January 2019 Auction Ends Thursday, January 31st, 5pm Pacific

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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 1/31/2019
Excellent lot of two autograph letters signed by Charles Darwin, each with evolution related content written shortly after ''On the Origin of Species'' was published. In the first letter, dated 16 August (1860 or 1861), Darwin writes to his second cousin William Darwin Fox, who introduced Charles Darwin to entomology. Upon Down, Kent stationery, Darwin writes in part, ''...you had seen a dozen instances of white cats with blue eyes being deaf: how can you [?] extraordinary chance remember the sex of any of them...C. Darwin''. Fox's reply to Darwin, giving additional details on the blind cats, is archived in the Darwin Correspondence Project. Single page letter measures 5'' x 8'', framed with a copy of a signed photo of Darwin, to a size of 13.5'' x 11.25''. Not examined out of frame, but appears very good.

Second letter spans eight pages, on two sheets of bifolium stationery, dated 22 March (1868) to the naturalist John Jenner Weir. Writing from 4 Chester Place in Regents Park, London, Darwin's letter reads in full, ''My dear Sir / I hope that you will not think me ungrateful that I have not sooner answered your note of the 16th; but in fact I have been overwhelmed both with calls and letters; and alas one visit to the B. Museum of an hour or hour and a half does for me for the whole day.

I was particularly glad to hear you and your brother's statement about the 'gay' deceiver-pigeons. I did not at all know that certain birds could win the affections of the females, more than other males, except indeed in the case of the Peacock. Conversely, Mr. Hewitt, I remember, states that in making hybrids the cock-pheasant would prefer certain hen-fowls and strongly dislike others. I will write to Mr. H. in a few days and ask him whether he has observed anything of this kind with pure unions of fowls, ducks &c. I had utterly forgotten the case of the Ruff; but now I remember having heard that it was polygamous; but polygamy with Birds, at least, does not seem common enough to have played an important part. So little is known of habits of foreign birds: Wallace does not even know whether Birds of Paradise are polygamous.

Have you been a large collector of caterpillars, - I believe so. I inferred from a letter from Dr. Wallace of Colchester that he would account for Mr. Stainton and others rearing more [female symbol] than [male symbol] by their having collected the larger and finer caterpillars. But I misunderstood him, and he maintains that collectors take all caterpillars, large and small, for that they collect the caterpillars alone of the rarer moths or butterflies. What think you? I hear from Prof. Canestrini in Italy that females are born in considerable excess with Bombyx mori, and in greater excess of late years than formerly! Quatrefages writes to me that he believes they are equal in France. So that the further I go, the deeper I sink into the mire. With cordial thanks for your most valuable letters. / Yours very sincerely / Ch. Darwin / We remain here till April 1st, and then hurrah for home and quiet work.''

Sheets measure 8.5'' x 7'' unfolded. Some toning and folds. Overall very good plus condition, with an unusually large and dramatic signature by Darwin. An outstanding lot of Darwin letters with particularly good scientific content.
Lot of Two Charles Darwin Autograph Letters Signed With Evolution Related Content -- ''...I was particularly glad to hear you and your brother's statement about the 'gay' deceiver-pigeons...''Lot of Two Charles Darwin Autograph Letters Signed With Evolution Related Content -- ''...I was particularly glad to hear you and your brother's statement about the 'gay' deceiver-pigeons...''Lot of Two Charles Darwin Autograph Letters Signed With Evolution Related Content -- ''...I was particularly glad to hear you and your brother's statement about the 'gay' deceiver-pigeons...''Lot of Two Charles Darwin Autograph Letters Signed With Evolution Related Content -- ''...I was particularly glad to hear you and your brother's statement about the 'gay' deceiver-pigeons...''
Lot of Two Charles Darwin Autograph Letters Signed With Evolution Related Content -- ''...I was particularly glad to hear you and your brother's statement about the 'gay' deceiver-pigeons...''Lot of Two Charles Darwin Autograph Letters Signed With Evolution Related Content -- ''...I was particularly glad to hear you and your brother's statement about the 'gay' deceiver-pigeons...''
Lot of Two Charles Darwin Autograph Letters Signed With Evolution Related Content -- ''...I was particularly glad to hear you and your brother's statement about the 'gay' deceiver-pigeons...''
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Auction closed on Thursday, January 31, 2019.
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