Stephen Hawking wheelchair sells for nearly $400G at auction

Pablo Tucker
November 11, 2018

- The auction house Christie's sold one of the five existing copies of the doctoral thesis of Stephen Hawking, reaching a figure of 760 thousand dollars, nearly four times its estimated value (between 130 and 195 thousand Dollars).

Medals and awards sold for 296,750 pounds ($387,708), compared with an estimate of 15,000 pounds, while the red motorised wheelchair sold for 296,750 pounds ($387,708), also compared with an estimate of 15,000 pounds.

The lots included medals and awards which sold for a total of £296,750, while Prof Hawking's own scientific papers and library of the works of other famous scientists such as Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein, went for sums in the tens of thousands of pounds. It collected more than £1.8 million in total.


Cambridge Professor Stephen Hawking has provided a posthumous windfall for two charities.

A copy of his bestselling A Brief History of Time, signed with a thumbprint, sold for £68,750, a bomber jacket went for £40,000 and the script for one of his appearances on The Simpsons sold for £6,250.

The scientist at the University of Cambridge died on March 14 at 76 years of age after suffering a neurological disease that kept him prostrate to a wheelchair for more than 50 years.


Auction house Christie's ran the auction called "On the Shoulders of Giants" to raise money for the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Personal copies of the British physicist's papers, such as a copy of his 1974 article, "Black Hole Explosions?" were also on sale, in which he predicted that black holes would release black body radiation, known as Hawking Radiation. "He had this incredible ability to connect with people", Thomas Venning, head of the Books and Manuscripts department at auction house Christie's London, told Reuters.

According to the Guardian, the esteemed physicist's daughter Lucy Hawking said the auction was an opportunity for his admirers to "acquire a memento of our father's extraordinary life in the shape of a small selection of evocative and fascinating items".


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