“Jeder muss ein Kritzel haben von dem hochgelehrten Knaben.”

“Everybody must have a scribble by the erudite boy.”

Albert Einstein, 1920


(posthumous documents by and about Albert Einstein)

Albert Einstein to an autograph collector, 1946

”Dear Sir:

Attached please find some handwritten notes of mine, which were only taken down for personal use. You can keep the paper.

I remain respectfully yours.

Albert Einstein.“

Illustrations credits: Archive of the author

Einstein’s Zurich doctorate certificate of an art auction

In June 2009 Albert Einstein’s Zurich doctorate certificate was auctioned in Lucerne on occasion of an art auction for 300,690 Swiss Francs inclusive premium. The estimated value before the auction was 20,000 to 30,000 Swiss Francs. Einstein had handed in his dissertation with the title „Eine neue Bestimmung der Moleküldimensionen“ (A New Determination of Molecular Dimensions) at the University of Zurich (1905). Also auctioned was Einstein‘s honorary doctorate certificate of the University of Geneva from the year 1909. It achieved with an estimated value of 10,000 to 20,000 Swiss Francs a purchase price of 102,000 Swiss Francs inclusive premium.

Note: In addition to the knockdown price the buyer must also pay a premium. The premium whose height depends on the respective auction house, is a sales commission. It amounts to approx. 15% to 20% of the knockdown price, taking into account the respective VAT.

Copy of Albert Einstein‘s doctorate certificate of the University of Zurich, 1906:

On the lower left side of the original document there is the handwritten signature of the principal Prof. Dr. Otto Haab, on the right side the handwritten signature of the dean Prof. Dr. Rudolf Martin. In the middle between the two signatures there is the paper seal of the “Academia Turicensis MDCCC XXXIII”, under the signature of the dean the paper seal “Philosophorum Turicensium Ordo”. Dimensions of the document: approx. 69 cm x 52 cm.

Record price for a bible signed by Einstein

It is simply amazing what some Einstein fans and/or autograph collectors are ready to pay for something hand-written from Einstein. This also was the case in a recent auction which took place in New York. One item that should be sold was a bible signed by Einstein and his wife Elsa. It had earlier been given to Harriet Hamilton, an American friend of the Einstein’s, as present.

Before the beginning of the auction the signed bible was estimated to be worth between 1,500 and 2,500 USD. The fall of the hammer was recorded at 68,500 USD, which – considering the current exchange rate – corresponds to approx. 53,000 EUR.

The place and date of the signature is stated with Pasadena, February 1932. In Pasadena Einstein wanted to spend a few months at the Caltech (California Institute of Technology).

The two signatures, written in German, on the endpaper of the bible read:

„Zum treuen Gedenken und mit Dank für sehr viel Liebes

Elsa Einstein

Pasadena Febr. 32″

(“In true remembrance and with thanks for many good things

Elsa Einstein

Pasadena Febr.32″)


„Dies Buch ist eine unerschöpfliche Quelle der Lebensweisheit

und des Trostes. Lesen Sie oft darin und gedenken Sie dabei

Ihrem A. Einstein.”

(“This book is a never-ending source of wordly wisdom

and consolation. Read it often and remember

your A. Einstein.”)