Stirpes novae, aut minus cognitae, quas descriptionibus et iconibus Illustravit was written by Charles Louis L'Héritier de Brutelle, one of the early great French botanists, and this particular lot is a very rare, complete, deluxe handcolored first edition of his first work. One of the influences on this price is no doubt the involvement of Pierre-Joseph Redouté, whose first tentative steps into commercialising his vast talent as a a botanical illustrator were in this very production. Redouté later gave L'Héritier the credit for starting him on his illustrious career. Two of Redoute's famous works are listed later in this 2017 top-sellers list and his famous book, Les Lilliaces was once the second most valuable book to have ever sold at auction, fetching $5,500,000 at a Sotheby's (New York) auction in November, 1985. This copy sold for $137,500 at Sothebys on October 26, 2017.
Stirpes novae, aut minus cognitae, quas descriptionibus et iconibus Illustravit was written by Charles Louis L'Héritier de Brutelle, one of the early great French botanists, and this particular lot is a very rare, complete, deluxe handcolored first edition of his first work. One of the influences on this price is no doubt the involvement of Pierre-Joseph Redouté, whose first tentative steps into commercialising his vast talent as a a botanical illustrator were in this very production. Redouté later gave L'Héritier the credit for starting him on his illustrious career. Two of Redoute's famous works are listed later in this 2017 top-sellers list and his famous book, Les Lilliaces was once the second most valuable book to have ever sold at auction, fetching $5,500,000 at a Sotheby's (New York) auction in November, 1985. This copy sold for $137,500 at Sothebys on October 26, 2017.

$137,500 | Sothebys | October 26, 2017 | Full copy available on the internet

Charles Louis L'Héritier de Brutelle is one of the early great French botanists, and this particular lot is a very rare, complete, deluxe handcolored first edition of his first work.

One of the influences on this price is no doubt the involvement of Pierre-Joseph Redouté, whose first tentative steps into commercializing his vast talent as a a botanical illustrator were in this very production. Redouté later gave L'Héritier the credit for starting him on his illustrious career. Two of Redoute's famous works are listed later in this 2017 top-sellers list and his famous book, Les Lilliaces was once the second most valuable book to have ever sold at auction, fetching $5,500,000 at a Sotheby's (New York) auction in November, 1985.

45 - An Atlas of England and Wales by Christopher Saxton

This first edition copy of the earliest atlas of England and Wales, has all maps hand-coloured and was probably printed around 1590. Christopher Saxton is regarded as "the father of English cartography" and this book was the first atlas ever produced of any individual country, commissioned by Queen Elizabeth I. A copy of this book is also one of the very few to have sold for more than US$1 million, with a copy having sold for $1,296,471 (GBP £669,600) at a Sotheby's (London) auction in March, 2007, see #25 of The Most Valuable Scientific Documents of All-Time. Very few copies of this book ever reach auction, and those that do generally fall in this price range, with the most recent sales prior to this being $195,200 at Arader Galleries in 2015 and $122,388 (GBP £76,900) by Bonhams in 2013. This book sold for $139,852 (£106,250) at Bonhams on November 15, 2017
This first edition copy of the earliest atlas of England and Wales, has all maps hand-coloured and was probably printed around 1590. Christopher Saxton is regarded as "the father of English cartography" and this book was the first atlas ever produced of any individual country, commissioned by Queen Elizabeth I. A copy of this book is also one of the very few to have sold for more than US$1 million, with a copy having sold for $1,296,471 (GBP £669,600) at a Sotheby's (London) auction in March, 2007, see #25 of The Most Valuable Scientific Documents of All-Time. Very few copies of this book ever reach auction, and those that do generally fall in this price range, with the most recent sales prior to this being $195,200 at Arader Galleries in 2015 and $122,388 (GBP £76,900) by Bonhams in 2013. This book sold for $139,852 (£106,250) at Bonhams on November 15, 2017

$139,852 (£106,250) | Bonhams | November 15, 2017 | Full copy available on the internet

This first edition copy of the earliest atlas of England and Wales, has all maps hand-colored and was probably printed around 1590. Its provenance is well known and once included Robert Theodore Gunther, the founder of the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford.

Christopher Saxton is regarded as "the father of English cartography" and this edition was the first atlas ever produced for an individual country, commissioned by Queen Elizabeth I.

