Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair sells at charity auction

Katie Ramirez
November 11, 2018

It was sold for almost twenty times what it was expected to snatch at auction, and its sale will benefit both the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Described as "arguably both literally and metaphorically the most-travelled wheelchair in history", the specially-adapted chair had originally been expected to fetch just £15,000.

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.

"Stephen Hawking was a huge personality worldwide".

Stephen Hawking fans raised nearly $2 million at an auction that will benefit The Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association. Hawking's items all combined sold for about $1,306,275 at the auction.

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Auction house Christie's ran the auction called "On the Shoulders of Giants" to raise money for the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Hawking published his thesis in 1965, two years after being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a form of motor-neurone disease that would eventually leave him paralysed.

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).

A script for his appearance on The Simpsons sold for £6,250. It featured pieces belonging to other celebrated thinkers including Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin.

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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