RR Auction Home
Current Auction Is Open For Bidding
Home |Sitemap|Contact Us| Past Auctions  
 How to Bid   Register to Bid   Auctions   Consign   About Us   Featured Lots   Reviews 
Bidder Login
Show Password

New Bidder Registration
Forgot your password?

The Current Auction
Ends October 7th
Space & Aviation Auction Preview
Begins Oct 08
Advanced Search
By Item Number
Gallery Search
Past Auction Search
How Do I Bid?
What is BidTracker™?
New Bidder Registration
The 30-Minute Rule
Terms and Conditions
New to RR Auction?
About Us
Register to Bid
Jobs at RR Auction
Press Releases
Consign to RR Auction
How to Consign
2019-2020 Auction Calendar
Jan 8
Jan 16
Jan 23
Feb 5
Feb 13
Feb 21
Mar 4
Mar 12
Apr 8
Apr 16
May 13
May 21
Jun 10
Jun 18
Jul 8
Jul 16
Jul 23
Aug 12
Aug 20
Sep 9
Sep 11
Oct 7
Oct 15
Nov 11
Nov 19
Dec 9
Dec 17
  View All Dates & Deadlines

Item 260 - Albert Einstein Catalog 487 (Nov 2016)

Back To Previous Page
(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Minimum Bid: $1,000.00
Sold Price: $11,413.33 (includes buyer's premium)


TLS signed “A. Einstein,” one page, 7 x 8.5, January 5, 1934. Letter to the imprisoned Nathan Leopold, Jr., of the notorious gay Jewish ‘thrill-killing’ couple whose trial for the kidnapping and murder of Chicago fourteen-year-old Bobby Franks was one of the most sensational news events of the 1920s. In full: “May I advise you not to attempt to achieve your goal too directly, but first to read a scientific book on Mechanics and on Electrodynamics. They should preferably be books which use higher mathematics (calculus) and which are not too long; for instance, the lectures by Planck. I am sorry that I do not know the English textbooks, but you should ask someone for advice who is familiar with them. When you are through with these books, it should be easy for you to study relativity; for instance, the collection of the original statements Lorentz-Einstein-Minkowski, the textbook by Kopff which as far as I know is translated into English, and the mathematical book on relativity by Eddington.” In very good to fine condition, with a prison censor’s ink stamp at bottom right, light uniform toning, a few light creases, and the two top corners skillfully repaired.

The recipient, Nathan Leopold, served 33 years in prison for the kidnapping and murder of Franks. His accomplice, Loeb, served nearly twelve years before being fatally attacked by a former cellmate. Both were raised in wealthy families and were deemed exceptionally intelligent; Leopold, a recognized ornithologist at the age of nineteen, was a multilingual prodigy with a reported IQ of 210. During his incarceration, Leopold studied exhaustively while writing to notable figures such as Helen Keller, Erle Stanley Gardner, Carl Sandburg, Karl Menninger, and Einstein. The physicist’s gracious reply offers a concise historical reading guide to the workings of special relativity, but, ultimately, Leopold’s letter was simply used as a pretense to attain something far more material—he later admitted that he wrote Einstein simply because he ‘had a desire to own a letter of his.’ Pre-certified PSA/DNA.

Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.

You must be a registered user and logged in to view Past Auction Item Images

If you do not currently have an account, click here to go to our secure registration page.

Important Information

Tips For Consignors


For a complete list of auction beginning and ending dates, check our dates and deadlines page.