Lot 448

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Richard Feynman's Personally Owned Rensselaer Scholastic Award, Ex-Sotheby's, Ex-Richard P. Feynman Family

A scholastic award presented to future Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard P. Feynman (1918-1988), probably while he was a high school or college student. The Dieges & Clust shield-form medal is stamped 10K gold-filled verso. The obverse depicts the school crest and reads "Rensselaer / Polytechnic / Institute" at the top and sides, and "Knowledge and Thoroughness" along the bottom. A red and white (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute colors) lapel ribbon is attached at top. Expected light tarnish, else near fine. Accompanied by the original Sotheby's auction tag. The medal measures approximately .75" wide x 1" long; the total with the ribbon measures 2.125" long. Ex-Sotheby's, Ex-Richard P. Feynman Family.

This award was likely presented to Richard Feynman while he was enrolled at Far Rockaway High School, a public school in Queens, New York, or as an undergraduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Though not known for certain, we might assume that the award was for mathematics, since Feynman had been teaching himself advanced algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus since age 15. Feynman later earned his college degree at M.I.T. and his doctorate from Princeton University. The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is located in Troy, New York.

Richard Feynman was a co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965. His many contributions to the field of theoretical physics include research/discoveries in quantum computing, quantum mechanics, quantum electrodynamics, particle physics, nanotechnology, and the fluidity of elements based on temperature.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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November 29, 2023 10:30 AM EST
Wilton, CT, US

University Archives

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Bid Increments
From: To: Increments:
$0 $99 $10
$100 $299 $20
$300 $499 $25
$500 $999 $50
$1,000 $1,999 $100
$2,000 $2,999 $200
$3,000 $4,999 $250
$5,000 $9,999 $500
$10,000 $19,999 $1,000
$20,000 $49,999 $2,500
$50,000 + $5,000