Stephen Hawking's wheelchair auctioned for a whopping $393,000

Gwen Vasquez
November 11, 2018

It had been expected to fetch 10,000 pounds to 15,000 pounds.

Apart from Hawking, one of Newton's manuscripts sold for around $130,000, a set of seven awards, including Einstein's award for achievement in natural sciences sold for about $387,000, a letter written by Darwin sold for $65,230, and one of Einstein's manuscripts gathered $42,399.

Famed for his work exploring the origins of the universe, Hawking died in March at the age of 76 after spending most of his life confined to a wheelchair with motor neurone disease.


"Stephen Hawking was a huge personality worldwide".

The same price of £296,750 was achieved by Hawking's earliest existing motorized wheelchair, which he used extensively during the global book tour for his 1988 best-seller A Brief History of Time.

The copy, one of only five originals of the thesis entitled "Properties of expanding universes", smashed pre-sale expectations four times over to sell for £584,750 at the Christie's sale, which ended on Thursday.

Stephen Hawking's doctoral thesis, written in 1965, has sold for nearly £585,000 in an online Christie's auction. Hawking's dissertation was the single most expensive item.

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The second-highest price of Hawking's collection was achieved by a selection of medals and awards presented throughout his career, which sold for £296,750 ($388,970).

Image: This Simpsons script - an episode that featured Professor Hawking - sold for £6,250.

The auction also included possessions of Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, and Albert Einstein.

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

The second most expensive item in the collection is the beloved physicist's former wheelchair, which raised $390,000.

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

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