June 21, 2009

Einstein photograph sold for $74,000

An auctioneer in Amherst, N.H., says he sold a famed photograph of theoretical physicist Albert Einstein for $74,324.

Auctioneer Bobby Livingston said the autographed 1951 photo of Einstein wagging his tongue was sold online via RRAuction.com and the sale marked the highest price paid for an Einstein photo in history, The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger reported Saturday.

Livingston said the photo, taken during Einstein's 72nd birthday celebration at New Jersey's Princeton University, is special.

As soon as we got it, we knew it was something special, Livingston said. This incredible man understood the universe more than any of the rest of us, and here he is at this moment, making a joke, like life is a gas, you know?

The original photo was taken by then-United Press International photographer Arthur Sasse and the item up for auction was a print autographed and inscribed by Einstein as a gift for his friend, ABC journalist Howard K. Smith.

The Star-Ledger said the winning bid for the Einstein photo was made by New York autographs dealer David Waxman.