Cosmic visionary Stephen Hawking's wheelchair, thesis up for sale

Katie Ramirez
October 24, 2018

More of Hawking's papers - including "Fundamental Breakdown of Physics in Gravitational Collapse" and "Spectrum of Wormholes" - will be sold as well.

Estimated prices range from £100 ($130) for a limited-edition print of Stephen Hawking's Time Travellers Invitation to £150,000 ($195,360) for a photocopy typescript of his PhD thesis (signed and inscribed) from 1965.

Christie's warns the wheelchair is "sold as a collector's item and not as an item for medical use". One is included in the sale, with an estimated price of 10,000 pounds to 15,000 pounds ($13,000 to $19,500).

Other items include copies of various scientific papers, a selection of medals, a bomber jacket he wore in a documentary, as well as a copy of his 1988 book, A Brief History of Time, that's signed with Hawking's thumbprint. Hawking used a wheelchair during his time at Cambridge and for most of his life, after he was diagnosed with ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

The thesis "was the fruit of him reapplying himself to his scientific work", Mr Venning said, and Professor Hawking "kept it beside him for the rest of his life".

Daughter Lucy Hawking has noted that, through the auction, fans of the scientist will get the chance to become owners of the relics, reminding about the unusual life of a theoretical physicist.

His children hope to preserve his scientific archive for the nation.

A poster advertising Time Travellers meeting hosted by Stephen Hawking is one of the personal and academic possessions of Stephen Hawking at the auction house Christies in London Friday Oct. 19 2018. The online auction announced Monday Oct. 22 2018

Thomas Venning, head of books and manuscripts at Christie's, said the papers "trace the development of his thought - this brilliant, electrifying intelligence".

Hawking, who was also a cosmologist, astronomer, mathematician and a prolific author, died last March at age 76 having survived a debilitating disease that doctors said would kill him in his 20s.

The Acceptance in Lieu (AIL) scheme, administered by Arts Council England, enables taxpayers to pay inheritance tax by transferring important works of art and other important heritage objects into public ownership.

"Hawking initially resisted the idea of using a wheelchair in the late 1960s; by the late 1970s, he was using motorized models like the present example, and was even renowned for being a rather wild driver", auction house Christie's said in a statement shared on its website.

Auctioneer Christie's announced the online sale on Monday as part of a larger auction featuring scientific papers by Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, and Isaac Newton, the Associated Press reported.

The online auction begins Wednesday, Oct. 31, and concludes on Thursday, Nov. 8. Despite being wheelchair-bound and dependent on a computerised voice system for communication, Hawking continued his research into theoretical physics.

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Bollinger in 2003, allowing state colleges and universities to use affirmative action in their admissions, and the Bush v. He called her a "towering figure in the history of the United States", breaking down barriers for women.

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