Bible signed by Einstein sells for $68,500 at auction

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A Bible signed by physicist Albert Einstein, in which he refers to the book as an “inexhaustible” source of wisdom and solace that deserves frequent reading, has fetched $68,500 at an auction here.

Inscribed in German and signed by both Einstein and his wife Elsa in 1932, the Bible was a gift to their American friend, Harriett Hamilton.

“We are very pleased with the price realised for the Einstein Bible in the auction. Einstein didn’t identify with organised religion as an adult, so the inscription is an extraordinary insight into his sentiments in the early 1930s,” said Christina Geiger, the director of the Fine Books & Manuscripts Department at Bonhams, New York.

In the book, Einstein advises that the Bible is a great source of wisdom and consolation and should be read frequently.

Any opinion expressed by Einstein on the Bible is of intense interest. He went through a devout phase as a child that ended around age 12; afterward he never subscribed to organised religion.

Here, however, he espouses a comforting, humanist view to a friend of his wife, dramatically different from the post-Holocaust opinion Einstein offered to the philosopher Eric Gutkind, referring to the Bible as a “collection of honourable but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish,” the auction house said.

An extensive collection of 19th century British Parliamentary papers relating to Arctic exploration also sold for $68,500, at the auction, yesterday.

Considered the single-most important primary source for Arctic studies, the assemblage was the most comprehensive grouping ever made available at auction.

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