Also going under the hammer is an autograph letter from Albert Einstein to Rudi Mandl, a Czech refugee who was a restaurant dishwasher when they met. Mandl badgered Einstein into publishing his only known article about gravitational lensing, a consequence of Einstein’s general relativity. Einstein’s only article about it starts by saying how Rudi Mandl persuaded him to write about it (estimate: £50,000-80,000).
Other highlights include:
- a 13th-century manuscript of Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica
- a series of lavishly-illustrated Books of Hours and decorated codices from Ethiopia, Armenia and Siam
- illustrated printed books including Pierre-Joseph Redouté’s depictions of Empress Josephine’s gardens at Malmaison, published by Étienne-Pierre Ventenat in 1803, and Marc Chagall’s illustrations for Homer’s Odyssey, printed in 1975
- atlases by Ortelius, Mercator, Janssonius and Braun and Hogenberg, plus an extremely rare Chinese wall-map of the world, Complete Map of the Everlasting Great Qing with All under Heaven Unified, published in Beijing in 1814