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The E-Sylum: Volume 16, Number 9, March 3, 2013, Article 34

FRANCIS CRICK'S 1962 GOLD NOBEL PRIZE MEDAL TO BE AUCTIONED

John Sallay writes:

Here's a story of possible interest to E-Sylum readers, about the auction of a gold Nobel Prize medal. There is also some other related material being auctioned with the medal. I’m not aware of another actual gold Nobel Prize medal entering the market, though there may have been and I missed it. This particular medal is particularly noteworthy given the recipient, of course.

I have a gilt bronze version of this same Nobel Prize Medal in Physiology or Medicine of the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute, issued to one of the 1977 winners, Roslyn Yallow. I understand that these gilt medals were made available to the winners for display purposes, so they did not have to have their actual gold medals out on display or otherwise just lying around. Even those are pretty scarce items.

Interesting. These are indeed practically unknown on the secondary market. An excerpt from the article is below. -Editor

The Nobel prize awarded to Francis Crick in 1962 for discovering the structure of DNA has been put up for auction by his family along with one of his lab coats, his books and other memorabilia.

It is believed to be the first Nobel prize placed at auction in more than 70 years and the opening bid is set for $250,000, Heritage Auctions said Monday.

Some of the proceeds from the April 10 auction in New York will help fund research at the new Francis Crick Institute in London set to be completed in 2015.

His family said Crick was a modest man who preferred to outfit his office with a big chalkboard and a portrait of Charles Darwin than to display his many awards.

The Nobel has been in storage for much of the past 50 years and his family hopes to sell it to a museum or institute where it can be on public display.

"Our hope is that, by having it available for display, it can be an inspiration to the next generation of scientists," said granddaughter Kindra Crick.

Born in England in 1918, Crick's graduate work was interrupted by the outbreak of World War II. He returned to research in 1949 with a position at Cambridge University.

A critical influence in his career was his friendship with the American zoologist and geneticist James Watson.

Together, they proposed the double-helical structure for DNA and the replication scheme in 1953. Crick and Watson subsequently suggested a general theory for the structure of small viruses.

Crick's children have fond memories of the ceremony in Stockholm where the King of Sweden gave him the award, along with Watson and Maurice Wilkins, who also contributed to the discovery.

To read the complete article, see: Nobel prize for discovering DNA up for auction (artdaily.com/index.asp?int_sec=2&int_new=60987#.UTK6tTCNq5U)

I checked out the Heritage Auction site. Even though the complete lot description hasn't been published, the images of the medal are available. Beautiful! -Editor

Crick Nobel medal obverse Crick Nobel medal reverse

To view the images and (future) lot description, see: http://historical.ha.com/c/item.zx?saleNo=6093&lotIdNo=50001

Wayne Homren, Editor

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