"YOU MADE ME A TREMENDOUS PLEASURE WITH YOUR GOOD FEETED SANTA CLAUS": WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS 1941 AUTOGRAPH LETTER WRITTEN AND SIGNED BY EINSTEIN
EINSTEIN, Albert. Autograph letter signed. Princeton, December 25, 1941. Single sheet of unlined paper, measuring 8 by 4 inches; matted with a photographic print and framed, entire piece measures 15-1/4 by 18 inches. $25,000.
Lovely original autograph Christmas 1941 letter written and signed by Einstein thanking his correspondent, Jane, for sending a "feeted Santa Claus" [possibly a figurine] and sending a small toy in return.
The letter, dated "Princeton 25.XII.41," reads in full: "Dear Jane: You made me a tremendous pleasure with your good feeted Santa Claus and still more with your kind letter with fine pictures in it. Thank you very heartily and I am sending you a little toy for your amusement and remembrance. With kindest greetings, A. Einstein." While Einstein identified as part of the Jewish people, he had a certain amount of disdain for organized religion (including his own). He preferred to remain skeptical and generally distrusted religious leaders. However, like many assimilated Jewish people of Central European descent, he regarded Christmas as a holiday about peace and family—and thus one worth celebrating. His correspondence reveals that he routinely bought his children Christmas gifts, likely because Hanukkah had not yet transitioned into a major gift-giving holiday. Einstein also wrote of his delight at receiving Christmas cards and Christmas greetings. The photographic print included in this piece bears the blindstamp of Merl LaVoy. La Voy was a documentary filmmaker for Pathé News. Einstein and LaVoy encountered each other on several occasions, including during a 1931 stay in California when LaVoy took this photograph. Here, Einstein is shown holding a Cine-Kodak home movie camera, with his second wife, Elsa, at his side.
Faint spot to bottom edge of letter. Fine condition.