A copy of this book is also one of the very few to have sold for more than US$1 million, with a copy having sold for $1,296,471 (£669,600) at a Sotheby's (London) auction in March, 2007, see #25 of The Most Valuable Scientific Documents of All-Time.

Very few copies of this book ever reach auction, and those that do generally fall in this price range, with the most recent sales prior to this being $195,200 at Arader Galleries in 2015 and $122,388 (£76,900) by Bonhams in 2013.

44 - The Marine Atlas or Seaman's Complete Pilot
by William Heather

The Marine Atlas or Seaman's Complete Pilot by William Heather is rare and the last two copies to come to auction prior to this were at Sotheby's in 2012 where it fetched $91,044 (GBP £56,450) and Christies in 2016 where it fetched $115,440 (GBP £80,500). This copy fetched $147,004 at Christies on December 13, 2017
The Marine Atlas or Seaman's Complete Pilot by William Heather is rare and the last two copies to come to auction prior to this were at Sotheby's in 2012 where it fetched $91,044 (GBP £56,450) and Christies in 2016 where it fetched $115,440 (GBP £80,500). This copy fetched $147,004 at Christies on December 13, 2017

$147,004 | Christies | December 13, 2017

The frontispiece for this publication (in the image gallery) says it all: "The marine atlas : or seaman's complete pilot for all the principal places in the known world, comprising a new and elegant collection of charts, accurately drawn and engraved from the most approved surveys and publications. Exhibiting on a large scale all the discoveries and improvements of the most celebrated navigators, both English and Foreign, ancient and modern, particularly those of Cook, MacKenzie, Wallis, Dixon, D'Apres, Clerke, Bougainville, Anson, Byron, Carteret, Forrest, Maurelle, King, Dalrymple, Dampier, Wilson, Vancouver, Furneaux, Portlock, Marchand, Phipps, Blight, Shortland, Perouse, etc with many additions and improvements. Now first made public under the patronage of several able and distinguished officers in the Navy and East-India Company's service, the whole forming a valuable and extensive selection, methodized, arranged and published for the use of the mariners of Great Britain by W Heather."

The book is rare and the last two copies to come to auction prior to this were at Sotheby's in 2012 where it fetched $91,044 (£56,450) and Christies in 2016 where it fetched $115,440 (£80,500).

43 - Autograph postcard to Michele Besso by Albert Einstein

Dated December 21, 1915, this postcard from Einstein to Besso is just subsequent to his landmark presentation of four papers on the General Theory of Relativity to the Prussian Academy of Sciences in November 1915. The postcard reads in part (translated): Read the articles! They provide final release from all the difficulties. The most delightful thing is the exact correspondence of the movement of the perihelion [of Mercury] and general covariance, but the most remarkable is the circumstance that Newton's field theory is already false for equations of the first order ... And now Planck is beginning to take the whole thing more seriously; though he is still resisting a bit. The postcard sold for $150,000 at a Christies auction on July 13, 2017
Dated December 21, 1915, this postcard from Einstein to Besso is just subsequent to his landmark presentation of four papers on the General Theory of Relativity to the Prussian Academy of Sciences in November 1915. The postcard reads in part (translated): Read the articles! They provide final release from all the difficulties. The most delightful thing is the exact correspondence of the movement of the perihelion [of Mercury] and general covariance, but the most remarkable is the circumstance that Newton's field theory is already false for equations of the first order ... And now Planck is beginning to take the whole thing more seriously; though he is still resisting a bit. The postcard sold for $150,000 at a Christies auction on July 13, 2017

$150,000 | Christies | July 13, 2017

Dated December 21, 1915, this postcard from Einstein to Besso is just subsequent to his landmark presentation of four papers on the General Theory of Relativity to the Prussian Academy of Sciences in November 1915. The postcard reads in part (translated): "Read the articles! They provide final release from all the difficulties. The most delightful thing is the exact correspondence of the movement of the perihelion [of Mercury] and general covariance, but the most remarkable is the circumstance that Newton's field theory is already false for equations of the first order ... And now Planck is beginning to take the whole thing more seriously; though he is still resisting a bit."

