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Relaxed Einstein signs for a fellow violinist before sailing to Germany for the last time

Casual vintage matte-finish 4.5 x 7 photo of Einstein holding a pipe, signed and inscribed in fountain pen in German (translated), “Mr. Zoellner, In remembrance of 2/28/32, Albert Einstein.” In fine condition, with slight lower left corner bend, faint edge wear, and Einstein inexplicably writing Zoellner’s last name over that of another recipient. Violinist Joseph Zoellner was the founding member of the Zoellner Quartet, famous for its offerings of chamber music. 

In January 1931, Einstein, who was in the United States for a research stay at the California Institute of Technology, paid a visit to the Zoellner Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, and played with the famed quartet demonstrating his ability as a violinist in performing works by Mozart and Beethoven. In December 1931, after having accepted an invitation to spend the winter term at CalTech, Einstein again encountered Zoellner and presented him with this image in February 1932. Four days later, Einstein sailed home to Germany on what would be his last visit. Having returned to CalTech for a third term in December 1932, Hitler’s rise to power in January 1933 forced Einstein to cut all ties with Germany, leading to his eventual emigration to the United States. An unusual and uniquely signed example. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RRAuction COA.

Bidding opens Monday, September 27
The auction closes on Wednesday, October 13, 2010


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