Einstein’s rare manuscript sold for a record $ 13 million
(ORDO NEWS) — The 54-page manuscript, co-written by Albert Einstein and Swiss engineer Michel Besson, was auctioned on Tuesday (November 23) for a record $ 13 million.
According to auction house Christies, where the sale took place, the manuscript set a new record for the most expensive autographed scientific document ever sold. The identity of the buyer was not disclosed, although Christies noted that the auction generated interest from buyers around the world.
The manuscript was written by Einstein and Besson between June 1913 and early 1914, when the couple tested equations that would eventually form the basis of Einstein’s theory of relativity.
According to Christies, 26 pages of the manuscript are written by Einstein, 24 are by Besson, and three pages are co-written. Many pages also have side notes, including an excited “stims!” (it means “True” in German), signed by Einstein next to one of his equations.
The manuscript is exceptional in its rarity, as Einstein rarely kept drafts of his own work and correspondence, and Besson, on the other hand, retained much of his work with Einstein for posterity. Thanks to Besson, this manuscript is one of only two surviving drafts that set out the foundations of general relativity.
There was a hefty price tag on the manuscript, even for Einstein’s work. In May 2021, Einstein’s letter to a rival physicist, which contained his famous equation E = mc2, was auctioned for $ 1.2 million. In 2017, two short notes that Einstein wrote to a bellhop in a Tokyo hotel, including one describing his “formula” for happiness, were sold for $ 1.5 million.
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