Theoretical physicist and Nobel Prize winner, 1879-1955).
"Perlen-Mosaik-Spiel." Manufactured by Koenemann in Rudolstadt (Germany), c. 1880’s.
<<Albert Einstein’s childhood toy.>>
Wooden box with decorative sliding cover; punch-hole frame and c. 520 colored wooden pearls. Toy-seller’s label on verso: “G. Söhlke Nachf. Berlin.” The colored balls are placed on the frame in order to execute creative designs, forms, letters, etc. Juvenile pencil scribbling on inside of box.
The box measures 10.5 x 7.5 x 1.5 inches (26 x 19 x 4 cm), with copper bosses at each corner. Some surface wear.
Est: $4,000 - $6,000
PRICE REALIZED $13,000
The following four items (lots 145-48) were received directly from Prof. Albert Einstein by the present owner and consignor, and have remained in the owner’s personal possession since Einstein’s death in 1955.
The owner has allowed select museums to display and to acquire particular Einstein-related property. Additionally, in 2016 and 2017, certain items were consigned for auction sale by the owner, notably: Einstein’s leather Levi’s jacket (Christie’s London, 13th July, 2016, lot 149) and Einstein’s pipe (Christie’s London, 12th July, 2017, lot 85).
The owner has now consigned to Kestenbaum & Company four additional personal items that were directly received from Albert Einstein.
<<Please note:>> The successful purchaser will be furnished with paperwork that fully documents the noteworthy provenance of each of these four lots.
This creative childhood toy served to expand the imagination of a young Albert Einstein, in turn leading to a maturation of mind, that in adulthood, brought to Mankind the most significant scientific theorems of the past millennia.
Einstein's sister recalled him playing with various toys:
“Sehr bezeichnend für seine Anlagen waren nun die Spiele des kleinen Albert. Meist waren es Geduldspiele, Laubsägearbeiten, Erstellung komplizierter Bauten mit dem bekannten Ankersteinbaukasten, am liebsten aber der Bau vielstöckiger Kartenhäuser, womit er seine Musse ausfüllte.” [“The games he played as a child were very characteristic of Albert’s capacities. These were mostly puzzles, fretsaw work, the erection of complicated structures with the well known Anker building blocks, and above all the construction of multi-storeyed card castles, with which he filled his leisure.”] See Maja Winteler-Einstein, 'Beitrag für sein Lebensbild' in: The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein. (Ed. John Stachel). Volume 1: The Early Years. 1879-1902 (Princeton University Press, 1987) p. lix.
<<Exhibited:>> Mitsuo Aida Museum, Einstein in Japan: A Travelogue (Tokyo, 2005-6).
<<Provenance:>> Passed directly from Albert Einstein to the present owner, the consignor. (Another toy from Einstein’s childhood (Anker building-blocks) was consigned by the same consignor to Christie’s, and sold by them in London, 13th July, 2016, Lot 151).