Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair sells at charity auction

11 November, 2018, 11:29 | Author: Dwayne Harmon
  • Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair sells for £300,000 at auction

Proceeds will go to The Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association. Hawking has become one of the most famous theoretical physicists of our time. In fact it went for close to £300,000.

A total of 22 items owned by the Cambridge physicist, who died in March, were auctioned by Christie's.

Christie's said before the nine-day online auction that the items represented the "ultimate triumph of scientific brilliance over adversity" and "Stephen Hawking was a huge personality worldwide".

And quirky items included an invitation to a party he held in 2009 where nobody turned up - because the invites were only for time travellers and the event was publicised after it happened.

The second most expensive item in the collection is the beloved physicist's former wheelchair, which raised $390,000. At the auction, a copy "signed" with Hawking's thumbprint raised $89,750 (£68,750), way above the $3,900 (£3,000) estimate.

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Hawking's 1965 thesis on the origins of the universe sold for £584,750, more than three times its pre-sale estimate, in the auction that ended Thursday.

Perhaps more surprising, among some of Hawking's possessions was a script from an episode of "The Simpsons", which raised $8,160 (£6,250).

A collection of Hawking's medals and awards fetched almost £300,000 ($392,000) more-again well above the expected price. It featured pieces belonging to other celebrated thinkers including Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin.

Hawking's daughter, Lucy, said the sale gave "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".

According to The Guardian, Hawking's children plan to donate the rest of their father's estate to the nation as part of the "acceptance in lieu" scheme, which allows one to transfer objects of artistic or historical value into public ownership to pay down inheritance tax.

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