Hawking's thesis and wheelchair sold for $1.6m, Europe News & Top Stories

Katie Ramirez
November 12, 2018

In total, the auction raised $1.8 million for charity.

A motorised wheelchair used by the late British physicist Stephen Hawking was sold at auction for £296,750, while a thesis fetched almost twice that amount at a sale to raise money for charity.

The auction was titled as "On the Shoulder of Giants" which is a reference to the famous phrase once used by Newton: "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants".

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.

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Whoever walks away the lucky owner of the invitations will have to hold on to them, or at least pass them down for many generations to come, as per Hawking's wish. The chair was initially expected to sell for roughly between $13,000 and $20,000.

Hawking's 117-page dissertation "Properties of expanding universes" from 1965 sold for 584,750 pounds.

Auction items belonging to Hawking also included a copy of his book A Brief History of Time signed with his thumbprint that sold for £68,750 ($123,856), his Alpha Industries bomber jacket that sold for £40,000 ($72,061), and a collection of medals and awards that sold for £296,750 ($532,606). "He had this awesome ability to connect with people", Thomas Venning, head of the Books and Manuscripts department at auction house Christie's London, told Reuters ahead of the event. Pieces tied to the likes of Newton, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein were also included. Holy wow. What's awesome about this isn't just the price, but the fact that the auction was essentially for charity, with proceeds going to the Stephen Hawking Foundation as well as the Motor Neurone Disease Association, both of which were causes that Hawking cared deeply about. Christie's is reportedly handling the negotiations for the family.

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