On the Auction Block: A 1963 Mercedes Roadster and Notes From Einstein

Blair Pfander
On the Auction Block: A 1963 Mercedes Roadster and Notes From Einstein
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Summer may be winding down, but things are starting to heat up at the major auction houses, where collectors of everything from vintage cars to scientific memorabilia are sure to find something this month.
Geek collectors can look forward to notes penned by Albert Einstein—who scrawled a calculation for an electromagnetic field on a letter to a college student—as well as Charles Darwin, who advised his “ancient amigo,” as he called him, about acquiring bird taxidermy.
If, on the other hand, you’re just looking for something pretty to glint at your from inside your handbag, don’t miss the Deco 1945 Cartier cigarette case heading to Bonhams, which comes festooned in diamonds and rubies.

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1963 Mercedes Benz 300 SL Roadster: The high-performance, ultra-luxurious Roadster was based on a racing coupe adapted to the mass market. This particularly elegant version—rendered in a silvery white hue—features extended fenders, larger headlights, and a smaller grille. Estimated $1,100,000 to $1,400,000, August 16 at Bonhams.

Photo: Bonhams/Bonhams

Bruce Lee: Kung Fu fans will "flip" for this framed action figure and color portrait of Bruce Lee, which comes with the martial arts star's signature on the top left corner of the shadow-box. Current bid at $1,044, August 14 at RR Auction.

Photo: RR Auction/RR Auction

Ruby and Diamond Cartier Cigarette Case: No bad habit should do without a good accessory. This ruby and diamond-set cigarette case by Cartier dates back to 1945, which explains its sleek Art Deco look. The only trouble will be bringing everything else in your purse up to the same level. Estimated $7,700 to $9,200, August 7 at Bonhams.

Photo: Bonhams/Bonhams

Charles Darwin Notes: Science geeks will no doubt clamor over these four pages of notes from Charles Darwin. The "ancient amigo" Drawin was addressing was John Maruine Herbert, who was inquiring with the naturalist about mounted birds. Current bid at $4,608, August 14 at RR Auction.

Photo: RR Auction/RR Auction

German Dresser: This month's London auction from Christie's Interiors will include an elaborate polychrome German dresser dating back to the 18th century—a perfect end-of-summer addition to your Hamptons house. Estimated $4,614 to $7,690, August 13 at Christies.

Photo: Christies/Christies

Rare Picnic Set:
Take your picnic lunch up a few zillion notches with this rare 1920s leather picnic set. Designed by Gustave Keller of Paris, the set features nickelled locks and catches, a tan leather interior, and real silver accessorizes including a gilt-lined kettle (complete with burner), gilt-lined tea cups, food box, and a leather pouch loaded with silver cutlery. Estimated $25,000 to $30,000, August 16 at Bonhams.

Photo: Bonhams/Bonhams

Original Albert Einstein Notes: Another boon for nerd-collectors: two pages of calculations penned by Albert Einstein head to the block this week. Among his scribbles are calcuations for an electromagnetic field and "components for the Ricci tensor," which sounds very complicated. Current bid $8,983, August 14 at RR Auction.

Photo: RR Auction/RR Auction

12 Gilded Russian Chairs: From the upcoming NYC edition of Christie's interior sale, these Russian dining chairs are made complete with real gold and ebony, and feature twin sphinxes carved into the back boards. Estimated $8,000 to $12,000, August 27 at Christies.

Photo: Christies/Christies

Silvered Mark VI Tenor Sax: If you've been considering taking up a stylish new hobby, consider the saxophone, a gorgeous specimen of which heads to Bonhams this month. Made in 1955, this silvery number features padded keys and a hand-engraved floral design. Estimated $4,600 to $6,200, August 7 at Bonhams.

Photo: Bonhams/Bonhams

Afternoon Tea Service: If you're going to have tea, you ought to do it right. This "comprehensive" set comes with the works, including sugar bowls, a milk jug, two-handled tray, sugar castor, sauce boat, and some more unusual add-ons like "bon bon dishes" and the unappetizing "slop bowl." Estimated $3,800 to $4,600, August 13 at Bonhams.

Photo: Bonhams/Bonhams

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