Details
Albert Einstein (1879-1955).

Carte-de-visite portrait photograph by Gottfried Wolfsgruber, Aarau (Switzerland), n.d. [October 1895 - September 1896], signed by Einstein on the verso and inscribed to his parents and sister Maja, 'Meinen lieben Eltern und der lieben Maya [sic], / Ihr / Albert'.

Mounted on stiff card, photographer's printed signature and details on lower margin and verso; gilt edges. 104 x 64mm including mount.







Provenance
Maja Winteler-Einstein (1881-1951) – her husband Paul Winteler (1882-1952) – Besso family.
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Lot Essay

A signed photograph sent home to his parents.

Having failed the entrance exam for the Zurich Polytechnic in October 1895 (he achieved exceptional grades in maths and physics, but failed the general paper), Einstein was advised to complete his secondary education at the reputable cantonal school in Aarau. He enrolled there on 26 October, and remained until he completed his Matura examinations in September 1896. During his time in Aarau, Einstein lodged with the Winteler family, who were to play a significant role in his life: his first known love affair was with one of the Winteler daughters, Marie, whilst his sister Maja was to marry Marie's brother Paul, and his closest friend, Michele Besso, married Marie's sister Anna.

We can trace only one other version of this portrait at auction, a cabinet-sized print inscribed to Einstein's childhood friend Albert Karr (sold at Sotheby's, 1 December 2010, lot 197). These are by far the earliest known signed photographs by Einstein.
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Einstein and Family: Letters and Portraits
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