Published: Sun, November 11, 2018
Science | By

Personal belongings Hawking left the auction

Personal belongings Hawking left the auction

The motorized chair, used by Hawking after he was paralyzed with motor neuron disease, raised 296,750 pounds ($385,122) in a Christie's online auction.

The sale was part of a nine-day online auction by Christie's called "On the Shoulders of Giants" to raise money for the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

A wheelchair used by physicist Stephen Hawking has sold at auction for nearly 300,000 pounds, or $393,000, while a copy of his doctoral thesis fetched nearly 585,000 pounds ($767,000), auctioneer Christie's said Thursday.

Hawking's 117-page dissertation Properties of expanding universes from 1965 sold for £584,750 (NZ$1.1m), well ahead of the estimate of up to £150,000 (NZ$288,842).

Diagnosed with motor neuron disease at 22 and given just a few years to live, Hawking died in March at 76. As with all Christie's auction items, the house attempted to place a price estimate on the wheelchair, settling for an upper range of around 15,000 British pounds, or around U.S. $18,900.


A selection of work and belongings of the late theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking snatched hundreds of thousands of dollars per item at a recent Christie's auction.

Other noteworthy Hawking memorabilia up for grabs are printed copies of some of his most important papers, his medals and awards, a copy of his book A Brief History of Time - signed with a fingerprint, the typescript of his thesis, and a bomber jacket.

Hawking's production script from a 2010 episode of "The Simpsons" in which he appeared, sold for over $8,100.

Hawking's motorized wheelchair and a set of his medals and awards have been sold for a combined total of nearly £600,000, while a copy of his Ph.D. thesis raised almost the same amount on its own.

According to the Guardian, Hawking's children are planning on donating the remainder of their father's estate to the nation "in lieu of inheritance tax".

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