Page last updated at 09:10 GMT, Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Darwin book fetches over 100,000

Cover of the Darwin book
The book has the original publisher's green cloth cover

A first edition of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, which was kept in a toilet in Oxfordshire, has sold for nearly twice the expected price.

The book was bought at Christie's Auction House for £103,250. It was expected to reach £60,000.

The book was kept on a bookcase in a guest lavatory at the owner's family home in Oxfordshire.

It was sold on the 150th anniversary of its publication. Just 1,250 copies of the work were produced in 1859.

The revolutionary scientific work, which has the full title On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, had the original publisher's green cloth cover and gilt-decorated spine.

Christie's described the book, that was bought about 40 years ago in a West Country shop for a few shillings, as "lightly bumped" around the corners.

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