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    Sale 7548

    Valuable Manuscripts and Printed Books

    12 November 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 77

    EINSTEIN, Albert (1879-1955). Typed letter signed ('Albert') to his first wife Mileva, Princeton, 15 February 1942, one page, 4to, on paper with blind-stamped personal heading. Provenance: Mileva Einstein-Maric; and by descent.

    Price Realised  

    EINSTEIN, Albert (1879-1955). Typed letter signed ('Albert') to his first wife Mileva, Princeton, 15 February 1942, one page, 4to, on paper with blind-stamped personal heading. Provenance: Mileva Einstein-Maric; and by descent.

    'RUIN IS THE ONLY CERTAINTY IN THESE MOMENTOUS TIMES'. Mileva has authority to represent the corporation [which Einstein set up to secure her house when it was threatened with foreclosure] in some matters, with the limitation that she may not enter into any new commitments on its behalf: 'Wenn die Sache zu bunt wird, werden wir das Haus doch springen lassen müssen [If the thing becomes too confused, we shall be obliged after all to let the house go]', though this will not occur unless there are pressing reasons. Still, Einstein's priority is to ensure that Mileva and Eduard are provided for, and there may turn out to be circumstances in which the maintenance of ownership of the property turns out to be a disadvantage, in that the ownership of any seizable asset may lay one open to arbitrary actions: 'Die Pleite ist das einzig Zuverlässige in dieser grossen Zeit [Ruin is the only certainty in these momentous times]. All is reasonably well with him, though slowly but surely age is taking its toll ('wenn man auch langsam aber sicher immer krächeliger wird').

    Mileva died on 4 August 1948, leaving her finances, and those of the trust which looked after her house, in a state of deep confusion.


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