Einstein's leather jacket to make $85,000?

Albert Einstein's leather jacket - one of the scientist's most treasured garments - auctions next month.

The 1930s Levi, Strauss & Co brown leather "Cossack" jacket is expected to make up to £60,000 ($85,320) at Christie's Valuable Books and Manuscripts sale in London on July 13.


Einstein was a keen pipe smoker - as this jacket testifies

Einstein wore the jacket for years, with the pair first seen together in 1935, following his arrival in the US from Germany two years earlier.

"Einstein wore it all the time — a fact mentioned in the memoirs of fellow scientist Leopold Infeld, who worked with him at Princeton," says Christie's Thomas Venning.

"Infeld explained that Einstein tried to keep material restrictions to a minimum. Long hair reduced the need for a barber and, he wrote, 'one leather jacket solved the coat problem for years'."

The jacket shows signs of heavy use, and even smells of the Nobel Prize winner.

"Einstein was an incessant pipe smoker and, astonishingly, 60 years after his death, his jacket still smells of smoke," explains Venning.

It comes with superb provenance, having passed by descent through Einstein's relatives to the present owner.

The sale also features Einstein's pocket watch, valued at £20,000 ($28,440), as well as his childhood building blocks. They have an £8,000 ($11,376) valuation.

"We know that Einstein played with this sort of toy, which was a forerunner of lego, and it's wonderful to think of the young scientist using them as a child — already figuring things out," remarks Venning.

Looking for superb Einstein memorabilia? Check out this signed letter at Paul Fraser Collectibles.

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