Albert Einstein’s note on the theory of happiness sold on Tuesday for $1.3 million at a Jerusalem auction, handing over the scientist’s 1922 musings to unknown buyers.
Gal Wiener, CEO of the auction house, said the auction for the note began at $2,000 and bids quickly flooded in for about 25 minutes. Wiener would not reveal the names of the seller or buyer of the note.
The Nobel-winning scientist wrote the note while he was in Tokyo, just after he was told he would be awarded a Nobel Prize in physics, Winner’s Auctions and Exhibitions said.
A bellboy arrived at his room to deliver an item and Einstein didn’t have cash to tip him. Instead, the scientist handed him a piece of paper with a message.
“A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness,” the note says in German.
A second note was also handed to the bellboy that reads, “Where there’s a will there’s a way.” That notes also sold in the auction for $240,000, Wiener said. He also did not disclose who was the buyer and seller.
The seller was reportedly the bellboy’s nephew, the BBC reported.
Einstein was a founder of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and left it his literary estate and personal papers. He declined an invitation to serve as Israel’s first president. Though not his most famous work, the scientist’s musings shed light on one of the great modern minds.
Einstein died in 1955.