1950 Albert Einstein Letters
Appraised Value: $20,000 - $40,000 (2013)
IMAGE: 1 of 2
Appraisal Video: (1:17)
Books & Manuscripts
GUEST: What I have here are two letters to my father, who wrote Albert Einstein, who was a colleague of my grandfather's, requesting that he write a preface to my grandfather's book, which was published after his death. And despite the fact that it's interesting, the publisher decided not to use it in the book. So it's actually an unpublished preface by Albert Einstein.
APPRAISER: Of course, Einstein was not only a physicist, but he was also political. He was very worried about the war. He wrote to Roosevelt about his fears about the atom bomb and what German physicists were up to. He was also involved in some work on psychology, like this, and also wrote a book with Freud, an anti-war book. You have three signatures of Einstein, which have some value on their own. But more importantly, you have a little glimpse into Einstein's ideas about psychology. And he gets into politics in the preface as well, which was never published. So you have a piece of paper, but it's an important part of anyone's understanding of Einstein's thought that is unknown to the world. Even uninteresting unsigned letters go for about $5,000 at auction. A grouping like this, with an unpublished document, I would expect to sell for between $20,000 and $40,000 at auction.
GUEST: Wow, that's impressive.
APPRAISER: Yes, it's a wonderful archive.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2014 WGBH Educational Foundation.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.