WILTON, Conn. – Five items pertaining to Albert Einstein (two typed letters, a handwritten letter, an awards program and a humorous card, all hand-signed); a CD jacket autographed by all three members of Nirvana; and an author-signed first edition copy of The Babe Ruth Story are just a few of the expected highlights in University Archives’ next online-only auction, slated for Wednesday, May 4. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
In a fascinating one-page typed letter signed by Albert Einstein and dated April 4, 1951, the legendary physicist answered questions posed by science fiction writer Sam Moskowitz about whether intergalactic space travel was limited by the speed of light. He evaluated the question according to both general theory and the theory of special relativity. The letter carries an estimate of $80,000-$100,000.
A one-page letter Einstein wrote in German and signed around mid-1937, addressed to his English translator Ruth Norden and discussing the worsening political and military outlook in Europe, is juxtaposed with the tranquility of the United States. In it, Einstein frankly states, “When one thinks of Europe, one appreciates America!” It is estimated at $8,000-$10,000. Three other Einstein-signed pieces will also cross the auction block on May 4: a typed letter signed regarding “speculative philosophy,” estimated at $5,000-$6,000; a signed Franklin Institute Medalists award program, estimated at $3,000-$3,500; and a signed and inscribed card featuring the phrase, “There’s a sucker born every minute,” estimated at $3,000-$4,000.
Bob Dylan’s handwritten lyrics to the timeless rock classic Mr. Tambourine Man, penned on a sheet of Ritz-Carlton Hotel stationery and signed by the singer-songwriter as “Bob Dylan 2009,” are accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from Jeff Rosen, Dylan’s manager. The Dylan lyrics are estimated at $50,000-$60,000. Mr. Tambourine Man is a song from Dylan’s 1965 album Bringing It All Back Home.
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill signed and presented a vintage photograph portrait in March 1945, the same month he crossed the Rhine River following the Allied success of Operation Plunder. It is offered with an estimate of $4,000-$5,000.
Band members Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic signed the CD jacket for the Nirvana album Insecticide in blue felt tip marker. The jacket is estimated at $10,000-$11,000. Autograph collector John Brennan gathered the signatures.
A first edition copy of The Babe Ruth Story, by Babe Ruth (as told to Bob Considine), signed by Ruth himself not long before his death in 1948, has an estimate of $8,000-$10,000. Also, a sweet and poignant archive of 16 letters, notes and cards written by Nelle Harper Lee to her longtime friend, the Poet Laureate Ralph Hammond, plus 23 letters from Hammond to Lee, should bring $7,000-$8,000.
President Thomas Jefferson boldly signed a naval appointment dated May 22, 1801, promoting Joshua Blake to the rank of lieutenant following the Quasi-War with France. Blake would later be accused of cowardice during the Barbary Wars. The Jefferson-signed naval appointment is estimated at $5,000-$6,000.
View top auction results on LiveAuctioneers here: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/