Page last updated at 14:37 GMT, Thursday, 30 April 2009 15:37 UK

Rare Darwin book sold for £35,000

Darwin first edition
Charles Darwin's book is still in the original cloth jacket

A first edition, first issue of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection has been sold at auction in Norfolk for £35,000.

Just 1,250 copies of the work were produced in its first print run in 1859 and sold out immediately.

All existing copies are highly valued, according to Keys of Aylsham, the firm which auctioned the book which was bought by a local book dealer.

A signed photograph of Darwin sold at the auction for £22,000.

Andrew Bullock, book specialist at Norfolk auctioneers Keys, said: "It is the most important biological book ever and one of those rare occasions when the white gloves really do go on before you pick it up and you handle it with reverence.

"It is a definitive work and what every serious bibliophile wants is a first edition, first issue copy and this is a must-have for the very best shelf.

"A book like this only comes along very rarely and when it does it is considered so important it is often acquired by institutional libraries from around the world."

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The copy of Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" is sold for £35,000 at the auction in Norfolk



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