Albert Einstein’s telescope tops New York sale

Albert Einstein’s telescope led an auction of printed books and memorabilia at Christie’s New York yesterday.

As the only piece of Einstein’s scientific equipment ever to come to auction, it proved a hit with buyers.

Einstein telescope Christies

Einstein owned this telescope for at least nine years 

Bidding closed at $432,500, an increase of nearly 50% on the $300,000 estimate.

Einstein is known to have owned the telescope from at least 1927, when it was captured in a photograph of his office in Berlin.

He had it shipped over to the US along with the rest of his furnishings in 1933, following the Nazi takeover of Germany.

The lot was consigned from the family of Leo Mattersdorf, to whom Einstein gifted the telescope in 1938.

In a letter to Mattersdorf dated January 23 that year, Einstein writes: “I have a pretty telescope standing in my room: lens diameter 3½ inches; focal length roughly 1½ meters.

“It sits on a three-footed wooden stand and gives sharp images.

“As soon as I have a car at my disposal again, I will bring it to you. If you have someone who is going to be passing in the vicinity, he could also pick it up.”

The result proves yet again that the market for Einstein memorabilia is the hottest it’s been in decades.

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