42 – The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

An unlikely best-seller in its time, first edition copies of The Wealth of Nations such as this reach auction most years and generally sell in the $100,000 to $200,000 range, with the dedication copy fetching $307,878 (GBP 182,500) at a Christies auction in May, 2014. This copy sold for $152,546 (GBP £118,750) at Sothebys on July 11, 2017 
An unlikely best-seller in its time, first edition copies of The Wealth of Nations such as this reach auction most years and generally sell in the $100,000 to $200,000 range, with the dedication copy fetching $307,878 (GBP 182,500) at a Christies auction in May, 2014. This copy sold for $152,546 (GBP £118,750) at Sothebys on July 11, 2017 

$152,546 (£118,750) | Sothebys | July 11, 2017 | Full copy available on the internet

With the full title of An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, this book was first published in 1776 at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and is regarded as the first great work in classical economics, and even today is still one of the most cited books in the social sciences published before 1950, behind only Karl Marx's Capital.

An unlikely best-seller in its time, first edition copies such as this reach auction most years and generally sell in the $100,000 to $200,000 range, with the dedication copy fetching $307,878 (£182,500) at a Christies auction in May, 2014.

There was some internal debate about whether economics is a science, and hence whether this book, the foundation of the study of economics, should be included on this list. We concluded that if economics isn't a science, by the time we've applied Big Data, it will become one.

41 - The zoology of the voyage of H.M.S. Beagle. Edited by Charles Darwin

The Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle Under the Command of Captain Fitzroy, R.N. encompasses the complete published series of zoological studies of specimens collected on the second voyage of the Beagle (December 27, 1831 to October 2, 1836). The five books were edited by Charles Darwin with each authored by a different expert on the field contained therein: Fossil Mammalia by Richard Owen, Mammalia by George R. Waterhouse, Birds by John Gould, Fish by Leonard Jenyns, and Reptiles (1842 – 1843), by Thomas Bell. This complete First Edition sold for $155,165 (AUD $198,400) at Mossgreen on October 22, 2017
The Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle Under the Command of Captain Fitzroy, R.N. encompasses the complete published series of zoological studies of specimens collected on the second voyage of the Beagle (December 27, 1831 to October 2, 1836). The five books were edited by Charles Darwin with each authored by a different expert on the field contained therein: Fossil Mammalia by Richard OwenMammalia by George R. Waterhouse, Birds by John Gould, Fish by Leonard Jenyns, and Reptiles (1842 – 1843), by Thomas Bell. This complete First Edition sold for $155,165 (AUD $198,400) at Mossgreen on October 22, 2017

$155,165 (AUD $198,400) | Mossgreen | October 22, 2017 | Full copy available on the internet

The Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle Under the Command of Captain Fitzroy, R.N. encompasses the complete published series of zoological studies of specimens collected by Darwin on the second voyage of the Beagle (December 27, 1831 to October 2, 1836). The five books were edited by Charles Darwin with each authored by a different expert on the field contained therein: Fossil Mammalia by Richard Owen, Mammalia by George R. Waterhouse, Birds by John Gould, Fish by Leonard Jenyns, and Reptiles (1842 – 1843), by Thomas Bell.

Very few extant copies of The Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle are complete, as the five books were published unbound in 19 segments from 1838 through 1843, so this complete copy is very rare, though a second copy was presented at auction this year by Sothebys, fetching $137,947 (£106,250 ) on July 11. A complete bound three volume set of this work sold for $257,087 (£158,500) at a Sothebys auction on September 30, 2014.

DNQ – Aquatint Engraving of Pileated Woodpecker
by John James Audubon

This Aquatint Engraving of Pileated Woodpecker by John James Audubon sold for $158,600 at Arader Galleries on June 4, 2017
This Aquatint Engraving of Pileated Woodpecker by John James Audubon sold for $158,600 at Arader Galleries on June 4, 2017

$158,600 | Arader Galleries | June 4, 2017 | Full copy available on the internet

40 – Original town plan for the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The only surviving original manuscript of the first survey and town plan of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania made news when it sold for $158,600 at Arader Galleries on September 24, 2017
The only surviving original manuscript of the first survey and town plan of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania made news when it sold for $158,600 at Arader Galleries on September 24, 2017

$158,600 | Arader Galleries | September 24, 2017

The only surviving original manuscript of the first survey and town plan of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania understandably made news when it went to auction in September. Every subsequent land title in the area of central Pittsburgh to this day refers to this document. Three copies of the original map were recorded, but two are thought to have perished in the Great Fire of 1845. This copy too had been missing for 146 years and thought to have perished in the fire until it turned up in the most unlikely of circumstance in 1988. This map sold through local Pittsburgh auction house Freemans for $65,475 in 2005, and was offered for sale through AbeBooks and Arader Galleries at $275,000 earlier in 2017, before selling at auction through Arader for $158,600. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette covered both the 2005 and 2017 offering and has some interesting information, including the tantalizing rumor that another copy of the map may be about to surface.

