Stephen Hawking Thesis And Wheelchair Fetch Millions In Auction

Stephen Hawking Thesis And Wheelchair Fetch Millions In Auction

A motorised wheelchair used by the late British physicist Stephen Hawking sold at auction on Thursday for almost 300,000 pounds ($391,740) while a dissertation raised nearly twice that at a sale to raise money for charity. 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.

A collection of his medals and awards, including honours from the Royal Astronomical Society, sold for £296,750, with the entire collection achieving £1,384,625.

In 1963, Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a type of motor neuron disease that causes nerve cells controlling muscles to waste away.

Among the 22 objects to be auctioned is a copy of the author of the bestseller "Brief History of Time" (1988) signed with the thumbprint of one of his thumbs, whose price reached 89 thousand dollars (from an initial estimate of two thousand 600 to three thousand 900 dollars).

Hawking died at the age of 76 in March, he suffered from motor neuron disease most of his life. Hawking's dissertation was the single most expensive item.

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Some of his belongings including essays, medals, awards and a copy of his book a "Brief History of Time" signed with a thumbprint were sold online alongside letters and manuscripts belonging to Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein.

In total the auction raised £1,824,375.

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

Professor 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".

Hawking's children hope to preserve his scientific archive for the nation.

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