• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7548

    Valuable Manuscripts and Printed Books

    12 November 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 63

    EINSTEIN, Albert (1879-1955). Autograph letter signed ('Albert') to his first wife, Mileva ('Liebe Frau!'), Dahlem [near Berlin], 18 August [1914], 3 pages, 4to, bifolium, on grey paper, pencilled number '4' on blank verso. Provenance: Mileva Einstein-Maric; and by descent.

    Price Realised  

    EINSTEIN, Albert (1879-1955). Autograph letter signed ('Albert') to his first wife, Mileva ('Liebe Frau!'), Dahlem [near Berlin], 18 August [1914], 3 pages, 4to, bifolium, on grey paper, pencilled number '4' on blank verso. Provenance: Mileva Einstein-Maric; and by descent.

    'I DO NOT ENVISAGE SEEKING A DIVORCE'. Einstein informs Mileva that his financial provision in the coming months may soon decline (to 400 francs a month): 'Mehr kann ich jetzt nicht geben, da die schweren Zeiten mich zur äussersten Vorsicht mahnen [I cannot give you more than that now, as the hard times urge caution]'. Einstein asks Mileva to keep him directly informed of all business matters, 'da diese indirekte Art für mich beleidigend ist [as this indirect manner is offensive for me]', adding that he particularly asks this, as he does not envisage seeking a divorce, provided only that she remains in Switzerland with the children: 'Ich habe umsomehr Grund, dies von Dir zu erwarten, also ich nicht beabsichtige, die Scheidung von Dir zu verlangen, sondern nur, dass Du mit den Kindern in der Schweiz bleibst'. He asks that Mileva send news of their children every two weeks, and sends them kisses: 'Albert soll mir manchmal eine Karte schreiben'. The letter ends with a testy request for the keys to their desk, so that Einstein can separate their affairs.

    Einstein had moved to Berlin in April 1914 to take up a post as professor of the Prussian Academy of Sciences. Mileva and the children followed in May, but their return to Zurich in the following month marked the beginning of the couple's separation.


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Special Notice

    Buyers from within the EU: VAT payable at 17.5% on just the buyer's premium (NOT the hammer price) Buyers from outside the EU: VAT payable at 17.5% on hammer price and buyer's premium. If a buyer, having registered under a non-EU address, decides that an item is not to be exported from the EU, then he/she should advise Christie's to this effect immediately.