Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    First Printing of Einstein's "General Theory of Relativity"

    Albert Einstein. "Die Grundlage der allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie." In Annalen der Physik, Vierte Folge, Band 49, No. 7 (1916), pages 769-822. Leipzig: Verlag von Johann Ambrosius Barth, 1916.

    First printing of Einstein's "The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity." Octavo (8.5 x 5.5 inches). viii, 1000 pages (complete volume). Mounted photographic portrait of Emil Warburg facing page 229; ten tables within text.

    Contemporary half calf over marbled boards. Spine ruled and lettered in gilt and decoratively ruled in blind. Light shelfwear to boards. Ink stamp of Imperial Chemical Industries Limited on the front pastedown and front free endpaper, with pencil cancellation marks. Overall, in fine condition.

    A separate edition of the work appeared in the same year, but the text for that edition was reset with significant additions and revisions and printed after this journal issue, thus this journal constitutes the actual first printing. Einstein's theory explains gravitation as distortion of the structure of space-time by matter, affecting the inertial motion of other matter. The paper is divided into four sections: "Considering the Fundamental Postulate of Relativity", "Mathematical Tools for the Establishment of General Covariant Equations", "Theory of the Gravitational Field", and "The 'Substantive' Precedent". A groundbreaking paper, rare in this original form.

    Grolier/Horblit 26c. Norman Library 695. Printing and the Mind of Man 408. Weil 80.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2010
    14th-16th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,013

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2018 October 25 Manuscripts - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    I don’t often do testimonials but in this case I felt truly obligated to thank Heritage Auctions for the extremely professional job your organization did for me.
    Charlie K.,
    Pittsburgh, PA
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $619,240