Wheelchair Hawking will auction - determined starting price

Terry Joseph
October 25, 2018

The 1965 Cambridge University PhD thesis "Properties of Expanding Universes" is likely to carry a price of 100,000 to 150,000 pounds, said the AP report.

An upcoming auction will include 22 of physicist Stephen Hawking's items, including his wheelchair and his doctoral thesis about the origins of the universe.

A motorized red and maroon leather wheelchair Hawking used from the late-1980s to the mid-1990s is also for sale.

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

Other personal belongings of Hawkings to be auctioned include a bomber jacket and a collection of his medals.

The thesis "was the fruit of him reapplying himself to his scientific work" after being diagnosed with ALS, Venning said, adding that Hawking "kept it beside him for the rest of his life".

Christie's "On the Shoulders of Giants: Newton, Darwin, Einstein, Hawking" opens for bidding on Halloween, and concludes on November 8.

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Upon his passing in March, Stephen Hawking bequeathed a scientific legacy that will descend to new researchers and theoreticians for generations to come.

Additionally, a few more whimsical items will be up for sale, including a copy of the script for a Simpsons episode he was featured in. According to a statement by the Christie's, Hawking's "mischievous attitude" to piloting his wheelchair became legendary, both in Cambridge and further afield.

Proceeds from the wheelchair's sale will be donated to the Motor Neurone Disease Association and The Stephen Hawking Foundation.

Hawking's well-known 1988 book "A Brief History of Time" signed with his thumbprint is also available to buyers.

The sale will give "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", said Hawking's daughter Lucy. This is one of five known copies of Hawking's 117-page thesis, and its estimated value is between $126,000 and $189,000. The dissertation was signed by Hawking in his shaky handwriting because of the illness.

"Stephen Hawking made four appearances in The Simpsons over a period of 10 years, something he joked made him more famous than anything he had done in science", said Christie's on its website".

Documents and files by Stephen Hawking the personal and academic possessions of Stephen Hawking at the auction house Christies in London, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018.

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