It was one in which he notes that through his work on the special theory of relativity, he had “a very indirect connection with the atomic bomb”.
Wagner lots did not prosper in that Bonhams sale, but a sketchleaf containing the score for part of an early version of ‘Sunset’, Beethoven’s setting of a poem by Sir Walter Scott, sold for $105,000 (£76,085).
In the early 19th century, fulfilling commissions from the Scottish publisher George Thomson for what eventually became an 11 volume collection of Scottish, Welsh and Irish airs, Beethoven set to music well over 150 poems, etc.
In 2005 Christie’s offered Beethoven’s setting of ‘Highland Harry’ by Robert Burns with an estimate of around £350,000-450,000, but it did not sell in the room.
Last seen at auction in 1985, when as part of the extensive Sang family collections it sold for $3250, an 1861 edition of the Religious Tract Society’s ‘Annotated Paragraph Bible’ that Ulysses S Grant used during his inauguration as US president was sold at $95,000 (£68,840).
Three items from this 33-lot American sale of Extraordinary Books & MSS, in which a number of the higher-valued ones were unsold, featured in a round-up of recent sales in ATG No 2234.
They were a Newton manuscript, Benjamin Franklin’s glass prism and, at $420,000 (£302,360), Einstein’s violin.