Albert Einstein’s Brilliance in Ink, a rare manuscript, heads to Christie’s auction

This significant historical relic, and a milestone in scientific advancement, is set to grace Christie’s 10th Shanghai Auction Anniversary.

Albert Einstein manuscript

September 19, 2023: Christie’s is set to unveil a tangible fragment of renowned scientist Albert Einstein’s life that has the power to captivate and educate. This presents a rare opportunity for bidders to acquire and preserve Mr. Einstein’s autographed manuscript. It is the highlight of the curated 10th Shanghai Auction Anniversary: 20th/21st Century Art Evening Sale, which will take place on September 23 at Waldorf Astoria Shanghai.

This 14-page document, published in German, containing two equations and a picture outlining the spacetime continuum’s structure including two pages of scientific formulas, was published on February 3, 1929, in a special supplement to The New York Times. In response to a great deal of public interest, Mr. Einstein was asked to describe how his two most well-known scientific discoveries, the theories of special relativity and general relativity, came to be (1905 and 1915, respectively). 

Albert Einstein manuscript

The document carries enormous relevance since it describes the background to the discovery of relativity, describes how it operates, it considers the prospect of a "unified field theory" concluding the cycle of relativity. 

Georgina Hilton, Head of Classic Art, Christie’s Asia Pacific, said, “We are delighted to bring this important manuscript by the renowned scientist Albert Einstein to our Shanghai saleroom for the very first time. The manuscript provides a unique and fascinating glimpse into Einstein's thought process and traces the evolution of his pioneering ideas. Given Einstein’s historical links with Shanghai, alongside the significant interest from Chinese collectors in scientific artifacts, our Shanghai saleroom is a fitting context in which to present this unique manuscript. We look forward to exciting global collectors and science enthusiasts with this remarkable piece of history, inextricably connected with Einstein's groundbreaking contributions.”

- By Pritha Debroy

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