March 6, 2018 / 7:33 PM / 9 months ago

Einstein letters of admiration and advice auctioned in Jerusalem

A letter written by Albert Einstein in 1928, in which according to the auction house he outlined ideas for his "Third Stage of the Theory of Relativity", is seen before it is sold at an auction in Jerusalem, March 6, 2018. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A note written by Albert Einstein to an Italian woman scientist who had declined to meet him sold at auction on Tuesday along with a batch of other letters left by the renowned physicist.

"To the scientific researcher, at whose feet I slept and sat for two full days, as a friendly souvenir," reads the note in his native German, signed and dated October 1921, which fetched $6,100 at Winner's Auctions & Exhibitions in Jerusalem.

The auction house said Einstein, then 42 and soon to win the Nobel Prize, wrote the letter to Elisabetta Piccini, a chemistry student half his age who lived one floor above his sister, Maja, in Florence.

During a visit to the city, "Einstein was very interested in meeting her. However, Elisabetta was introverted and too shy to meet with such a famous person," Winner's said on its website.

Also sold on Tuesday for $103,000 was a 1928 note in which the auction house said Einstein outlined ideas for his "Third Stage of the Theory of Relativity". A 1946 English-language letter of encouragement that he penned to an American World War Two veteran who aspired to be a scientist also fetched $6,100.

Last October, Winner's sold another Einstein letter, a 1922 meditation on happiness that he wrote upon learning he had won the Nobel, for $1.3 million.

Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg

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