You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Red Sox Live

4

5

Final

DNA discoverer’s letter sells for $5.3m, a record

NEW YORK — A letter that scientist Francis Crick wrote to his son about his Nobel Prize-winning DNA discovery was sold to anonymous buyer at a New York City auction on Wednesday for a record-breaking $5.3 million.

The price, which far exceeded the $1 million pre-sale estimate, topped $6 million when the commission is included, according to Christie’s. The price was a record for a letter sold at auction, Christie’s said, eclipsing an Abraham Lincoln letter that sold in April 2008 for $3.4 million including commission.

Continue reading below

On Thursday, the molecular biologist’s 1962 Nobel Prize medal in physiology or medicine will be offered by Heritage Auctions, which estimates it could fetch over $500,000.

The items are among a dozen artifacts Crick’s heirs are selling to benefit scientific research.

In the March 19, 1953, handwritten letter to his 12-year-old son, Michael, Crick describes his discovery of the structure of DNA as something ‘‘beautiful.’’

The note tells his son how he and James Watson found the copying mechanism ‘‘by which life comes from life.’’ It includes a simple sketch of DNA’s double helix structure, which Crick concedes he can’t draw very well.

Crick, who died in 2004 at age 88, was awarded the Nobel Prize along with Watson and Maurice Wilkins.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.