39 – Pomona Britannica by George Brookshaw

The Pomona Britannica is one of the most highly regarded illustrated books ever produced and bears testimony to the extraordinary talent of George Brookshaw. A first edition sold for $158,600 at Arader Galleries on October 29, 2017
The Pomona Britannica is one of the most highly regarded illustrated books ever produced and bears testimony to the extraordinary talent of George Brookshaw. A first edition sold for $158,600 at Arader Galleries on October 29, 2017

$158,600 | Arader Galleries | October 29, 2017 | Full copy available on the internet

The Pomona Britannica is one of the most highly regarded illustrated books ever produced and bears testimony to the extraordinary talent of George Brookshaw. Quite remarkably, Brookshaw achieved fame in his lifetime as a cabinet-maker to the very wealthy, and died a relatively unappreciated botanical artist. It was only after his death that Pomona Britannica became internationally recognized, and there is much intrigue as to why Brookshaw's successful furniture business was closed and he became a recluse for a decade prior to the publication of this book. The following examples of Brookshaw furniture at auction bear testimony to the exquisite quality of his craftsmanship as a cabinet maker: Bonhams, Bonhams, Bonhams, Sothebys, Sothebys, and Sothebys.

38 – Atlas de l'océan pacifique by Ivan Fedorovich Kruzenshtern

Baron Ivan Fyodorovich Kruzenshtern accidentally led the first Russian circumnavigation of the globe (1803 - 1806), while on a mission for the Russian-American Company to develop the fur trade with Russian America (Alaska), facilitate trade with China, Japan, and South America, and examine the coast of California for a possible colony. This trip formed the basis for what the auction description for Atlas de l’Océan Pacifique cites as a "landmark of cartography", but it was clearly supplemented by many subsequent Russian voyages in the North and South Pacific and data gathered from other sources. The extremely rare copy sold for $162,500 at Christies on December 7, 2017
Baron Ivan Fyodorovich Kruzenshtern accidentally led the first Russian circumnavigation of the globe (1803 - 1806), while on a mission for the Russian-American Company to develop the fur trade with Russian America (Alaska), facilitate trade with China, Japan, and South America, and examine the coast of California for a possible colony. This trip formed the basis for what the auction description for Atlas de l’Océan Pacifique cites as a "landmark of cartography", but it was clearly supplemented by many subsequent Russian voyages in the North and South Pacific and data gathered from other sources. The extremely rare copy sold for $162,500 at Christies on December 7, 2017

$162,500 | Christies | December 7, 2017 | Full copy available on the internet

Baron Ivan Fyodorovich Kruzenshtern accidentally led the first Russian circumnavigation of the globe (1803 - 1806), while on a mission for the Russian-American Company to develop the fur trade with Russian America (Alaska), facilitate trade with China, Japan, and South America, and examine the coast of California for a possible colony. This trip formed the basis for what the auction description cites as a "landmark of cartography", but it was clearly supplemented by many subsequent Russian voyages in the North and South Pacific and data gathered from other sources.

The rarity of this volume is another perfect example of the fragility of paper-based information. The auctioned copy was a first edition, French issue, and extremely rare in that it contained both the South Pacific and the North Pacific sections – only three other copies of this atlas have ever gone to auction and none of them contained the North Pacific sections. The entire French edition of L'Atlas de l'Océan Pacifique can also be downloaded as a PDF at Google Books.

DNQ – Aquatint Engraving, Carolina Parrot
by John James Audubon

This Aquatint Engraving of a Carolina Parrot by John James Audubon sold for $170,800 at Arader Galleries on June 4, 2017
This Aquatint Engraving of a Carolina Parrot by John James Audubon sold for $170,800 at Arader Galleries on June 4, 2017

$170,800 | Arader Galleries | June 4, 2017 | Full copy available on the internet

37 – Plantae Selectae by Christoph Jakob Trew and Benedict Christian Vogel