Albert Einstein's violin
Albert Einstein's violinReuters

A violin once owned by legendary physicist Albert Einstein has sold for $516,500 at the New York-based Bonhams auction house, JTA reported on Monday.

The sale occurred on Friday, according to the news agency.

The instrument, which reportedly was gifted to the scientist in 1933 by Oscar Steger, a member of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, went for over three times its estimated price.

Steger made the violin himself and inscribed it with the words “Made for the Worlds[sic] Greatest Scientist Profesior[sic] Albert Einstein By Oscar H. Steger, Feb 1933 / Harrisburg, PA.”

Later, while working at Princeton University, Einstein gave the instrument to the son of Sylas Hibbs, who worked as a janitor at the school. It had remained in Hibbs’ family ever since, according to JTA.

Last week, a letter penned by Einstein discussing one of his groundbreaking theories sold in an auction in Jerusalem for over $100,000.

The sum -- while large -- pales in comparison to the $1.56 million that one purchaser paid for a letter from Einstein on the secret of happiness at a Jerusalem auction in October after it was initially valued at some $8,000.

In June of last year, Winners sold letters written by Einstein about God, Israel and physics for nearly $210,000, with the highest bid going to a missive about God's creation of the world.

The highest bid of $84,000 was for a letter to eminent physicist David Bohm.

In 2012, a handwritten letter in which Einstein wrote his personal feelings on the existence of God and his opinions on religion, unconnected with his scientific theories, went up for sale on eBay.

German-born Einstein served as a non-resident governor of Jerusalem's Hebrew University up to his death.