Stephen Hawking's wheelchair sells for R5.5m at auction

Stephen Hawking's wheelchair sells for R5.5m at auction

Stephen Hawking's wheelchair sells for R5.5m at auction

A range of personal belongings of British physicist, Stephen Hawking, including his famous motorised red leather wheel chair and a copy of his dissertation thesis have been sold for $1 million in an auction.

It was expected to fetch £150,000 but interest from across the world saw it reach nearly four times that amount.

Proceeds from the wheelchair sale will go to benefit the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association; proceeds from Prof Hawking's other items will go to his estate.

A rare copy of Professor Stephen Hawking's original PHD thesis has sold for more than $750,000 during a special Christie's auction in London.

One of the theoretical physicist's wheelchairs was sold at auction smashing its estimate.

In total, 22 items that belonged to Hawking raised $1.8 million (£1.38M) on November 8 as part of the online sale "On the Shoulders of Giants", which also featured papers from Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein. His doctors gave him just two years to live, and the devastating news led him to lose hope and quit his studies.

Among the items was Hawking's motorized wheelchair, used in the 1980s and 1990s. Hawking's dissertation was the single most expensive item.

A copy of Hawking's book "A Brief History of Time" with his thumbprint signature along with his essays, medals and awards were sold for £68,750 in online sale on Thursday. His various medals and awards raised a total of £296,750 or about $390,000.

The physicist's daughter, Lucy, said Christie's had been helping the family "manage our beloved father's unique and precious collection of personal and professional belongings". This particular episode was aired on September 26, 2010.

Sophie Hopkins, specialist in manuscripts and archives at Christie's, said much of the collection was "incredibly iconic".

"We are also giving 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".

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