Einstein manuscript with relativity calculations sold for more than $13M at Paris auction

A rare manuscript featuring early calculations that led to Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity sold for just over $13 million at an auction in Paris Tuesday, becoming the most expensive manuscript by the famed scientist.

The 54-page document was originally expected to fetch as much as $3.5 million, but went for nearly quadruple the pre-sale estimate. British auction house Christie’s told NBC News they will not be disclosing who won the final bid.

The manuscript might have been consigned to history were it not for a decision by one of the physicist’s friends and colleagues.

It was preserved by Swiss-Italian engineer Michele Besso, who worked on the calculations with the Nobel Prize winner.

Einstein’s genius did not tend to extend to saving early drafts of his work, Christie’s explained on its website, making the document all the more rare and potentially valuable.

Contained within it is the preparatory work that helped lead to the discovery of Einstein’s famous theory, which has continued to shape the way we view the cosmos since it was first put forth on Nov. 25, 1915, forever changing our understanding of gravitation.

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