Sold for £22,000
Darwin (Charles Robert, 1809-1882). A series of 16 autograph letters signed, all but one Down, Bromley, Kent, 9 December 1857 to 16 November 1866, all addressed to John Higgins, all in acknowledgement and thanks for rent money collected and placed to his account (at the Union Bank), one letter written from Ilkley Wells House, Yorkshire, (4 December 1859), one letter signed 'Charles Darwin', (22 June 1860), the others all signed 'Ch. Darwin' or 'Ch. R. Darwin', eight letters on Down printed letterhead, one letter two pages (1 June 1862) and the remainder all one page including last incomplete letter (16 November 1866) with final page present only, together with five further letters signed from Charles Darwin, 21 November 1865 to 27 May 1869, all in his wife Emma's hand and signed either 'Ch. Darwin' or 'Ch. R. Darwin', all similarly to John Higgins in acknowledgement and thanks for payments placed to his account at Union Bank, two on Down printed letterhead, one letter two pages (14 May 1866), the others one page, a few slight creases and marginal splits, two letters (31 May & 1 December 1864) slightly dust-soiled and more heavily creased with small blank paper loss to lower right corners, final letter (27 May 1869) heavily spotted, all signed by Charles Darwin across affixed one penny duty stamp at foot of letters, except the first autograph letter (9 December 1857) signed across duty stamp at head of letter and again below sentiment at foot of letter, all 8vo (one autograph letter oblong 8vo), together with two invoices for timber made out to John Higgins of Alford, [Lincolnshire], from Bennetts, Wilkinson & Stephenson, dated at Grimsby, 17 February 1858 & 21 June 1861, both one page, 4to, plus a manuscript letter receipt addressed to John Higgins of Alford, June 1855, for money received by Sir J. Goodricke Bart., one page, 8vo
John Higgins (1795/6-1872) had acted as Charles Darwin's land agent from 1845, when Robert Waring Darwin (Charles Darwin's father) bought, on Charles Darwin's behalf, a farm in Beesby, near Claythorpe and Alford in Lincolnshire. Higgins managed the farm and collected the rent for Charles Darwin. Higgins lived at Alford Manor House, Alford, Lincolnshire. He also acted as agent for Darwin's sister Susan and their father Robert.
The first letter is typical of the content of all these letters: 'My dear Sir, I beg leave to acknowledge & thank you for £248: 2s: 1d, placed to my account at the Union Bank'. All the letters bar the two 2-page letters are docketed by or on behalf of Higgins to blank versos, the longest autograph letter (1 June 1862) reads: 'I beg leave to acknowledge the sum of £240: 7s:9d to be placed to my account at Union Bank on June 7th; being half year rent since Lady's Day. I am much obliged to you for informing me that you will call at my Brother, 6 Queen Anne St. on Friday about 12 o'clock, for I shall be particularly glad to have the pleasure of seeing you; & unless I am too unwell to travel, I will certainly be there on purpose at the hour'. The following letter (21 November 1862) reads: 'I beg leave to acknowledge & thank you for £245: 18s: 0d being half a year's rent, placed to my account at the Union Bank. Your account of the Tomline estate gives me some regret; but I hope I have done the best for my children. I am very glad to see that you use your own hand again in writing, as this shows you must be better'. A short letter dated for December 1863 excuses his handwriting: 'I am ill so pray excuse writing'. The following letter of 31 May 1864 adds after the standard thanks for payment: 'I am much obliged for your kind enquiries: I have had a very long illness, but I am now recovering & shall soon regain my former moderate state of health'; and in the following letter (1 December 1864) Darwin says that he is sorry to hear that Higgins is still suffering from his painful illness.
Three of the letters written in Emma's hand also contain snippets of news other than acknowledgement of receipt of payments. The first, 14 May 1866: 'I had not heard that you had suffered so much from the cattle plague in Lincolnshire & am very much obliged to you for giving me information on the subject. I am extremely sorry to hear of the great loss which my sister's tenant & your son have suffered'; 23 May 1867: 'I am glad to hear that the cottages are so nearly finished'; 16 November 1868: 'I am much obliged for your note which gives so good an account of Mr Hardy's management of the farm'. Francis Hardy was the tenant of Charles Darwin's Beesby Farm.
The one letter not sent from Darwin's home at Down in Kent was written from Ilkley Wells House, Ilkley, Yorkshire on 4 December 1859, just ten days after the publication of his book On the Origin of Species. Charles Darwin went to Yorkshire for two months to work on the proofs of his book and see it through to publication, visiting Ilkley Wells House for hydropathic treatment, while staying with his family at the nearby North View House (now Hillside Court).
