Lot 171: Exceptional pair of circa mid-to-late 1890s portraits of Albert Einstein and his first girlfriend, Marie Winteler, each measuring 2.5 x 3.75, affixed to mounts held within a 6.5 x 9 floral cloth presentation folder. Soiling to the exterior and one corner of the Einstein photo peeling away from the mount, otherwise fine condition. At the age of 16, Einstein traveled to Switzerland where he roomed with Jost and Pauline Winteler while attending the Aargau Cantonal School. He fell in love with the Wintelers' eighteen-year-old daughter Marie, beginning a short-lived relationship that he terminated after leaving for the Polytechnic Institute in Zurich. Free from Marie's sometimes-clingy tendencies, he married one of the few female students at the school, Mileva Maric, in 1903. Still, he always held a place in his heart for Marie. The marriage soon turned unhappy, and in 1910 he wrote to Winteler, 'I think of you in heartfelt love every spare minute and am so unhappy as only a man can be,' reflecting on a 'misguided love' and 'missed life' with Marie. An absolutely outstanding pair of photographs from a defining period of Einstein's life, representing the transition from adolescent boy to scientific genius.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 453
Sunday, 17th May 2015
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