National & World News, Stephen Hawking's wheelchair sells for $393,000 at auction

Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair sells for £300,000 at auction

Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair sells for £300,000 at auction

"Stephen Hawking was a huge personality worldwide", Thomas Venning, head of the Books and Manuscripts department at auction house Christie's London, told Reuters prior to the auction.

Medals and awards sold for £296,750, compared with an estimate of £15,000, while the red motorized wheelchair sold for £296,750, also compared with an estimate of £15,000.

The same price of £296,750 was achieved by Hawking's earliest existing motorized wheelchair, which he used extensively during the global book tour for his 1988 best-seller A Brief History of Time.

The motorized chair, used by the physicist after he was paralyzed with motor neuron disease, sold for 296,750 pounds in a Christies online auction on Thursday Nov. 8, 2018.

When Cambridge finally made Hawking's thesis available to download in 2017, it was viewed more than 60,000 times in 24 hours and public interest completely crashed the university's server.

Proceedings of the auction raised by wheelchair will go to the Stephen Hawking Foundation that assists research into cosmology and astrophysics, and to the Motor Neurone Disease Association that supports research and campaigns for those diagnosed with the disease.

A signed copy of his 117-page dissertation - one of only five - titled Properties of Expanding Universes from 1965 secured the top price of £584,750.

A copy of his bestselling A Brief History of Time, signed with a thumbprint, sold for £68,750, a bomber jacket went for £40,000 and the script for one of his appearances on The Simpsons sold for £6,250.

In total the auction raised £1,824,375. It included items belonging to Hawking, as well as others linked to Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein.

Professor Hawking's daughter, Lucy, said the sale gave "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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