Lincolnshire Archives hold thirty-five letters from Darwin to Higgins, also largely concerning Darwin's farm rents and dated variously 15 March 1845 to 21 June 1860. See the online Darwin Correspondence Project for full details (www.darwinproject.ac.uk).
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Auction: Printed Books & Maps, Travel & Exploration, Early Geology, Charles Darwin & Fossils, Wed, 10th Apr 2019
Tuesday 9 April 2019 from 9.00am to 6.00pm and on the morning of the sale from 9.00am onward.
Dominic Winter (Auctioneers) Ltd
Conditions Of Sale And Business
Terms and Conditions of Sale
1. (a) Dominic Winter (Auctioneers) Ltd ("the Auctioneer") sells as agents for the seller (except where otherwise stated) and as such is not responsible for any default by buyer or seller.
(b) The Seller warrants to the Auctioneer and to the buyer that he is the true owner or is properly authorised to sell the property by the true owner and is able to transfer good and marketable title to the property free from any third party claims.
2. (a) The highest bidder to be the buyer. If during the auction the Auctioneer considers that a dispute has arisen he has absolute authority to settle it or to re-offer the lot. The auctioneer may at his sole discretion determine the advance of bidding or refuse a bid, divide any lot, combine any two or more lots or withdraw any lot without prior notice.
(b) Where goods are bought at auction by a buyer who has entered into an agreement with another or others that the other or others (or some of them) shall abstain from bidding for the goods and the buyer or other party or one of the other parties is a dealer as defined in the Auctions (Bidding Agreements) Act 1927 and 1969 the buyer warrants that the goods are bought bona fide on a joint account.
3. The buyer shall pay the price at which a lot is knocked down by the Auctioneer to the buyer ("the hammer price") together with a premium of 20% except those lots asterisked (*) in the title, in which case the buyer's premium is 24% inclusive of VAT. By making any bid the buyer acknowledges that his/her attention has been drawn to the fact that on the sale of any lot the Auctioneer will receive from the seller commission at its usual rates in addition to the said premium and assents to the Auctioneer receiving the said Commission.
4. (a) The buyer shall forthwith upon the purchase give his name and permanent address together with proof of identity and pay the Auctioneer immediately after the conclusion of the auction the total sum due.
(b) The buyer may be required to pay down during the course of the sale the whole or any part of the total sum due, and if he fails to do so after such request the lot or lots may at the Auctioneer's absolute discretion be put up again and resold immediately.
(c) The buyer shall at his own expense take away any lot or lots purchased no later than five working days after the auction day.
(d) The Auctioneer may at his discretion agree credit terms with a buyer and extend the time limits for collection in special cases but otherwise payment shall be deemed to have been made only after the Auctioneer has received cash or funds by bank transfer or a sterling banker's draft or the buyer's cheque or debit/credit card payment has been cleared.
(e) All sums due to the Auctioneer shall be paid as shown and he reserves the right to charge interest which shall accrue at the rate of 4% over such base lending rate of National Westminster Bank Plc as shall be in force at the date that interest becomes due, such sum to be calculated per annum from day to day on all amounts due but unpaid. This right shall be exercisable without prejudice to any other right of the Auctioneer.
5. (a) If the buyer fails to pay for or take away any lots pursuant to clause 4 or breaches any other condition of that clause the Auctioneer as agent for the seller shall be entitled after consultation with the seller to exercise one or other of the following rights:
(i) Rescind the sale of that or any other lots sold to the buyer who defaults and re-sell the lot or lots whereupon the defaulting buyer shall pay to the Auctioneer any shortfall between the proceeds of that sale after deduction of costs or re-sale and the total sum due. Any surplus shall belong to the seller.
(ii) Proceed for damages for breach of contract.
(b) Without prejudice to the Auctioneer's rights hereunder if any lot or lots are not collected within five days or such longer period as the Auctioneer may have agreed otherwise, the Auctioneer may charge the buyer a storage charge up to £1.00 per lot per day.
6. (a) The seller shall be entitled to place a reserve on any lot and the Auctioneer shall have the right to bid on behalf of the seller for any lot on which a reserve has been placed. A seller may not bid on any lot on which he has placed a reserve.
