A scientific manuscript which details a key stage in the development of Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity was sold at an auction in Paris by Christie’s, which was holding the sale for Aguttes auction house. The 54-page manuscript sold Tuesday for just over $13 million. It t contains 26 pages by Einstein and 25 by Michele Besso , a Swiss engineer and Einstein’s collaborator, lifelong friend and confidant. Besso kept the manuscript in “impeccable” condition at his home until his death in 1995. It’s the most valuable Einstein manuscript to ever be auctioned, estimated initially to be worth between 2 million euros and 3 million euros ($2.2 million and $3.4 million).
The manuscript was written between June 1913 and early 1914 containing calculations made by Einstein and Besso on the theory of specialized relativity and the issue of an anomaly in the orbit of the planet Mercury, from a “crucial stage” in the development of Einstein’s theory of general relativity. British auction house Christie’s told media they will not be disclosing who won the final bid. Christie’s also described the pages as “one of the most important scientific documents of the 20th century.” The manuscript showed that Einstein’s discovery was not born overnight, but was the conclusion of a yearslong process.