Stephen Hawking auction of personal items raises $1.8M

Mindy Sparks
November 11, 2018

The items were included in the Christie's auction "On the Shoulders of Giants", which ran October 31 to November 8 and included handwritten documents from fellow brainiacs Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and some guy named Albert Einstein.

Fine-art handler Tom Richardson poses with a motorised wheelchair belonging to British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking ahead of an auction of items from Hawkings' personal estate at Christie's in London, Britain October 30, 2018.

A motorized wheelchair and a thesis belonging to Stephen Hawking have sold at auction for more than $1 million.

A bomber jacket once owned by Hawking sold for about $51,855. The chair was initially expected to sell for roughly between $13,000 and $20,000.


A collection of Hawking's medals and awards sold for almost $392,000, perFortune.

Proceeds from the chair's sale will go to the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Hawking's 117-page dissertation "Properties of expanding universes" from 1965 sold for £584,750, well ahead of the estimate of up to 150,000. 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. The work is signed twice by the physicist and includes the notation, "this dissertation is my original work". "He had this unbelievable ability to connect with people", Thomas Venning, head of the Books and Manuscripts department at auction house Christie's London, told ahead of the event.

The invitations Hawking had printed will be included as part of an auction of items from his estate, Atlas Obscura reported. Christie's is handling the negotiations to hand it over to British authorities in lieu of inheritance tax.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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