Autographed photograph of Charles Darwin, £8500 at Hansons.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

It was signed to the lower margin of its albumen print on carte-de-visite mount, 4 x 2½in (10.5 x 6.5cm), which had been estimated at £2000-3000 in the June Library Auction that took place in the Etwall, Derbyshire, saleroom.

The photographic portrait - one of Darwin’s favourites - was taken by Oscar Gustave Rejlander, a pioneering photographer and collaborator with Darwin on The Expressions of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872).

It had “some general toning and marks, slight wear to edges of albumen print”, but the signature was “bold and well-preserved”.

Rejlander has been described as ‘the father of art photography’, and was particularly well known for pioneering the technique of combination printing, using several different negatives to create a single final image.