A note that Albert Einstein gave a Japanese courier in 1922 describing his theory on a happy life has sold for $1.56m (£1.19m) at auction in Jerusalem, hitting an "all-time record for an auction of a document in Israel,” according to auctioneers Winner's.
The note by the Nobel-prize winning physicist, who died in 1955, is written in German on Imperial Hotel Tokyo stationery, and says that “a quiet and modest life brings more joy than a pursuit of success bound with constant unrest”. The German-born scientist was on a lecture tour of Japan when he wrote the note, and had recently been informed he would receive the Nobel prize for Physics. Researchers believe that a Japanese courier had come to deliver Einstein a note and had either refused to accept a tip or Einstein had nothing available to tip him with.The seller, a relative of the messenger, says that Einstein told the courier: “Maybe if you’re lucky those notes will become much more valuable than just a regular tip,”
Bidding on the note started at $2,000.
A second note written by Einstein at the same time that reads “where there’s a will, there’s a way” sold for $240,000, Winner’s said.