Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair sells at charity auction

Eloise Marshall
November 11, 2018

Hawking died at the age of 76 in March, he suffered from motor neuron disease most of his life.

In the auction "On the shoulders of the giants: Newton, Darwin, Einstein, Hawking" were objects of the great scientists of all times with a total sum of two million 367 thousand dollars.

Image: Some of the professor's medals and awards were sold.

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".

A motorised wheelchair used by the late British physicist Stephen Hawking sold at auction on Thursday for nearly £300,000 with the proceeds going to charity. Hawking's dissertation was the single most expensive item.

Those items included a black bomber jacket, the script from an episode of The Simpsons on which he appeared and a 1988 copy of his best-selling book, A Brief History of Time, marked with his thumbprint as a signature.

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In total, the auction included 52 lots and raised around $2.35 million.

It was expected to fetch £150,000 but interest from across the world saw it reach nearly four times that amount.

Hawking's 117-page dissertation "Properties of expanding universes" from 1965 sold for 584,750 pounds ($764,024) well ahead of the estimate of up to 150,000 pounds.

A script for his appearance on The Simpsons sold for £6,250.

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.

Proceedings of the auction raised by wheelchair will go to the Stephen Hawking Foundation that assists research into cosmology and astrophysics, and to the Motor Neurone Disease Association that supports research and campaigns for those diagnosed with the disease.

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