Einstein Violin Achieves World Auction Record of $516,500
in New York Extraordinary Books and Manuscript Sale

World Auction Record for Albert Einstein Memorabilia
First Einstein violin to ever be sold at auction

Extraordinary Books and Manuscripts
9 Mar 2018
New York

New York- A violin crafted for, and belonging to Albert Einstein achieved $516,500 at the Extraordinary Books and Manuscripts auction at Bonhams New York. After a bidding battle that chased the price to five times its low estimate, the first Einstein violin to ever be offered at auction went to an anonymous bidder on the phone.

The violin was made by Oscar Steger and presented to Einstein upon his arrival at the Princeton Institute for Advance Study, bearing the inscription inside the body, "Made for the Worlds[sic] Greatest Scientist Profesior[sic] Albert Einstein By Oscar H. Steger, Feb 1933 / Harrisburg, PA." Einstein would later gift the instrument to Lawrence Hibbs, the young son of a Princeton University handyman who was a budding violinist, and it has been kept in the family since that time.

"Life without playing music was 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." –Albert Einstein


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest and most renowned auctioneers, offering fine art and antiques, motor cars and jewellery. The main salerooms are in London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, with auctions also held in Knightsbridge, Edinburgh, Paris, San Francisco and Sydney. With a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 22 countries, Bonhams offers advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full list of forthcoming auctions, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit bonhams.com.

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