University Archives showcases Einstein, Newton, Washington Feb. 16

Recognizance bond signed by Isaac Newton when he was Warden of the Royal Mint in 1699, relating to the criminal case against counterfeiter William Chaloner, est. $24,000-$28,000

Recognizance bond signed by Isaac Newton when he was Warden of the Royal Mint in 1699, relating to the criminal case against counterfeiter William Chaloner, est. $24,000-$28,000

WILTON, Conn. – Two letters signed by Albert Einstein, a recognizance bond signed by Sir Isaac Newton when he was Warden of the Royal Mint in 1699, and two items signed by Abraham Lincoln are just a few of the expected highlights in University Archives’ online-only auction slated for Wednesday, February 16, beginning at 10:30 am Eastern time. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

Both of the Einstein letters carry identical pre-sale estimates of $45,000-$55,000. A typed letter in German signed by Einstein, addressed to close friend Michele Besso, recalls how the two collaborated to formulate the theory of special relativity more than 35 years earlier. In it, Einstein compares the process of scientific theorizing to God’s creation of the world, both a “pointless luxury” but nevertheless essential to pushing the boundaries of understanding and existence.

Typed letter in German signed by Albert Einstein and addressed to Michele Besso, recalling how they collaborated to formulate the theory of special relativity, est. $45,000-$55,000

Typed letter in German signed by Albert Einstein and addressed to Michele Besso, recalling how they collaborated to formulate the theory of special relativity, est. $45,000-$55,000

The other letter, handwritten by Einstein and signed “A. Einstein”, is dated June 19, 1919 and is addressed to Professor Georg Lockemann concerning the origins of special relativity in the “ether question”. Einstein suggests that its current state can best be understood if one considers it historically. Before Maxwell, it was an “all-pervading inert substance”, with its “transverse waves” manifesting themselves as light. A full and complete English translation is included.

Isaac Newton, in his role as Warden of the Royal Mint in early 1699, signed a recognizance bond relating to the criminal case against William Chaloner, a recalcitrant counterfeiter (and Newton’s nemesis) who was convicted of high treason and hanged at Tyburn two months later. The bond was meant to ensure the future appearance of Nathaniel Peck as a witness against Chaloner. The beautifully signed document should gavel for $24,000-$28,000.

Revolutionary War-dated manuscript letter, twice signed by George Washington, providing detailed information about the number of soldiers who had survived the winter in Morristown, N.J., est. $30,000-$40,000

Revolutionary War-dated manuscript letter, twice signed by George Washington, providing detailed information about the number of soldiers who had survived the winter in Morristown, N.J., est. $30,000-$40,000

A Revolutionary War-dated manuscript letter twice signed by George Washington and relating to new military draft resolutions passed by the Continental Congress in 1780 provides detailed information about the number of soldiers who had survived the past winter at Morristown, New Jersey, harsher than even Valley Forge. Continental military commanders Henry “Lighthorse” Lee, Hazen, Webb and Lamb are explicitly mentioned in the document, which is estimated at $30,000-$40,000.

First edition copy of The Babe Ruth Story, signed by Ruth just six months before his death, est. $7,000-$8,000

First edition copy of The Babe Ruth Story, signed by Ruth just six months before his death, est. $7,000-$8,000

A first edition copy of The Babe Ruth Story, as told to Bob Considine, signed by the Sultan of Swat just six months before his death from cancer, should bring $7,000-$8,000. The book has retained its original dust jacket and it comes with a 1948 letter of provenance. Also, a turn-of-the-century diary and address book signed by Virgil Earp, Wyatt’s older brother and a fellow participant of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, is estimated to realize $12,000-$14,000.

Slave reward poster issued in Baltimore and dated Sept. 7, 1857, offering $500 for the capture and return of Underground Railway runaway Adam Smith, est. $30,000-$40,000

Slave reward poster issued in Baltimore and dated Sept. 7, 1857, offering $500 for the capture and return of Underground Railway runaway Adam Smith, est. $30,000-$40,000

A slave reward poster issued in Baltimore and dated Sept. 7, 1857, offering $500 for the capture and return of Adam Smith, should sell for $30,000-$40,000. The broadside reads, in part, that Smith “ran away, or decoyed, from the subscriber on Saturday, Sept. 5, 1857”. Smith escaped with the help of the Underground Railroad, then returned to free his family, thereby earning a permanent place in the annals of American freedom.

Anyone who has a single item or a collection that may be a fit for a future University Archives auction may call John Reznikoff at 203-454-0111 or email  john@universityarchives.com. For more information about University Archives, please visit www.universityarchives.com.

 

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