Albert Einstein is the only scientist with the midas touch on the auction block. His violin was sold at the New York-based Bonhams auction house over the weekend for $516,500. Like so many other major items of Einstein memorabilia that have gone to auction in recent times, a bidding war broke out that raised the price – in this case to five times its estimate.
The violin was gifted to Einstein by by Oscar Steger, a member of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra upon his arrival in the US in 1933.
Steger made the violin himself and inscribed it with the words “Made for the Worlds[sic] Greatest Scientist Profesior[sic] Albert Einstein By Oscar H. Steger, Feb 1933 / Harrisburg, PA.”
Einstein later passed the instrument on to the son of a janitor at Princeton University, where he was a resident scholar. The violin had remained with the family ever since.
The famed physicist was known for his love of the instrument, which he had been playing regularly since age 6.