(b) Where any lot fails to sell, the Auctioneer shall notify the seller accordingly. The seller shall make arrangements either to re-offer the lot for sale or to collect the lot and may be asked to pay a commission not exceeding 50% of the selling commission and any special expenses incurred in cataloguing the lot.
(c) If such arrangements are not made within seven days of the notification the Auctioneer is empowered to sell the lot without reserve by auction or by private treaty and to receive from the seller the normal selling commission and special expenses.
7. Any representation or statement by the Auctioneer in any catalogue, brochure or advertisement of forthcoming sales as to authorship, attribution, genuineness, origin, date, age, provenance, condition or estimated selling price is a statement of opinion only. Every person interested should exercise and rely on his own judgement as to such matters and neither the Auctioneer nor his servants or agents are responsible for the correctness of such opinions. No warranty whatsoever is given by the Auctioneer or the seller in respect of any lot and any express or implied warranties are hereby excluded.
8. (a) Notwithstanding any other terms of these conditions, if within fourteen days of the sale the Auctioneer has received from the buyer of any lot notice in writing that in his/her view the lot is a deliberate forgery and within fourteen days after such notification the buyer returns the same to the Auctioneer in the same condition as at the time of the sale and satisfies the Auctioneer that considered in the light of the entry in the catalogue the lot is a deliberate forgery then the sale of the lot will be rescinded and the purchase price of the same refunded. "A deliberate forgery" means a lot made with intention to deceive.
(b) A buyer's claim under this condition shall be limited to any amount paid to the Auctioneer for the lot and for the purpose of this condition the buyer shall be the person to whom the original invoice was made out by the Auctioneer.
9. Lots may be removed during the sale after full settlement in accordance with 4.d. hereof.
10. All goods delivered to the Auctioneer's premises will be deemed to be delivered for sale by auction unless otherwise stated in writing and will be catalogued and sold at the Auctioneer's discretion and accepted by the Auctioneer subject to all these conditions. In the case of miscellaneous books, maps and other items, the Auctioneer reserves the right to extract and dispose of items that, in the opinion of the Auctioneer at his absolute discretion, have no saleable value and, therefore, might detract from the saleability of the rest of the lot and the Auctioneer shall incur no liability to the seller in respect of the items disposed of. By delivering the goods to the auctioneer for inclusion in his auction sales each seller acknowledges that he/she accepts and agrees to all the conditions.
11. (a) Unless otherwise instructed in writing, all goods on the Auctioneer's premises and in his custody will be held insured against the risk of fire, burglary, water damage and accidental breakage or damage. The value of the goods so covered will be the hammer price, or in the case of unsold lots the lower estimate, or in the case of loss or damage prior to the sale that which the specialist staff of the Auctioneer shall in their absolute discretion estimate to be the auction value of such goods.
(b) The Auctioneer shall not be responsible for damage to or the loss, theft, or destruction of any goods not so insured because of the seller's written instructions whether caused by negligence or otherwise.
(c) Any liability of the Auctioneer for any claim arising from loss or damage of any kind in respect of goods whether caused by negligence or otherwise including any claims for compensation will be limited to the amount of insurance cover effected in accordance with the provisions of clause 11.a. above.
12. The Auctioneer shall remit the proceeds of the sale to the seller thirty days after the date of the auction provided that the Auctioneer has received the total sum due from the buyer. In all other cases the Auctioneer will remit the proceeds of the sale to the seller within seven days of the receipt by the Auctioneer of the total sum due. The Auctioneer will not be deemed to have received the total sum due until after any funds received from the buyer have cleared. In the event of the Auctioneer exercising his right to rescind the sale his obligation to the seller hereunder lapses.
13. In the case of the seller withdrawing instructions to the Auctioneer to sell any lot or lots, the Auctioneer may charge the seller a fee of 12.5% of the Auctioneer's middle estimate of the auction price of the lot withdrawn together with Value Added Tax thereon and any expenses incurred in respect of the lot or lots.
14. If, on collation, any named items in the catalogue prove defective, in text or illustration, the buyer may reject the lot provided he/she returns it within fourteen days stating the defect in writing. This however will not apply in the case of unnamed items, periodicals, autograph letters, manuscripts, music, maps, atlases, prints or drawings, nor in respect of damage to bindings, stains, foxing, marginal wormholes or other defects not affecting the completeness of the text, nor in respect of lack of list of plates, inserted advertisements, cancels or subsequently published volumes, supplements, appendices or plates or error in the enumerating of the plates, nor in respect of defects mentioned in the catalogue or announced at the time of sale.
