Albert Einstein’s Violin Sells at Auction for Over $500,000

The violin, originally gifted to Einstein by Oscar Steger in 1933, was given to son of Sylas Hibbs. It had remained in Hibbs’ family ever since

People take a look at Albert Einstein's violin which will be out for auction at Bonhams auction house in New York, U.S., March 6, 2018.
\ EDUARDO MUNOZ/ REUTERS

The quirky Jewish physicist would have been proud.

A violin once owned by Albert Einstein sold for $516,500 at the New York-based Bonhams auction house on Friday.

The instrument, which was reportedly gifted to the scientist in 1933 by Oscar Steger, a member of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, went for over three times its estimated price. Steger made the violin himself and inscribed it with the words “Made for the Worlds[sic] Greatest Scientist Profesior[sic] Albert Einstein By Oscar H. Steger, Feb 1933 / Harrisburg, PA.”

Later, while working at Princeton University, Einstein gave the instrument to the son of Sylas Hibbs, who worked as a janitor at the school. It had remained in Hibbs’ family ever since.