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Autograph Letter by Francis Harry Compton Crick signed “Daddy” to his son Michael, outlining the revolutionary discovery of the structure and function of DNA
Cambridge, March 19, 1953
On Basildon bond blue writing paper, written on rectos and versos; seven pages
Estimated price: $1-2 million
Price realised: $6,059,750

The co-discoverer of the structure and function of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), Francis Crick (1916-2004) was born in Northampton, England, in 1916. During World War II, he worked as a scientist for the British Admiralty; he left in 1947 to study biological research at the Strangeways Laboratory in Cambridge. In 1949, he transferred to the Cavendish Laboratory, headed by Nobel Laureate Sir Lawrence Bragg. He joined the new unit established by the Medical Research Council (MRC) to study protein structure using X-rays alongside future Nobel Laureates Max Perutz and John Kendrew.

Crick was 33 years old when the young American, James D Watson arrived at the Cavendish. He and Crick believed the structure of DNA could be determined through a combination of data, theory and model-building to see which structures made the most sense.

In 1962, Crick, Watson and Maurice Wilkins received the Nobel Prize in medicine for their work at the Cavendish Laboratory and at the University of Cambridge. This handwritten seven page letter to Crick’s son, outlining the revolutionary discovery of the structure and function of DNA, dated March 19, 1953, expresses Crick’s personal excitement.

Christie’s Sale of The Francis Crick ‘Secret of Life’ Letter will take place at RockefellerPlaza in New York on April 10, 2013. For more information please visit http://www.christies.com.

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