EXTREMELY RARE SIGNED DARWIN PHOTOGRAPH
ALSO SIGNED ON THE VERSO BY CONTROVERSIAL PHOTOGRAPHER OSCAR REJLANDER, WHO TOOK THIS CDV IMAGE AND WHOSE PHOTOGRAPHS ILLUSTRATED DARWIN’S THE EXPRESSION OF THE EMOTIONS IN MAN AND ANIMALS
DARWIN, CHARLES. (1809-82). British scientist and founder of evolutionary theory. Superb and Exceedingly-rare Signed Carte-de-Visite Photograph. Darwin is depicted [in a clear 1st generation print], showing him seated in 1/2 length pose, facing right, with his hands clasped in front of him. Boldly signed on the lower margin, “Charles Darwin.” No place, [London]. No date [circa 1871]. Also signed on the verso by OSCAR GUSTAVE REJLANDER (1813- 1875), the Victorian art photographer, who took this photograph: “O.G. Rejlander / 1 Albert Mansions, / Victoria Street S.W.”
Like his highly popular The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals allowed Charles Darwin a forum in which he could address questions of human origins and human psychology through the use of his controversial theory of evolution by natural selection. The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, one of the first books to contain photographs, which followed the example set by the previous year’s The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, selling more than 5,000 copies in its first edition alone!
Oscar Rejlander was a Swedish-born photographer that worked in genre work, portraiture, and erotic images. Despite the controversially erotic nature of some of Rejlander’s early work, many of which were collected by Rejlander’s close friend Charles Dodgson [better known as the author: Lewis Carroll], Rejlander went on to be a highly successful photographer who was even patronized by Queen Victoria. Moreover, Rejlander provided the photographic illustrations to Charles Darwin’s very popular The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872), which examined how humans and non-human animals express emotions.
We can not locate any other image of Darwin being signed by them both. Housed in a custom made, gilt-imprinted, leather spine, clam-shelled case. A simply wonderful, and exceedingly rare signed photograph, combined with the outstanding association of two colleagues whose works were the center of much controversy during, and even subsequent to, their lifetimes! One of our “Best of the Best”.™