A note written by Albert Einstein to an Italian woman scientist who had declined to meet him sold at auction Tuesday along with a batch of other letters left by the renowned physicist.
“To the scientific researcher, at whose feet I slept and sat for two full days, as a friendly souvenir,” reads the note in his native German, signed and dated October 1921, which fetched $6,100 at Winner’s Auctions & Exhibitions in Jerusalem.
The auction house said Einstein, then 42 and soon to win the Nobel Prize, wrote the letter to Elisabetta Piccini, a chemistry student half his age who lived one floor above his sister, Maja, in Florence.
During a visit to the city, “Einstein was very interested in meeting her. However, Elisabetta was introverted and too shy to meet with such a famous person,” Winner’s said on its website.
Also sold Tuesday for $103,000 was a 1928 note in which the auction house said Einstein outlined ideas for his “Third Stage of the Theory of Relativity.” A 1946 English-language letter of encouragement that he penned to an American World War II veteran who aspired to be a scientist also fetched $6,100.
Last October, Winner’s sold another Einstein letter, a 1922 meditation on happiness that he wrote upon learning he had won the Nobel, for $1.3 million.