Published: Sun, November 11, 2018
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Stephen Hawking's wheelchair auctioned for a whopping $393,000

Stephen Hawking's wheelchair auctioned for a whopping $393,000

Stephen Hawking's doctoral thesis, written in 1965, has sold for nearly £585,000 in an online Christie's auction.

The most expensive item in Hawking's collection was a copy of his Ph.D. dissertation on the expansion of the universe.

Hawking's items were sold by Christie's, a British auction house, as part of "On the Shoulders of Giants".

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. The thesis was one of five existing copies and was expected to fetch up to $195,800 (£150,000), according to Christie's. That is more than 15 times the pre-sale estimate made public by Christie's. At the auction, a copy "signed" with Hawking's thumbprint raised $89,750 (£68,750), way above the $3,900 (£3,000) estimate.

Personal effects of Stephen Hawking, including a signed copy of his 1965 PhD thesis, have raised more than £1.8m at auction.

Originally given just two years to live, Hawking lived for 55 years following his diagnosis, using a wheelchair for the vast majority of his life, before his death on March 14 at 76.

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The auction funds will go to the family although the money raised from selling the wheelchair will be donated to the Motor Neurone Disease Association and the Stephen Hawking Foundation.

Other personal belongings included a bomber jacket, which fetched $52,200 (£40,000) and a collection of his medals, which went for $387,360 (£296,750).

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

A script from one of his appearances on the television series "The Simpsons" was one of the 22 lots under the hammer, selling for £6,250.

"We are also giving admirers of his work the chance 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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