Published: Sun, November 11, 2018
Science | By

Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair sells for $393,000 at auction

Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair sells for $393,000 at auction

Stephen Hawking's doctoral thesis, written in 1965, has sold for nearly £585,000 in an online Christie's auction. It had been expected to fetch up to 15,000 pounds.

A collection of Hawking's medals and awards fetched almost £300,000 ($392,000) more-again well above the expected price.

During the auction was able to implement a single instance of the thesis that the scientist has created fifty-three years ago.

Hawking published his thesis in 1965, two years after being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a form of motor-neurone disease that would eventually leave him paralysed.

The same price of £296,750 was achieved by Hawking's earliest existing motorized wheelchair, which he used extensively during the worldwide book tour for his 1988 best-seller A Brief History of Time.


A bidder also spent more than US$760,000 - more than double the expectation - on Prof Hawking's signed 1965 PhD thesis, Properties of Expanding Universes, about the origins of time and space. All of those were sold, and the total, about US$1.8 million, was seven times more than had been predicted.

Other Hawking items up for auction included signed books, manuscripts, a bomber jacket, and a copy of the Simpson's script in which Hawking made his final cartoon appearance.

Auction house Christies ran the nine-day online auction called "On the Shoulders of Giants" to raise money for the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

"We are very pleased to have the assistance of Christie's to help us with the important matter of managing our beloved father's archives and his unique and precious collection of personal and professional belongings, chronicling his life and work", the physicist's daughter, Lucy Hawking, said before the sale. The full collection also included manuscripts by Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Albert Einstein.

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