Published: Sun, November 11, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Stephen Hawking's thesis and wheelchair sell for $1 million

Stephen Hawking's thesis and wheelchair sell for $1 million

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.

"The results of this remarkable sale, with more than 400 registered bidders from 30 different countries, demonstrate the enormous admiration and affection with which Stephen Hawking was viewed around the world", according to a statement from Thomas Venning, head of books and manuscripts for Christie's, and James Hyslop, head of science and natural history.

Medals and awards sold for £296,750, compared with an estimate of £15,000, while the red motorized wheelchair sold for £296,750, also compared with an estimate of £15,000.

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".

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- 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). Among the items sold were his motorized red leather wheelchair and a copy of his doctoral thesis Properties of Expanding Universes-one of five known copies-which sold for 296,750 pounds ($387,402) and 584,750 ($763,381) respectively.

Image: This Simpsons script - an episode that featured Professor Hawking - sold for £6,250. It included items belonging to Hawking, as well as others linked to Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein.

The history-making PhD thesis is signed twice by Prof Hawking and was inscribed by the scientist in the year he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease. It collected more than £1.8 million in total.

The items are only a small selection from Hawking's archive, which his family is donating to the nation in lieu of paying inheritance tax, although there are no details yet of where it will be stored.

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