1950 Albert Einstein Letters
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 So it's actually an unpublished preface by Albert Einstein.
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 A grouping like this, with an unpublished document, I would expect to sell for between $20,000 and $40,000 at auction.
Wow, that's impressive.
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Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.
Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."
Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.
Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.
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