Hawkings thesis, wheelchair sell for $1m

Britain Stephen Hawking Auction

A wheelchair used by physicist Stephen Hawking has sold at auction for nearly 300,000 pounds, or $393,000, while a copy of his doctoral thesis fetched nearly 585,000 pounds ($767,000), auctioneer Christie's said Thursday.

Personal items belonging to the late famed theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars this week after the Christie's auction house made available several pieces, including a red motorized wheelchair.

The 9-day online event is created to raise money for the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

The wheelchair was estimated to go for 15,000 pounds but wound up fetching 296,750 pounds.

The sale, which was held online by the auction house on Thursday, collected more than $1.8 million, breaking past pre-sale expectations, according to AFP.


Hawking instead lived for many more decades, dying this past March at age 76. It was a somewhat odd item, if only because it was the only thing on the auction block that related to Hawking's disability rather than his scientific work, but it still managed to fetch an absolutely astronomical price.

A script from one of his appearances on the television series "The Simpsons" was one of the 22 items in the auction, selling for more than $8,000. The collection of Hawking's medals and awards fetched an identical price, while an original copy of Hawking's thesis from late 1965 fetched a whopping 584,750 pounds, or around $762,820.

Other belongings of him including medals and awards, his book with his thumb impression "Brief History of Time" were also auctioned.

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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