VIOLIN BELONGING TO ALBERT EINSTEIN. Violin with spruce top, maple sides, back and neck, carved scroll headstock, 1933,
Lot 26
VIOLIN BELONGING TO ALBERT EINSTEIN.
Violin with spruce top, maple sides, back and neck, carved scroll headstock, 1933,
Sold for US$ 516,500 inc. premium

Lot Details
VIOLIN BELONGING TO ALBERT EINSTEIN. Violin with spruce top, maple sides, back and neck, carved scroll headstock, 1933, VIOLIN BELONGING TO ALBERT EINSTEIN. Violin with spruce top, maple sides, back and neck, carved scroll headstock, 1933, VIOLIN BELONGING TO ALBERT EINSTEIN. Violin with spruce top, maple sides, back and neck, carved scroll headstock, 1933, VIOLIN BELONGING TO ALBERT EINSTEIN. Violin with spruce top, maple sides, back and neck, carved scroll headstock, 1933,
VIOLIN BELONGING TO ALBERT EINSTEIN.
Violin with spruce top, maple sides, back and neck, carved scroll headstock, 1933, inscribed inside: "Made for the Worlds[sic] Greatest Scientist Profesior[sic] Albert Einstein By Oscar H. Steger, Feb 1933 / Harrisburg, PA," approximately 600 x 185 mm, contained in hardshell case with unmarked bow. With vintage postcard of Einstein playing a violin.
Provenance: Oscar H. Steger to Albert Einstein; Einstein to Lawrence Wilson Hibbs, son of Princeton janitor/handyman Sylas Hibbs; by descent to present owner.

Einstein began playing the violin at age 6, but it wasn't until the age of 13, when he discovered the Mozart violin sonatas, that music became a passion for him. His second wife Elsa was quoted: "Music helps him when he is thinking about his theories. He goes to his study, comes back, strikes a few chords on the piano, jots something down, returns to his study." Einstein rarely traveled without his violin and music was so important that he would arrange his schedule so that he could host a weekly Wednesday night chamber music session in his Princeton home.
In October 1933, Einstein had just arrived in the U.S. to accept a post as a resident scholar at the Princeton Institute for Advance Study, escaping the worsening situation for Jewish intellectuals in Nazi Germany. As the one of the most prominent intellectuals of the time, his arrival was a cause for celebration in America. Cabinet maker and member of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra Oscar H. Steger was moved to craft a violin, which he presented to the professor shortly after his arrival. The gift was covered in two Harrisburg newspapers of the time, on October 25th and 26th.

No other Einstein violins have appeared on the market, according to on-line sources.

Footnotes

  • "Life without playing music is inconceivable for me. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music ... I get most joy in life out of music."
Activities
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