Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Alexander von Humboldt. Autograph Manuscript.
    One page in French, 7" x 9", [Berlin?]; [circa 1856]. A manuscript in Humboldt's hand, which is almost illegible, on the work of Louis Pasteur's work on tartrates. Pasteur's earliest work was as a chemist, beginning at the École Normale Supérieure, and continuing at Strasbourg and Lille, in which he examined the chemical, optical and crystallographic properties of a group of compounds known as tartrates. Pasteur (1822-1895) resolved a problem concerning the nature of tartaric acid in 1848. Some historians consider Pasteur's work in this area to be his most significant and most original contributions to science.

    Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) was a Prussian polymath, geographer, naturalist, explorer, and influential proponent of Romantic philosophy and science. His quantitative work on botanical geography laid the foundation for the field of biogeography. Humboldt's advocacy of long-term systematic geophysical measurement laid the foundation for modern geomagnetic and meteorological monitoring

    This is a fascinating document on the early experiments of Pasteur by the aging Humboldt, considered at the time a giant in the field of science.

    Condition: The document has the usual folds and slight foxing, especially around the top edges; otherwise good.

    Auction Info

    Bidding Begins Approx.
    16th Friday
    Auction Dates
    4th Wednesday
    Proxy Bidding Begins Approx.
    60 Days
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: N/A
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 23
    Auction Type
    Grand Format:  Heritage Live®:After Internet bidding closes, live bidding will take place through Your secret maximum bid placed prior to the live event will compete against the live bids. To maximize your chances of winning, enter realistic secret maximum bids on our site. Many of our proxy bidders are successful at winning lots in these auctions, and usually below their secret maximum. You can also place last minute bids directly with us by e-mailing or calling 1-866-835-3243. (Important note: Due to software and Internet latency, live bids may not register in time, so enter realistic proxy bids.)

    Grand Format Floor Sessions
    Proxy bidding ends ten minutes prior to the session start time. Live Proxy bidding on Heritage Live starts 24 hours before the live session begins and continues through the session. During the live auction event, bidding in person is encouraged, and Heritage Live includes streaming audio and often video during the event.

    Track Item