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Lot #8023
Albert Einstein Photograph

"Immortal mathematician—who gave us a new conception of time and space"

Estimate: $800+
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"Immortal mathematician—who gave us a new conception of time and space"

Unusual vintage glossy 8 x 10 silver gelatin photograph of a piece of artwork depicting the iconic visage of Einstein—stark white hair combed back, pipe in mouth—amidst the cosmos, with an intergalactic landscape behind him. Captioned along the bottom: "Albert Einstein—immortal mathematician—who gave us a new conception of time and space." Annotated on the reverse in ink in an unknown hand, "Prof. Albert Einstein, 1930." In fine condition, with scattered light creasing.

Accompanied by a letter of provenance from the present owner, in full: "My father was employed at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), Princeton NJ as a caretaker of real estate properties owned by IAS from 1969 to 1995. Some of these properties were located on Mercer Street, Battle Road, Olden Lane, Maxwell Lane and others when these houses became vacant he would have to clean and prepare them for the next professor to move in. It was in the mid 1980's when he came home with the atomic and planetary terrain-like photo with Albert Einstein in the foreground. My father had built a shelf in our living room to display this photo. After both my parents had passed on, I had to clean out their home and I kept the photo."

Albert Einstein lived at 112 Mercer Street in Princeton from 1935 until his death in 1955, while employed by Princeton University's Institute for Advanced Study. His stepdaughter, the sculptor Margot Einstein, remained in the house until her death in 1986; it was presumably at this time that the house was cleaned out.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Remarkable Rarities
  • Dates: #617 - Ended September 25, 2021