January 20, 2019

Chair Stephen Hawking sell at auction

24 October 2018, 02:10 | Ross Houston

Stephen Hawking's most prized possessions go under the hammer

2012 London Paralympics – Opening Ceremony

Days after legendary physicist Stephen Hawking's final paper was published, a great number of his prized possessions will go up for auction, including some of his most important papers, including his doctoral thesis, a copy of "A Brief History of Time" and the script for one of his appearances on "The Simpsons". One is included in the sale, with an estimated price of 10,000 pounds to 15,000 pounds ($13,000 to $19,500).

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". Since he was paralysed, Hawking's movement was facilitated by high-tech wheelchairs.

In particular, one of the five copies of the doctoral thesis on "the Properties of universes expanding" of the estimated 130 thousand to $ 195 thousand dollars. Months after the cosmic visionary passed away, the online auction and private sales organization announced its science sale that will also feature papers by prominent scientists Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Albert Einstein.

The famous physicist was diagnosed at just 21 years old with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease.

As the disease progressed, Hawking began using a wheelchair and communicating with others using a voice-generating computer.

Image Christie’s
Image Christie’s

The proceeds from the auction of the chair will benefit the The Stephen Hawking Foundation, which advocates for the rights of people with disabilities, and The Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Having run over Prince Charles's toes during a meeting in 1977, he is said to have regretted not doing the same to the then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. The items will be on display in London starting October 30, with bids open from October 31 to November 8.

Venning told the AP that Hawking's wheelchair symbolizes the scientist's "puckish sense of humor". The thesis includes a signature and a handwritten note from Hawking confirming that the copy is original. The copy comes with a bomber jacket that Hawking once wore.

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.

"It was in 1983 that Hawking first suggested the idea of a popular work on cosmology, which would explain modern physics and astronomy in non-specialist terms to a popular readership", Christie's states.

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