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Albert Einstein’s happiness note sold for $1.6m

Written by on March 28, 2022

A note written by Albert Einstein containing advice on happy living has sold at an auction house in Jerusalem for $1.56m (£1.19m).

Einstein gave the note to a courier in Tokyo in 1922 instead of a tip.

German-born Swiss-US physicist Albert Einstein in Princeton (14 February 1950)

He had just heard that he had won the coveted Nobel prize for physics and told the messenger that, if he was lucky, the notes would become valuable.

Einstein suggested in the note that achieving a long-dreamt goal did not necessarily guarantee happiness.

The German-born physicist had won the Nobel and was in Japan on a lecture tour.

When the courier came to his room to make a delivery, he did not have any money to reward him.

Gal Winner, owner and manager of the Winner's auction house in Jerusalem, displays two notes written by Albert Einstein, in 1922, on hotel stationary from the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo (22 October 2017)

Instead, he handed the messenger a signed note – using the stationery of the Imperial Hotel Tokyo – with one sentence, written in German: “A calm and humble life will bring more happiness than the pursuit of success and the constant restlessness that comes with it.”

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A second note was written at the same time simply reads: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” It sold for $240,000, Winner’s auction house said.

The winning bids for both notes were far higher than the pre-auction estimated price, the auctioneers said.

It said the buyer of one of the notes was a European who wished to remain anonymous.

The seller is reported to be the nephew of the messenger.

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