A signed print of Albert Einstein sticking out his tongue has sold for the equivalent of around £45,000 to collector David Waxman at auction.

The photograph was taken in 1951 by United Press International (UPI) photographer Arthur Sasse at Princeton University after a celebration of the scientist?s 72nd birthday. Sasse reportedly tried to get Einstein to smile for the shot, but he stuck out his tongue instead. Later, it is said, Einstein was so amused by the photograph that he ordered nine copies.

The copy sold at the auction was originally given to Howard K Smith, a noted American TV journalist and commentator, probably while he was chief correspondent for CBS. It bears a fountain pen caption in German that translates, ?This gesture you will like, because it is aimed at all of humanity. A civilian can afford to do what no diplomat would dare. Your loyal and grateful listener, A. Einstein ?53.?

The image has been seen on posters and T-shirts all over the world, but the vintage matt-finish 7x11in print sold by RRAuction.com of Amherst, New Hampshire is now the property of David Waxman thanks to a bid of $74,324 (£45,000).