A scribbled note that was made by Albert Einstein regarding his ‘theory of happiness’ has been sold at auction for $1.56 million.
The handwritten message was given to a hotel porter in Japan in 1922. The note may not be as groundbreaking as the theory of relativity of the scientist, but it gives a fascinating insight into his mind.
The note reads: “A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.”
Einstein, a German-born physicist, had just been awarded the Nobel prize and was in Japan for a lecture tour.
When the porter of the hotel came to Albert Einstein’s room to make a delivery, Einstein did not have money to tip him.
Instead, Einstein wrote the messenger a signed note using stationery of the Imperial Hotel Tokyo with one sentence that is written in German.
It was sold by Exhibitions in Jerusalem and Winner’s Auctions after an intense 25-minute bidding war which had the value increase rapidly from an opening bid of only $2,000.
Another note that Einstein addressed to the porter, which read “where there’s a will there’s a way” was sold for $240,000 (£182,000). The buyers of the note have not been identified.
According to the seller of the notes, Einstein informed the hotel worker that they would most probably be worth more in the future than any meagre tip he could have received.
“I am really happy that there are people out there who are still interested in science and history and timeless deliveries in a world which is developing so fast,” said the unnamed seller after the sale.
Einstein’s theory of special theory of relativity was published in 1905. Einstein spent the next ten years refining his thoughts to produce his theory of ‘general relativity’ in 1915.