Auctions | October 25, 2017

Einstein Manuscript, Schindler-Signed Book Among Highlights in Remarkable Rarities Auction

6d4247ebcdc8627bac81741c3bf6067f927f9076.jpegAn important Albert Einstein handwritten manuscript is among items to be featured in The Remarkable Rarities auction by Boston-based RR Auction. 

The manuscript is Einstein's criticism of a paper in which the author, Erich Trefftz, claimed to have found a static solution of the equations of general relativity for two point masses; Einstein points out that such a conclusion is based on an error. Featuring several mathematical equations—including a modified form of his General Theory of Relativity.

The two-page manuscript in German, which is unsigned (but incorporating "Einstein" in the title), no date but circa late 1922. Headed (translated), "Comment on E. Trefftz's Paper: 'The Static Gravitational Field of Two Mass Points in Einstein's Theory,'" the paper was presented on November 23, 1922, to the Berlin-based Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences, who published the work on December 21, 1922. The present manuscript was probably a draft used for typesetting, as it contains several handwritten editor's annotations in pencil which were executed in the published version. This was Einstein's first paper published after he received the Nobel Prize on December 10, 1922.

Most significantly, this manuscript contains a handwritten version of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, incorporating a cosmological constant. In 1915, Einstein made his groundbreaking achievement with the introduction of the General Theory of Relativity. In 1917, Einstein applied his equations to the problem of explaining the structure of the cosmos on a large scale and found that he would need to modify his equations by adding another term, containing a constant, which he called 'cosmological.'This cosmological constant relied on a static universe; upon the later discovery that the universe was expanding, Einstein reportedly called this the greatest blunder of his career.

“With important scientific content—and an enormously significant date within the context of Einstein's career—this is a truly remarkable piece which stands as the most spectacular Einstein manuscript we have ever offered,” said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction. 

Accompanied by a full letter detailed letter of authenticity from University Archives, and copies of the paper as published, in both German and English. 

Among other items to be featured is an Oskar Schindler signed book in German: The Unbesungen Helden [The Unsung Heroes] by Kurt R. Grossmann. The best known work by Grossmann, The Unsung Heroes chronicles the heroic wartime resistance activities of German citizens; it includes a chapter on Schindler. 

The Remarkable Rarities auction from RR Auction began on October 20 and will conclude on October 26.  More details can be found online at