RESULTS: Dr. James D. Watson's Nobel Medal and Related Papers

New York

3 lots sold

Total: $5,367,000/£3,434,880/€4,347,270

    100% sold by lot

3 lots offered

£0.64= $1 / € 0.81=$1

100% sold by value



Estimate ($)

Price Realized



Watson, James Dewey. 1962 Nobel Prize Medal in Medicine or Physiology for his work on the discovery of DNA’s structure. 23 carat gold, 66 mm diameter (approx. 2 5/8 in.).


2,500,000 - 3,500,000






Watson, James D. The Nobel Prize “Banquet” Speech . Manuscript draft notes for the Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech. 5 pages on four leaves, small 8vo (170 x 135 mm), in blue ink on Grand Hotel Stockholm stationery. Stockholm, December 9, 1962.

300,000 - 400,000






Watson, James D. “The Involvement of RNA in the Synthesis of Proteins.” Original Holograph Manuscript for Watson’s Nobel Lecture delivered on December 11, 1962. 46 pp.

200,000 - 300,000







Francis Wahlgren, Christie's International Director of Books & Manuscripts, comments: “We are honored to have been entrusted with the sale of the Nobel Prize medal awarded in 1962 to Dr. James Watson for his part in one of the most pivotal scientific discoveries of the 20th century, the structure of DNA. The bidding opened at $1.5 million and proceeded swiftly upward as a three-way battle between clients on the phone, until one bidder dropped out at the $3.8 million mark. The remaining two phone bidders battled on in increments of $100,000, until the final, record-setting price of $4.76 million was achieved – more than double the previous price realized for a Nobel Prize medal at auction. These historic prices, as well as the strong prices achieved for Dr. Watson’s Nobel acceptance speech and lecture manuscript, demonstrate the growing strength in the market for the iconic pieces related to the early understanding and development of the implications of DNA and its growing relevance today.”

PRESS CONTACT: Melissa Abernathy | +1 212 636 2680|

Next Sale:  Paris, 9 December, Livres et Manuscrits

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Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and do not reflect costs, financing fees or application of buyer’s or seller’s credits.

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*Please note when quoting estimates above that other fees will apply in addition to the hammer price - see Section D of the Conditions of Sale at the back of the sale catalogue.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees.