Albert Einstein letter and other famous autographs collection auctioned
Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 9th August, 2013
Albert Einstein, the acknowledged father of modern physics and one of the most prolific intellects in human history, is one of the more famous names featured among a comprehensive collection of signed letters and books amassed by Austrian-born Fred Goldschlager – who as a young boy living in Vienna between the two world wars started collecting autographs as a hobby.
Mr Goldschlager died earlier this year and his collection is being auctioned as part of Leski Auctions latest sale from 5pm on Wednesday and Thursday at 13 Cato Street, Hawthorn East.
Written in German, the contents of the letter concern a request for Einstein’s assistance in securing an American visa for a German Jew.
Einstein replies that the United States quota for incoming German immigrants has already been exhausted for several years ahead and suggests his correspondent look into opportunities in South America.
Other famous autographs include Austrian neurologist and psychoanalysis founder Sigmund Freud (on a colleague’s business card), famous German-born Australian artist Hans Heysen (archive collection of seven letters), Australian pioneer aviator Bert Hinkler (letter from Bundaberg), joint Melbourne founder John Pascoe Fawkner (journal) and former Australian Prime Minister Billy Hughes (Federal Attorney General letterhead).
Perhaps one of the most interesting and extremely valuable signatures is that of Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States.
It appears on a document authorising the appointment of George Mursick to Assistant Surgeon of volunteers and is dated 9th October 1863. Dr Mursick was quickly promoted to Surgeon in charge of the United States Army General Hospital at Duvall’s Cliff, Arkansas and was present at many notable American Civil War battles.
The auction also contains a signed first edition of “High Adventure” by Sir Edmund Hillary, a signed limited edition of “Rawdon’s Roof” by D.H. Lawrence and the signed “Selected Poems of Henry Lawson”.
Leski Auctions second sale day concentrates on sport and features the bat used in Don Bradman’s last first class cricket innings in Australia before the 1948 Australian “Invincibles” team’s departure for England.
In those days, the ship carrying the team departed from Sydney and then called into Perth before heading across the Indian Ocean.
Bradman scored 115 for an Australian XI against Western Australia and the bat also carries the faded signature of the Australian captain, along with Lindsay Hassett, Ray Lindwall and Keith Miller.
Unusual is the Stuart Devlin “Surprise Football” for the Geelong Football Club, made from nine carat gold. Goldsmith and jeweller to Queen Elizabeth II, Devlin was best known for his decimal currency coinage designs.