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Item 2 - Albert Einstein Catalog 489 (Dec 2016)

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(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Minimum Bid: $1,000.00
Sold Price: $20,212.50 (includes buyer's premium)


Exceptional vintage glossy 10.5 x 13.5 silver gelatin portrait of Einstein with his hands clasped below his gentle visage, signed and inscribed in black ink in the lower border in German, "To Mr. Leon Harmon, as a symbol of my gratitude, A. Einstein '54.” Also signed in white ink in the lower left by the photographer, Yousuf Karsh. Matted and framed to an overall size of 19.5 x 22.5. In very good to fine condition, with areas of light crazing to the emulsion and light silvering to the perimeter; Einstein’s signature and inscription are somewhat faded, but fully readable. Consignor notes that the photo was obtained from the Harmon family.

Leon Harmon was a researcher in mental/neural processing at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study when he first met Einstein in the early 1950s. After helping the physicist set up a new hi-fi audio system at his home, as compensation Harmon was offered to choose from a set of photographs Einstein stored in a bedroom footlocker. The chosen portrait derived from photos taken by Yousuf Karsh in 1948 at Princeton’s IAS; the now iconic sitting has been lauded for its honest and serene portrayal of the aging Nobel Prize winner. Signed a year before his passing, this brilliant photo depicts Einstein with tangible calmness, exuding the benevolence and quiet intensity of one of history’s foremost minds. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.

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