An Albert Einstein-signed bible has auctioned for $68,500 at Bonhams New York (June 25).
The sale price represents a magnificent 3,325% increase on its $2,000 estimate.
The leatherette-bound bible has been signed and inscribed by both the Nobel Prize-winning physicist and his second wife and first cousin, Elsa, for Harriet Hamilton, a friend of the couple based in Pasadena, California.
On the front free end paper, Einstein advises in his native German that the Bible is a source of wisdom and should be read frequently. Dated February 1932, Einstein penned the message seven years before the outbreak of war in Europe, aged 53.
The inscription, if read literally, complicates what is known about Einstein's relationship with religion.
Although the eminent scientist went through a devout phase as a boy (ending around the age of 12), he openly objected to organised religion after the Holocaust, telling German philosopher Eric Gutkind that he considered the Bible a "collection of honourable but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish".
The present Bible therefore offers a rare glimpse at the position Einstein held in the early 1930s.
Bonhams' books and manuscripts director, Christina Geiger, concurs: "Any opinion expressed by Einstein on the bible is of intense interest."
Earlier this month, a pair of Albert Einstein handprints made £55,000 ($85,067) at Sotheby's. Having scrutinised the handprints, the palmist for whom they were created in 1930, Marianne Raschig, declared that Einstein had particularly strong head and life lines.
Here at Paul Fraser Collectibles, we too have an array of fascinating autographed items in stock.
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