Natural History

Natural History rare books represent for many the pinnacle of book production. The magnificent colour plate Natural History books of the 19th century in particular, both ornithological and botanical, saw a marriage of artistry and high quality production values that remains unsurpassed, with the possible exception of the very best private press productions.

Alongside the deluxe productions stand some of the most important scientific works on the Natural World, from Linnaeus to Darwin. 

Our Natural History rare books specialists have many years of experience in this field and are available to provide valuations and advise best path to market for any Natural History books you may have, as well as advise on probate and insurance valuations for single items or collections. Please view the Experts section below for more information.

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Experts

Rupert Powell

Rupert Powell

Deputy Chairman, International Head of Books

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Dido Arthur

Dido Arthur

Specialist, Books and Works on Paper

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Justin Phillips

Justin Phillips

Specialist, Books and Works on Paper

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Max Hasler

Max Hasler

Specialist, Books and Works on Paper

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Rhiannon Spence

Rhiannon Spence

Specialist, Books and Works on Paper

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Hester Malin

Hester Malin

Junior Specialist, Books and Works on Paper

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Cosima Benson-Colpi

Cosima Benson-Colpi

Junior Specialist, Books and Works on Paper

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Lydia Gardner

Lydia Gardner

Junior Specialist, Books and Works on Paper

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Leo Hessian

Leo Hessian

Trainee Cataloguer, Books and Works on Paper

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Simon Luterbacher

Simon Luterbacher

Consultant, Books and Works on Paper

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Featured Works

Auctions

FAQ's

What are the most valuable Natural History books?
There are various factors that can contribute to a Natural History book becoming extremely valuable and collectable, but the most iconically expensive Natural History books are probably the famous flower and bird colour-plate books from the 19th century. The monumental, often multi-volume works such as John James Audubon's Birds of America, John Gould's Birds of Britain, Redouté's Roses and Bateman's Orchidaceae of Mexico and Guatemala sell for legendary prices, at auction and retail - the first edition of the first mentioned has sold for over £7.5 million at auction in recent years. Offsetting these glamorous beasties, however, is the vast prices collectors are also willing to pay for important association copies of the great works by famous Natural Scientists such as Charles Darwin.
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GUIDES

10 things to look out for that make a book valuable

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