15. The Auctioneer accepts no responsibility in connection with the commissioning of his staff to bid for any lots. Reserves, and commission bids given by telephone are accepted only at the sender's risk and must be confirmed in writing before the date of the sale. Lots will always be bought as cheaply as is allowed by other bids and such reserves as are on our books.
16. Buyers are advised that a storage charge of £1.00 per lot per day plus Value Added Tax at the current rate will be levied on all purchases not cleared within fourteen working days of the sale. After this period the buyer will be responsible for loss or damage.
17. Artist's Resale Rights ("Droit de Suite"). Lots marked with "AR" or another appropriate symbol and referenced as such in the catalogue are subject to the Artist's Resale Right law. The buyer agrees to pay the Auctioneer an amount equal to the resale royalty and the Auctioneer will pay such amount to the artist's collecting agent. Resale royalty applies where the Hammer Price is 1,000 Euro or more and the amount cannot be more than 12,500 Euro per lot.
The amount is calculated as follows:
Royalty For the portion of the Hammer Price (in Euro)
4.00% up to 50,000
3.00% between 50,000.01 and 200,000
1.00% between 200,000.01 and 350,000
0.50% between 350,000.01 and 500,000
0.25% in excess of 500,000
Invoices will be issued in Pounds Sterling. For the purposes of calculating the resale royalty the Pounds Sterling/Euro rate of exchange will be the European Central Bank reference rate on the day of the sale. Please refer to the DACS website www.dacs.org.uk for further details.
18. These conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with English Law.
Buyer's Premium :
The buyer's premium is 20%, except those lots asterisked (*) in the title for which Value Added Tax (VAT) will be added to the premium, resulting in a buyer's premium of 24% inclusive of VAT. Eligible items include manuscripts, prints, photographs, drawings, framed maps, paintings, pens and other objects which are subject to VAT at a rate of 20% on the buyer's premium as part of the Auctioneers Margin Scheme. VAT zero-rated items such as books, unframed maps and albums are not subject to VAT on the buyer's premium.
Live Auction Charges
An additional commission of 3% plus VAT (3.6% inclusive of VAT) on the hammer price is payable if you use the live auction bidding facility on the Dominic Winter Auctioneers website (dominicwinter.co.uk). This charge will be added to your invoice automatically.
An additional commission of 4.95% plus VAT (5.94% inclusive of VAT) on the hammer price is payable if you use the live auction bidding facility on the ATG Media website (the-saleroom.com). This charge will be added to your invoice automatically.
An additional commission of 3% plus VAT (3.6% inclusive of VAT) on the hammer is payable if you use the live auction bidding facility on the Invaluable website (invaluable.com). This charge will be added to your invoice automatically.
Payment (UK Buyers)
Payment is preferred by direct Bank Transfer to our bank account. Our bank details will be supplied to you with your invoice.
Payment can be made in cash at the Cashier's Office, either during or after the sale. Alternatively, you can pay by cheque (Pounds Sterling only), please allow 5 working days for the cheque to clear before collection of goods.
Credit or Debit Card payments will not be accepted by telephone unless by prior arrangement with the auctioneers. Card payments can be made in person at our premises but must be accompanied by relevant ID confirming address details. We do not accept payments by American Express.
Payment (Overseas Buyers)
Payment must be made by direct Bank Transfer to our bank account. Our bank details will be supplied to you on your invoice. No card payments will be accepted unless by special prior arrangements with the auctioneers. All transfers must state the relevant invoice number. The amount we receive must be the total due after currency conversion and the deduction of any bank charges (normally £7).
We are not specialist shippers. Some items, such as framed & glazed or fragile goods, will require specialist handling and buyers will be asked to use Mailboxes or RF Shipping Ltd. (details below).
For non-fragile items and items of reasonably small size, we offer an in-house packing and shipping facility for UK buyers. When possible, purchases will be sent by either Royal Mail Special Delivery or DPD overnight service. The charge for this service is variable (£15 minimum per parcel) and will be added to your invoice. Please note shipments to the Highlands and Islands may require shipment by courier and may be more expensive. Please contact us for a quote before bidding.
For larger packages and fragile goods, we recommend Mailboxes, Pack & Send or RF Shipping Ltd who will collect fully paid-for purchases from us twice a week and liaise with the buyer direct. For more information please contact Sarah Ball by telephone on +44 (0)1285 860006 or email email@example.com. These companies will require payment direct for their services.